Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children #6) by Seanan McGuire | ARC Review

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ARC provided by (thank you)
Publication: January 12th, 2021 by

1.) Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★
2.) Down Among the Sticks and Bones ★★★★★
3.) Beneath the Sugar Sky ★★★★
4.) In an Absent Dream ★★★★★
5.) Come Tumbling Down ★★★

“She knew better now. The world was bigger now. She was bigger now, and that made all the difference.”

In this story, we get to grow up alongside Regan Lewis! We are introduced to Regan at seven years old, where she is quickly already learning the expectations that society puts on girls, especially girls who are different. Regan comes from a good family, who love and care about her, and she has a big space in her heart for horses! She also has two best friends, and they do everything together! That is, until she really learns the consequences of what it means to be different, and what happens to girls who don’t play by the rules that society place on them.

“They thought children, especially girl children, were all sugar and lace, and that when those children fought, they would do so cleanly and in the open, where adult observers could intervene.”

We get to see Regan at 11, becoming worried that her body isn’t developing the way other girls’ bodies are. She doesn’t need to wear a bra yet, she doesn’t need deodorant yet, and she hasn’t started her period yet. And once the pressure gets too great to bear, she asks her parents who (very kindly, knowledgeably, and empathetically) explain to her that her body hasn’t started developing these things (or maybe won’t start developing these things on their own without some help) because she is intersex.

This book really made me realize how much I am slacking as a reader and reviewer with reading books with intersex main characters. Off the top of my head, I can think of only two others, and that makes me feel very bad and I hope to change that soon. But, regardless of chromosomes or androgen insensitivity, Regan is a girl and has always been a girl. And I really loved how her parents constantly reminded her that she was exactly as she was meant to be. Truly, I had so many happy tears over her parents, truly a tier above.

Regan is still very unsure of herself and this new information, and after confiding in someone who she probably should not have, and after they say some incredibly hurtful things to her, she runs away into the woods to try to get home, yet a magical door appears and she steps into a world filled with horses, and kelpies, and centaurs, and unicorns!

I loved this world, like, I loved this world so much. Also, I have never been and will never be a horse girl, and this hooved world was still everything to me. And once Regan is discovered in this world by a pack of centaurs who herd unicorns, we find out about a prophecy that states all humans must be given to the queen, because whenever a human shows up in this magical land that means that something bad is about to happen! But it is not stated anywhere when the human must be given to the queen, therefore Regan gets to spend a lot of time with her centaur family.

The heart of this book is about destiny, and what it means to be destined for something. Whether it’s about your gender, your childhood, your family, or even maybe saving a whole magical world filled with horse-like creatures! All these expectations can be so very heavy, but they do become lighter when you have a found family to help with them. They also become pretty light when you are able to realize that you and your journey and your life are worth so much more than the expectations placed on you from society, from friends, and from any kind of destiny that you did not ask for.

“She still didn’t believe in destiny. Clay shaped into a cup was not always destined to become a drinking vessel’ it was simply shaped by someone too large to be resisted. She was not clay, but she had been shaped by her circumstances all the same, not directed by any destiny.”

This entire story has a really beautiful message about found family, and finding your people, and how unconditional love is all about unapologetically choosing the people you love over and over again. Blood will only ever be blood, but choosing the people who are your home is another level of love. We also get to see Regan at 15, when it is time for her to fulfill her destiny after spending four years being unconditionally loved. Side note: I would die for Gristle and Zephyr.

The reason I am giving this four stars is because I didn’t love the end of this one. I truly enjoyed the reveal, and the symbolism about destiny was not lost on me, but I just truly wanted a more concrete ending. I am scared to wish for another book in this world, since I didn’t love the revisit to the Moors, but (without going into spoiler territory here) I just really wanted to see things that I didn’t get to see! Also, in part one, I feel like this author may not spend a lot of time with children in 2020, but that is a very minor critique that I have.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I truly felt so much happiness flipping these pages. I love seeing all the different ways you can belong in the Wayward Children series, and I think these stories contain a lot of hope, and healing, and light. And, how I close off every review of each book in this series, I’m going to keep praying that we get Kade’s story next.

