Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Quick notes. I drank plenty of wine, and a little bit of beer, and a gin drink before writing this. Also I technically read this book for a book club and talked through a lot of my feelings already with my friend Emma (THANKS EMMA!) so this might be a little more intelligble than normal (though no promises).
Spoiler Free Plot:
So this book is about the people who come back from their fictional worlds… the harry potter once he’s kicked out of hogwarts, the Pensieve children after Narnia. It’s a school for all of the people who no longer fit into the normal world. They are separated into high logic and high nonsense (rules versus nonsense?) and the great thing about this book is that all of the worlds are the slightest bit creepy. It’s the sort of thing where if you aren’t perfectly suited for hte world it’s going to strike you as fucking strange (a la there’s a world where everyone runs on rainbows and a spider world which thank you but NO!!!!!!). Nancy, our main character, has come from the Land of the Dead, where it’s expected that you can keep preturnaturally still… She comes back to a world full of colors (as opposed to the mostly black and white world she spent so much time in) and has trouble adjusting. This book suffers from a few of the more traditional “I’m not like other girls” issues as well as the “most of the boys are meatheads.” Basically it suffers from the kind of boring archetypes that you see in a lot of books which I think is mostly due to the fact that this book is less than 200 pages long. In the end the book is fascinating more for the world that it builds. I wanted to know so much more about the various fantasy worlds that the kids were rushed into, and how someone who wasn’t perfectly suited to a world would be treated…. There was a lot to think about here that I really enjoyed. Honestly, there was a whole murder plot, but I found that a lot less interesting than the background detaisl..
Basic info. Nancy came from the Land of the Dead. She makes friends with Sumi, who comes from a High Nonse3nse world, as well as Kade (a logic world), Jack (Jacqueline) and Jill, twinse who went to a world that seems to be made up of monsters (think a world with dracula and the scientist who created Frankesnstein) as well as Christopher (who makes cbones dance? it’s kind of awesoem and definitely a bit weird)… my favorite thing is that the fairy worlds are all a little bit off. Likethey sound like awesome places to be, except for a detail or two… The worlds are perfectly suited for the people who went to them but woudlnt’ work for anyone else… It’s kind of fantastic. Because I always felt that Narnia woudl have been fine with whoever made it through the wardrobe, where as these people did seem perfectly suited.
So there’s this whole murder plot but it;s pretty easily figured out. Becuase there’s less tahn 200 pages everyone given a name is either going to be murdered, the murderer or part of the gorup solving the murder. That does make it a little less interesting because it’s pretty easy to figrure our who is the murdered (surprise surprise it’s the creepiest girl’s sister because it’s slightly off of a red herring? Honestly not the most interesting course. Of course it’s someone who came from a super creepy world…)
Still the explanations are what get you. There are details about a murdered girls world, where the leader of the world was using all the magic she had available to keep a door open in the girls home, which she would have foudn during a break but never had a chance becuase SHE WAS FUCKING MURDRERED. Honestly, this books biggest problem is that it easily could have fit in an extra 100 pages to give more details and I would have loved every page of itl!
I loved this book if only for all the questionst aht it borught up about the world that it existed in. I wanted to know everything about the minor characters. I wanted to dive into the different worlds and understand the difference bbetween high logic and high nonsense and the difference between wicked and honest worlds and the axies of rhyme and reason and all the ridiculous stuff that his book brought up. I wanted to know about the other schools (for the people who didn’t want to return to their worlds, and what the non-truamatic people dealt with while they were there). I want to exist in this world to see what would happen to the people once they grauduated. I literrally want a whole series of books in this world, which is why I give it a 4.5 out of 5 shots.
This book needs something appropritately whimsical. Honestly, the main character is obsessed with pomegranate juice so I feel like it needs to incorporate that… Maybe a Pomegranate Cosmo. The thing that fancy people order but slightly different because, pomegranate. I’m gonn have to keep thinking on this and might add an update but I feel like Pomegranate Cosmo fits this one.