I stumbled across this weird, random, gem of a book the other day and I finished it in two quick sittings that felt like two minutes. Weird, wonky, wonderful! It was a crazy little book and I loved every word of it.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire is a “realistic” fantasy that is two parts creepy, one part humorous and three parts fantastic. To outsiders, Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a school for teenagers who are “troubled” and have problems accepting “reality.” But in reality the school is for teenagers who have had life altering adventures in alternate realities.
These kids have found doorways to other worlds and they never wanted to come back, but for various reasons they did and now they have to learn to cope. These realities the kids fall through are nonsensical, logical, bright, dark, wonderful, terrible places and when they leave they are heartbroken. The kids who come back go to Eleanor West’s school to acclimatize and learn how to let go and blend back in to society.
When Nancy gets to the school after living in a logically run world by the Lord of the Dead, she is there less than two days before a student gets murdered. Now Nancy and a crazy crew of her fellow students are scared that the school might close down and they might be next. Can Nancy help find the killer and help keep the school safe? And will she ever find a way back to her true home?
This book was so deliciously crazy and my synopsis does it no justice! Only 173 pages, this book was a breeze and yet it was filled with so much. You get a glimpse into several different alternate worlds. You get a nod to the theory behind why kids are taken and where the doorways come from. There’s basic high school drama and social cliques. Gender issues and so much more. In a book that is only 173 pages!
The cast of characters are all so dynamic and diverse. A transgender boy, a girl who is asexual, hyper active bullies, dark geniuses and more. Each has a quirk gained from their time “away” and the character building is just phenomenal.
Ultimately, this is a book about belonging–finding where you belong and never giving up hope of finding it again and again. Eleanor West’s Home embraces individuality and the characters in this book are individual as hell!
Pick up this book. Embrace the crazy. And enjoy.
That’s all for now!