Trigger and Content Warnings: blood descriptions, bullying, intersexphobia, abduction, and brief captivity.

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Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5) by Seanan McGuire

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ARC provided by Tor

1.) Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★
2.) Down Among the Sticks and Bones ★★★★★
3.) Beneath the Sugar Sky ★★★★
4.) In an Absent Dream ★★★★★

“Hope is a vicious beast. It sinks in its claws and it doesn’t let go.”

I’ll be honest, I am still so extremely surprised to be giving a Wayward Children book less than five stars. I had the highest of hopes for this installment, because Jack and Jill’s story in Down Among the Sticks and Bones meant so very much to me. Sadly, this just left like a very unnecessary addition to their story, that lacked the depth, empathy, and happiness from before.

This book does pick up with Jack and Jill and their new life in the Moors, but this time Jill has managed to switch bodies with Jack and I’ll be honest, this was not a plot twist I expected nor wanted. But basically, Jill wants to become a vampire more than anything, and she needed a body that would be capable of becoming one. And Jack and Alexis think they need the help of their old friends to switch back their bodies before it is too late! (Even though, Jack very much takes care of everything in hindsight.)

I think what I love about this series is seeing these kids find their portal worlds, miss their portal worlds, return to their portal worlds, while discovering everything alongside them. I also really like being blown away by a discussion that is beautifully woven into the story seamlessly. Like the importance of surrounding yourself with people who love and accept you, gender roles and societies expectations of those roles, loving your body and the journey it can take to get there, and the value of fair trade! But this installment just felt like the message was just about friendship and how you can help each other and be there for people, and it truly felt very surface level for me.

This novella, like the whole series, is diverse. This story has characters of color, trans rep, fat rep, ocd rep, anxiety rep, disability rep, and a queer main relationship. Jack and Alexis really are great, but again, the body changing with her sister stuff had me a little uncomfortable, I won’t lie. The writing is also very beautiful, and what I’ve come to expect every time I pick up a Seanan McGuire story. But sadly, these two aspects were the only things I really loved from Come Tumbling Down.

I also feel like maybe another thing that hurt this story was that we focused on so many characters, leading up to a quest that was very messily done because this is a novella and it felt rushed in finishing it. Also, if you’re going to make the main plot point be about one of the main characters being willing to do unthinkable things to become a vampire, I’d really like to see some vampires before the very end of the story. I truly just felt so very let down by the Moors setting in this story, it’s actually unreal. And I truly believe this added nothing new to the series.

Overall, I’m just disappointed. This is truly one of my favorite series of all time, and now I’m going to go into Across the Green Grass Fields very cautiously with a lot less high hopes. Also, please for the love of god, I just want Kade’s story so badly. Please don’t give me another revisit that feels like a lesser version of the original in every single way.

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Trigger and Content Warnings:
death, murder, blood depiction, panic attacks, and talk of cancer (in the past).


In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire

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ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

1.) Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★
2.) Down Among the Sticks and Bones ★★★★★
3.) Beneath the Sugar Sky ★★★★

“Death wasn’t fair value for anything…”

In An Absent Dream stars Katherine Lundy, the therapist who leads the group sessions in Every Heart a Doorway. She is Eleanor’s second in command, and claims to be eighty-years-old, despite only looking around eight. And this is her story, about her time in her world, the goblin market. And, friends, this might be my favorite book in the entire series so far.

“She had been able to find a doorway and disappear into an adventure, instead of living in a world that told her, day after day after grinding, demoralizing day, that adventures were only for boys; that girls had better things to worry about, like making sure those same boys had a safe harbor to come home to.”

Lundy is only six years old when she realizes that her entire life is going to be planned for her. She is going to be quiet, and studious, and keep to herself, and maybe one day she will be a librarian (because she loves books), and then become a wife and a mother. I mean, this is the dream, right? It’s for sure her parent’s dream for her. But even at six, Lundy knows this isn’t the life she wants, even if it is the life that is expected of her. And one day, Lundy finds a door, her door, and it completely changes her life.

