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Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children) by…
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Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children) (edition 2016)

by Seanan McGuire (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0129112,089 (3.97)105
Member:MickyFine
Title:Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children)
Authors:Seanan McGuire (Author)
Info:Tor.com (2016), Edition: First Edition, 176 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:library book, ebook, YA fiction, fantasy, alternate worlds, boarding school

Work details

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Author)

  1. 20
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    The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman (Cecrow)
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    Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (tralliott)
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    Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: What happens to children who spend what feels like years in a magical world, and are then unable to reintegrate with our own world when they return?
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» See also 105 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Enjoyable alternative teen fiction. ( )
  brakketh | Jul 20, 2018 |
I cried over this book, but I cry over pretty much everything Seanan McGuire writes (including Sailor Moon fanfic) so maybe that's not saying much. But this is a story with asexual and transgender main characters, no love triangle, but a lot to say about finding your sense of self.

I cried four times in this book. The first was actually before it came out, when the first bit was up on Tor.com and we were introduced to Kade and I realized he was like me. The second time was when I was sharply reminded that Seanan is not afraid to hurt her characters, the third was at the climax, when Jack... well, it's a spoiler, but they were both sad tears. The last was at the very end, and it was great quiet sobs on my commute home, cathartic.

Seanan has written the guidebook I wished I'd had when I was fourteen. She hasn't so much deconstructed the portal fantasy as she has demystified it, giving us a vocabulary and a compass. She wrote a novella that is perfectly about the themes of chosen family/place vs birth family/place, of creating yourself as a young adult with an identity separate from your family, of learning to do the best you can with the situation you're in, all themes that underlie a lot of portal fantasies.

Basically it's brilliant and I love all of the characters and you should read it. ( )
  jackofmanytrades | Jul 5, 2018 |
I loved this novella so so much!! Just the concept itself was amazing, I don't know how I haven't ever thought about what happens to kids after they leave fantasy worlds. I adored the wide variety of characters, the fact that Nancy's world was the one of the dead, and the d i v e r s i t y!!

The only thing I didn't enjoy was how short it was, I would love to have had a whole massive 600 paged book on this instead of a novella but also there are aspects that I liked that wouldn't have necessarily worked in a full novel. For example the murder mystery that happens isn't a starting point for a whole investigation leading to a whole thriller fantasy novel but was just a stepping stone for the characters and a part of their lives. It felt much more day in their lives as opposed to a very plot heavy story which I honestly did enjoy. But at the same time please give me a whole book of just Nancy in her fancy world please ( )
  caffeinatedreads | Jun 18, 2018 |
“You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”

This is a quirky, weird, and captivating book. It's sort of halfway between Alice in Wonderland, and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

I loved the premise, the story and world building, however, I feel like the 'mystery' aspect should have been more fleshed out (as this is a very short book). So I would give it 5 stars, but I think this book just needed a little more building, and it lost some of it's impact by being so very short. Other than that, it's a very great read.

This book will most likely appeal to those who often feel out of place and dream of a world where they fit right in.

“It gets better. It never gets easy, but it does start to hurt a little less.”

This song certainly comes to mind when I read the series title. ( )
  carmacreator | Jun 13, 2018 |
Since the library doesn’t have everything I want to read as audiobooks and I often have to wait for the ones they do have, I end up considering books which aren’t on my immediate to-read radar. The reviews I’d seen of Every Heart a Doorway left me with the impression that I mightn’t like how it handled portal worlds -- but I was still curious. (A boarding school for teenagers who have been to portal worlds and are trying to go back!) The library had the audiobook and I’m more prepared to take a risk on a novella, so I decided that if I was going to dislike, or disagree with, the book, I might as well do so from the position of having actually read it.

None of the portal worlds mentioned appealed to me, and the teenagers’ desperation to return to those worlds didn’t seem very healthy. As if their worlds were an addiction or an abusive cult, something they needed to escape from, even if they themselves couldn’t see that yet. However, the prose and the characterisation pulled me in, made me care more about Nancy and her new friends than I initially thought I would, and made me overlook my reservations, just enough for the story to work for me.

What I had a problem with, it turned out, was the murders. I like murder mysteries, as a general rule. But this one was less a whodunit and more a thriller, with a serial killer on the loose. The details McGuire highlights are carefully and effectively chosen… and reminded me that she’s well-known for writing horror (and not just tweets defending fanfiction).

I liked Every Heart a Doorway more than I was expecting to… and it made me more uncomfortable than I was expecting, too. McGuire’s fiction is well-written but I think I should stay away just for my own peace of mind. (That said, I am curious about one at least one of the other books in this series, so it’s possible I will borrow it at some point when I’m looking for another audiobook.)

If [Eleanor’s] hair was white now, and her skin was soft with wrinkles and memories, well, that was no matter at all. There was still something unfinished around her eyes; she wasn’t done yet. She was a story, not an epilogue. And if she chose to narrate her own life one word at a time as she descended the stairs to meet her newest arrival, that wasn’t hurting anyone. Narration was a hard habit to break, after all. ( )
  Herenya | Jun 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McGuire, SeananAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hopkins, CynthiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
FOR THE WICKED
First words
The girls were never present for the entrance interviews.
Quotations
You're nobody's rainbow.

You're nobody's princess.

You're nobody's doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.
"Hope hurts. That's what you need to learn, and fast, if you don't want it to cut you open from the inside out. Hope is bad. Hope means you keep on holding to things that won't ever be so again, and so you bleed an inch at a time until there's nothing left."
We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.
"You had milk, I had science," said Jack. "It's amazing how much of culinary achievement can be summarized by that sentence. Cheese making, for example. The perfect intersection of milk, science, and foolish disregard for the laws of nature."
"I am a genius of infinite potential and highly limited patience. People shouldn't try me so."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children.

No Solicitations

No Visitors

No Quests

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.
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Children have always disappeared from Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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