1.) Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★
ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.
This book is beyond words. No amount of word combinations I could possibly string together could do this book justice. This series is truly a gift from above, and I can’t urge you enough to drop any and everything you’re reading to pick up this or Every Heart a Doorway.
I didn’t think it would be possible, but I actually enjoyed Down Among the Sticks and Bones more than Every Heart a Doorway. Once I turned that last page, I immediately ran to my bookshelves and read Every Heart a Doorway. Then, I just laid there on the ground in awe, while trying to convince myself to not reread Down Among the Sticks and Bones at 2 o’clock in the morning. Seriously, this series is that amazing.
If you’ve read Every Heart a Doorway then you know how Jack and Jill’s story ends in that book, so I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out that the next book in this series was their back-story about their magical world.
The twin sisters’ doorway is very different than Nancy’s in Every Heart a Doorway. Their doorway, the Moors, is a place of neutral territory surrounded by vampires, werewolves, gargoyles, Drowned God worshipers, and more in the paranormal vein. And a few individuals in the Moors are very excited when children stumble through from portals from different worlds.
Jack and Jill stumble through when they are only twelve years old, and stay for another five years, even though they wished to stay forever. In those short five years, they discover who they are and who they want to be. They thrive in this scary world because they are able to be themselves, not what is forced upon them.
The tone of this book just feels so dark and eerie, while also being so magical and lovely. My body feels such a vast array of feelings and emotions reading Seanan McGuire’s work. The writing is so atmospheric; you will feel like you stumbled upon your own doorway.
“She had tried to make sure they knew that there were a hundred, a thousand, a million different ways to be a girl, and that all of them were valid”
The discussion on gender roles and the impact they have when we force them on our children, sometimes knowingly and other times unknowingly, is so important. It’s okay to be a tom-boy, it’s okay to be a girly-girl, and, most importantly, it’s okay to be both. We should never be defined by the world’s gender stereotypes. This is something that I have personally struggled with a lot growing up, and I could write about this topic until my fingers bled, but Seanan McGuire perfectly executes this point in such a perfectly crafted story that is under 200 pages! I am seriously so awestruck.
“The concept that perhaps biology was not destiny, and that not all little girls would be pretty princesses, and not all little boys would be brave soldiers”
There is also amazing representation and explanations on how it feels to suffer from Mysophobia/Germaphobia. I actually do not think I’ve ever read a book about someone dealing with their Mysophobia, and it just made me love and admire Down Among the Sticks and Bones even more.
If you’ve read Every Heart a Doorway you will know that there is lesbian representation in here, but the depiction of first love was something I wasn’t expecting, and it was so beautiful I can’t possibly put it into words.
I, too, truly loved the Moors and wasn’t ready to leave. I loved the village and the feel of this magical world. I loved seeing Jack grow into what she wanted to be, while seeing Jill grow into what could happen if your needs and wants are repressed to a dangerous point. I loved the representation and all of the feelings that Seanan McGuire was able to evoke from me. I loved this book and these characters, and I will cherish this story forever, while trying to get everyone I come in contact with to read it.
Also, I need Kade’s story like I need air in my lungs. Please, Lord, make Beneath the Sugar Sky be his book. Also, please give me and my heart the strength to wait for it to come out.
“A man who has lived his entire life in a cave does not mourn the sun until he sees it, and once he has he can never go back underground.”