Rule One – Ask for nothing
Rule Two – Names have power
Rule Three – Always give fair value

And in the goblin market Lundy learns so very much about herself and who she truly wants to become. And Lundy is also able to travel back and forth between the market and home throughout this glimpse into her life. There is a such a beautiful theme of the power of love between siblings, both found and blood, and that thread is carried through for each visit. Lundy, Moon, and Diana each have a piece of my heart that I won’t ever get back, and I’m a better person because of it. Friends, I loved this. It’s a magical masterpiece and a perfect addition to this series that Seanan has given book lovers everywhere. I know the release date isn’t until January 8th, 2019, but preorder this now. Trust me.

Each and every book in this series is not only expertly crafted, but also the theme will be hard hitting and impactful. Every Heart a Doorway is about asexuality and realizing how important it is to surround yourself with people who unconditionally love and accept you, all of you, because you’re worthy of it. Down Among the Sticks and Bones is about gender norms and stereotypes that the world horribly puts onto us, and how it’s a horrible cycle that never stops. Beneath the Sugar Sky is about loving yourself and no matter what your body looks like, that it’s perfect; fat, skinny, with scars, with hair, with modifications so that you can be the person that you want to be. And In An Absent Dream is about how we live in a world that has completely lost the meaning of what is fair and what is just and what is right.

Like, the price of peanut butter, something that I buy constantly, is $4.00 at my local supermarket. $4.00 for protein filled goodness that my mouth and the rest of my body loves to consume. But spending $4.00 on something when I have $100 dollars in my purse is a lot different than if I was spending $4.00 if I had $5 in my purse. And this is such an easy to see concept, but so many humans fail to see that tremendous difference. People want to condemn others for being lazy, or uneducated, or whatever else gross thing they want to say when they refuse to check their privileges (that they have mostly received from just simply being born), but the simple matter is that this isn’t fair. Jeff Bezos’ kids walking into Walmart and buying food isn’t the same as an underprivileged kid in Flint, whose family is on a fixed income (and still forced to buy their own bottled water), walking into Walmart to try to buy groceries for their family. But no matter how easy that is to see, I can’t teach people to have empathy. We all need to do better, and we need to change this obviously broken system.

“That’s because you don’t know what fairness means. You’ve been in a place that wasn’t fair for so long that the things we’d been trying to teach you have been driven back into the shadows.”

Just, be good humans, friends. Try to learn, try to do better, try to break these gross cycles that reinforce these gross entitled mindsets. And read Seanan McGuire’s books, which not only are such amazing escapism works of art, but they beautifully shed light on all these important topics that a lot of people wish to keep ignoring. And maybe, just maybe, we will one day live in a world where we don’t need a goblin market to remind us to be fair to other humans. But I hope that world is also filled with more books from this once in a lifetime series.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Trigger and content warnings loss of a loved one, death, abandonment, and one quick scene with parental physical abuse (slapping of a child).

Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe

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ARC provided by Saga Press in exchange for an honest review.

“We knew this day would come. We tried to warn the others. It was obvious either the sharp rate of our technological advancement would lead to the robot singularity claiming lordship over all, or that the fairies would finally grow tired of our reckless destruction of the natural world and take it back from us.”

First off, this anthology has the best introduction I’ve ever read in maybe any book ever! It is actual perfection in every single way. Overall, I really, really, really enjoyed this! But it is a bit of a mixed bag, I do suppose! Some of these were so amazing, where others are ones that I will probably not remember or carry with me. But I do also believe there is something here for everyone to love, whether you are #TeamFairies or #TeamRobots!

And even though most of you know that I am very much #TeamFairies, my personal favorite in the whole collection is a robot story! All the Time We’ve Left to Spend by Alyssa Wong is a masterpiece. This story is beautiful, haunting, and oh so heart-wrenching. I will carry it with me forever. I loved every single aspect of it. I think this story alone makes this anthology completely worth buying and worth reading this entire collection. One of my favorite short stories of all time.

