Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #1)
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Summary: Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.
My Thoughts: Every Heart A Doorway melds fantasy with mystery, delivering a captivating tale with magic on every page!
I’d heard a lot of buzz surrounding this novel and I finally decided to pick it up!
However, I will admit with people raving about this book and seeing tons of 5-star reviews, I went in with super high expectations and while I was let down slightly, overall I’m so glad I read this book!
I adored the diversity, there’s representation from quite a few different ethnicities (Latino, Japanese) plus asexual and transgender representation!
As for plot, I was left surprised with every turn of the page. You could tell magic was weaved within each and every moment of the story. I could picture the character’s Doors/Worlds when they described them and similar to Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series, could grasp the history of the boarding school as the story progressed.
The story starts off by explaining Eleanor West’s Home For Wayward Children, a boarding school where children/teens are sent by their parents once they return from a magical world they transported to at some point in their youth.
In these other worlds, they find themselves and once they return to their own world, they find that returning isn’t as simple. They must tackle and struggle with the sense of loss that comes with leaving their wonderland behind.
The development and idea of the Doors/Worlds, I felt were so relatable because similar to my love for books and stories, there is this connection you get every time your thrust into a new world that is captivating + just captures your heart and wanting nothing more than for them to be real. That was a very powerful message and theme prevalent all through out the novel.
Every Heart A Doorway truly captures the spirit that magical or fictional worlds create for someone and I truly loved that!
Each character (Nancy, Sumi, Kade, Jack&Jill, Christopher, etc.) were all distinct and I could really understand their character within this less than 200-page story!
With each character the bits and pieces of their world became part of them and really gave them such depth and through that I could learn more about what their world was like and how it molded them and became an integral part of them once they left!
Additionally, what added so much to their character was the bits and pieces of their worlds they took with them when they returned, which you could clearly tell through their personality and 3rd person narrative.
I’m usually hesitant with 3rd person because I feel I won’t always grasp each character fully, but I’ve got to admit I truly felt connected to these characters and felt it gave me a broader scope of the world McGuire crafted.
I adored the dialogue and interactions between all the characters! Every time Jack+Jill, Nancy, Kade, Sumi, Christopher, Eleanor & Lundy interacted with eachother, I felt closer to them because I could pickup bits of their personality with each page!
(The banter/connection between them definitely reminded me of the Dregs banter from Six Of Crows/Crooked Kingdom)
My only issues was the slow pacing with the novel once I reached the middle and while I won’t spoil it, the conclusion to the murder mystery left me a little disappointed…
Additionally, there were some moments with the 3rd person narrative that the world-building in terms of the explanation of Nonsense, Logic, Wickedness and Virtue felt like it could have used a little more expansion and depth. However regardless of those minor issues…
Overall Every Heart A Doorway was a short, but immersive story filled with a dynamic cast of characters, fascinating world-building, and the perfect blend of fantasy and mystery to keep you hooked till the very end!