I’m going to break down each short story with my thoughts, opinions, and individual star rating!

“We were always on your side. Unfortunately, half of the authors in this anthology chose poorly, but the other half always knew you would emerge triumphant.”


➽ 🦋 BUILD ME A WONDERLAND by Seanan McGuire – ★★★★★
This story guys, this freakin’ story! Okay, we get to travel through an enchanted garden, a mermaid grotto, a pixie glen, and more during this amazing short story that is set in a magical theme park that makes you question everything. This was such a strong start to this collection, and proved that I’m Team Fairies forever. You guys all probably know that I love Seanan McGuire, but you probably don’t know that I also love Kobolds! From spending such a big chunk of my life leveling up humans in WoW, to being unnaturally excited for the new Hearthstone expansion, to falling even more in love with Kings of the Wyld because they were an amazing part of the story; I love Kobolds. And this story is perfection.

➽ 🤖 QUALITY TIME by Ken Liu – ★★★
This is story about a man who majored in folk lore, but is joining a very prestigious and innovative company in their robotics department. This company wants to break the mold and find solutions for what other companies deem impossible. Then comes the Vegnor; a rat-like robot that is marketed to every busy homeowner to take care of their pests and other small things. This is beautifully written, and really opens up a good discussion on how far we will eventually let technology advance and go. And more importantly: more technology isn’t always the best solution.

➽ 🦋 MURMURED UNDER THE MOON by Tim Pratt – ★★★★★
Oh my word, this was glorious queer book-loving fairy perfection! Emily has been working at a fairy library for two years, where she met her girlfriend who is part book. The fae princess that is in charge of the library is being manipulated by a mortal man, and it is up to Emily and a few fae folk to break the spell. This story also dabbles into the different fae courts, their weakness to iron, their glamour, and other things that warmed my heart and made the story shine with Tim Pratt’s obvious love for fairies.

➽ 🤖 THE BLUE FAIRY’S MANIFESTO by Annalee Newitz – ★★
This is a really smart story that weaves together robots and politics into a Pinocchio retelling! This tale centers in on a toy-shop, where many different kinds of robots are made. From anarchists, to pacifists, to socialists, we have a full range of different thinking mechanical beings, but it just didn’t work for me for some reason. Yet, it was so different that I’m happy it was a part of this collection.

➽ 🦋 BREAD AND MILK AND SALT by Sarah Gailey – ★★★
This was so very beautifully written, and very eerie, haunting, and just downright spooky. The first half of this story immersed me more than most things I’ve ever read. I couldn’t stop reading this tale. From giving the fae gifts of bread and milk and salt, to being bonded by blood, to becoming what you never expected, this story was so captivating. But for some reason the ending wasn’t satisfying enough for me. But her writing was enthralling, powerful, and evocative, I instantly went and bought River of Teeth.

➽ 🤖 IRONHEART by Jonathan Maberry – ★★★
This was a very sad story. Like, I cried while reading most of this one. But it wasn’t only sad, it was eerie, and haunting, and pretty powerful. We watch a young man who is forced to live a much different life than he was expecting. He lives on a farm with his loving grandparents, who can barely afford to make ends meet. And their farm is mostly run by robots that are out of date and dying. There is also a beautiful discussion on the military and how veterans are treated once they are home and have taken off their uniform. The author also brings up the healthcare crisis that we are all currently facing here in America. This was an expertly woven story, and I don’t think I’ll forget it anytime soon.

➽ 🦋 JUST ANOTHER LOVE SONG by Kat Howard – ★★
A banshee girl who sings of death meets a gancanagh boy who sings of love, while all the while other fae folk are coming up missing. I didn’t really enjoy this one, just because I thought it was rather predictable! But I did enjoy that there was a side character who was an agoraphobiac.

➽ 🤖 SOUND AND FURY by Mary Robinette Kowal – ★★★
Okay, at this point I am starting to feel like all the robot stories have important and relevant issues just woven into their tales. This is a science fiction story where a crew is taking a giant robot to a planet for reasons unknown. The short story quickly turns into a story about colonization and stripping cultures from Native people. It was pretty expertly done, and I’m so impressed that these short tales are making me feel so much.

➽ 🦋 THE BOOKCASE EXPEDITION by Jeffrey Ford – ★
Yikes, okay, I know this is going to sound harsh, but I just didn’t care about this story at all. A man is able to see tiny, small, fae folk around his home. He watches them explore the bookshelves, all while name dropping tons of different books and authors, and then he watches them fight both demons and spiders and anything else! This story was just not my cup of tea at all, unfortunately.

➽ 🤖 WORK SHADOW/SHADOW WORK by Madeline Ashby – ★★★★
I really, really enjoyed this. And this story really centers on the believing in something is very powerful. Naming something and loving something and putting your faith in something is more powerful than words. And this is a story about a robot assistant taking care of a semi-famous human, who many consider a witch, but who believes in fairies and elves and other magical creatures. I loved how this story incorporated both fairies and robots, and was just such a whimsical and beautiful tale about the power of believing in something with your whole heart.

➽ 🦋 SECOND TO THE LEFT, AND STRAIGHT ON by Jim C. Hines – ★★★★
This is, like, an alternate retelling of Peter Pan, but it’s set after the events of Peter Pan, and Tinker Bell is very much not dead. In fact, she and her “Found Girls” are a cult like group that steal little girls that are very much loved. You know, sort of the opposite of what Peter and the Lost Boys did. And we follow someone who is on a mission to save the most recent missing girl, and also to get closure for something personal. I feel like this may be a three star story, but the twist at the end was so damn good that I feel like it really deserved an extra star. Also, this was a really clever tale and I did really enjoy it.

➽ 🤖 THE BURIED GIANT by Lavie Tidhar – ★★★
I’m very torn on a three or four star rating for this one, just because I was so engaged while reading this. I couldn’t put it down. I also love how this not only celebrated robots and fairies, but it also had the unique aspect of a human wanting to be robotic. This is also a story about stories, where our main character is learning about a famous tale that has been passed down over time from both an Elder in his community and from his Grandmother. And the story is about what seems like one of the last human boys on Earth, living in a world that is now overrun by Robots, some of which who are hunting humans. This tale also hinted at a fuller length story about a two minor side characters and I am so here for it. I really enjoyed this one and I’m so happy to be introduced to this author from this anthology!

It pains me to give something by Jon Scalzi one star, but this just felt and read so lazy. Basically, three robots are discovering and discussing human items (balls, sandwiches, cats, and xbox) and wondering how humans used them. That’s it. This story tries way too hard to be funny, and then ends trying to pack an emotional punch about global warming and the climate crisis we are choosing to ignore right now. But it felt so bad when you’re trying to do this in six pages, and five of those are wasted on bad jokes.

➽ 🦋 OSTENTATION OF PEACOCKS by Delilah S. Dawson writing as Lila Bowen – ★★
Okay, this was a hard one for me, too. This is a western fairy story, and I just don’t think the combination really mixed well for me personally. Like, Billy the Kid makes an appearance in here! And then I felt a little hopeful, because I thought we were going to have a nonbinary character, but I don’t think that was the case, but it gave me the hope for it, then the letdown. But yeah, this is basically a story about a magical shapeshifter, who is trying to protect another shapeshifter (in possum form), who is being hunted by fairy men that disguise themselves as country humans. It was just… too far out there for me, I’m sorry. Also, please let me know if you were picking up on the gender fluid aspect, too!

➽ 🤖 ALL THE TIME WE’VE LEFT TO SPEND by Alyssa Wong – ★★★★★
Oh my word, this was utter and pure perfection. I will never forget this story, ever. This story is centered around an alternate future where we have realistic cyborg celebrity robots, who have many memories stored, working in pleasure hotels, where you can spend time with them for money. Our main protagonist, Ruriko, is obsessed with spending time with a kpop group that passed away ten years ago, while trying to learn all the information she can about their memories. This story is beautiful. This story is haunting. This story is oh so heart-wrenching. I loved this. I loved this so very much. Easily my favorite in the entire collection.

➽ 🦋 ADRIFTICA by Maria Dahvana Headley – ★★
This is a scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream, but retold in a modern contemporary setting. Titania and Oberon are dealing with their custody battle, but with a rock and roll twist to it. I know this sounds really cool, and the uniqueness is completely why I’m giving this two stars, but the writing style was very much not for me. Though, this was very clever, and I’m sure many others will enjoy it much more than I did.

➽ 🤖 TO A CLOVEN PINE by Max Gladstone – ★★
Okay, this was just a really confusing tale for me. So much of it just went completely over my head, and you guys will completely love it when you get to the ending, but I was left really underwhelmed because of the confusion I felt starting out. This short story starts out with four beings that are fleeing their ship in space, while being chased by “the Witch”. Then, one of the members starts acting very strange and goes missing. And then the ending really brings the story together with a big revelation, but maybe this story was just too epic and too condensed for me to really enjoy it.

➽ 🦋 A FALL COUNTS ANYWHERE by Catherynne M. Valente – ★★★★
You all, this is a WWF fairy vs robot match! Like, Catherynne M. Valente took the meaning of this book really literally, but she is team fairies (who isn’t) and really wrote a fantastic and unique story that I really enjoyed. This is also narrated partially by a fairy announcer and a robot announcer. Yet, this was my problem with the story, and the reason I ultimately didn’t give this five stars: I hated that the robot announcer spoke all in caps. I completely understand this was a good way to be able to differentiate between the two voices, but it just felt so bad to read. I really didn’t like. But this story was so very great, I loved the twist, and it proves how fairies truly are the most clever characters in all of literature.

I gave Robots vs. Fairies three stars overall, because out of a possible 90 stars (5 stars possible for each of the 18 stories) this collection accumulated 54 stars (60%).

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Destiny & Elise! ❤

Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep, #1) by Mira Grant

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ARC provided by Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

“Ships kept on disappearing. Since the start of man’s relationship with the sea, ships kept on disappearing. So assume the mermaids have never forgotten about us. We wrote them off as legends as soon as they were no longer knocking on our front door.”

This is such a hard review to write, but I suppose three star reviews usually are. I just feel really torn on this one! I loved so many aspects of this, but ultimately I feel like this just wasn’t a book for me. I still encourage anyone who is intrigued by the synopsis to pick it up, especially if you like horror with science!

“Are mermaids real? Yes. Are mermaids friendly? No.”

Into the Drowning Deep is technically about killer mermaids, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about society and how we don’t take care of the habitats we are inhabiting, let alone the ones we aren’t. It’s about how we view animals as lesser, and we are supposed to use them as a means to further education and technology without ever getting emotionally involved. It’s about how humans do horrible things to our planet that is 71% covered in water, and one day it might be time for someone else, besides humans, to say enough is enough.

Ultimately, this book stars a cruise-like ship, that is traveling to a place in uncharted territories to the Mariana Trench, where a tragedy happened many years ago. On this ship, we get to see the crew and learn their backstories on why they were chosen for this expedition where they will once and for all find out if mermaids exist.

This book has so much good: the writing was so lush and beautiful in Seanan McGuire /Mira Grant’s signature way. This book is smart, and I actually learned quite a few things about aquatic life. This book is queer, and I was living for every aspect of this budding F/F romance the entire way. This book is filled with action and is so fast paced. This book has some amazing moral discussions that I think a lot of humans would benefit from thinking about.

“When someone kills an American citizen, we don’t say, ‘Oh well, we killed one of theirs last week; we’re calling it even,’” she said. “We declare war. We sweep civilizations off the face of the globe. They won’t care that they started it. They’re only going to care who finishes it, and to be honest, I’m not sure it’s going to be us.”

As for what didn’t work for me: this book is honest to God scary! I mean, for the most part the characters are trapped in the middle of a dark ocean, cut off from society, facing ocean-dwelling creatures that, up until this point, have only been in fantasy. I’ll admit, I’m a baby. I didn’t like to read this book at night (which is when I do most of my reading) and I didn’t like to read this book alone. I’m sure many of you will pick this book up and laugh thinking about how I couldn’t handle the spookiness, but it’s the honest to god truth on why I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as I feel I should have.

Content Warnings: Gore, a lot of blood, violence, death, and things in those similar veins.

Overall, and like I stated above, I still completely recommend this book. I can still see what an amazing and powerful book this was, while also just knowing that it wasn’t for me. And I ultimately hope you guys still pick this one up, because it’s unique, haunting, and so very powerful.

“It was beautiful, in its own terrible way. So many monsters are.”

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Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3) by Seanan McGuire

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ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

1.) Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★
2.) Down Among the Sticks and Bones ★★★★★

This is my 100th review of 2017! And I couldn’t have picked a better book! Beneath the Sugar Sky is another amazing installment in the Wayward Children series and it starts out right back at Eleanor West’s magical boarding school. And this book heavily centers around one of my favorite characters from Every Heart a Doorway, Sumi!

“There is kindness in the world, if we know how to look for it. If we never start denying it the door.”

This series is a portal fantasy, that surrounds kids that have traveled to magical lands, but somehow found their way back to our world. For the most part, the kids want to go back to their magical lands, so they reside at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, while waiting and hoping for their door to reappear for them. In this story, we get to see a lot of different portal worlds. And we get to see many beloved and familiar faces, while also learning about some new characters and their different magical worlds.

“Nobody promised me a happy ending. They didn’t even promise me a happy existence.”

(Breathtaking art by the amazing Rovina Cai!)

In Beneath the Sugar Sky we follow five kids on an adventure:
Cora – plus sized, has anxiety, from the Land Beneath the Lake, which is a Mermaid land!
Nadya – missing an arm, from Belyyreka, a Drowned World.
Christopher – Mexican-American, had cancer, from Mariposa, a skeleton Underworld.
Rini – Japanese, from Confection.
Kade – Trans, from a warring Fairyland! (Full disclosure, Kade has been my favorite character since the very first book in this series. His story speaks to the very essence of my heart, and I love everything about him. Kade is one of the best characters in all of literature, and I wish everyone could read about him and his journey, and I just had to emphasize how very important he is to me.)

“It took me years of saving a world that stopped wanting me when I changed my pronouns to figure it out.”

And even though we dabble in many portal worlds, this story mostly takes place in Confection, which is pretty much a real-life version of Candy Land. It’s sugar, it’s sweet, and it’s downright dangerous.

And as you can probably tell from my breakdown above, every book is this series has amazing diversity and representation, and this book is no different. From race, to sexuality, to mental illnesses, to body representation, to physical disabilities, to religious representation, this series has it all. And it’s seamlessly woven and never feels exploitative. And this particular book has the best overweight representation I’ve ever read, or even seen, in my entire life.

“She’d heard that sort of hatred before, always from the women in her Weight Watchers groups, or at Overeaters Anonymous, the ones who had starved themselves into thinness and somehow failed to find the promised land of happy acceptance that they had always been told waited for them on the other side of the scale.”

This book is a masterpiece that I feel so very privileged and blessed to be able to read. This book is the perfect mixture of whimsical and important. This book is about acceptance and love, and how we all are always on a search for it. And I hope you all pick this book up come January of 2018.

This series means so much to me that I feel like I’m at a loss for words. I’ve never read anything like this before, and I can’t sing this series’ praises enough! I love this world, and I recommend these books with my whole heart. Thank you, Seanan McGuire, for writing a once in a lifetime series that means so much to so many! I will cherish this series for my entire life.

And I can’t wait to see what’s next.

“Just keep getting through until you don’t have to do it anymore, however much time that takes, however difficult it is.”

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.