Every Heart a Doorway

by Seanan McGuire | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 076538387X Global Overview for this book
Registered by FarmGirl_40 of Dracut, Massachusetts USA on 6/9/2019
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by FarmGirl_40 from Dracut, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, June 09, 2019
Age Range: 13 years plus (in my opinion)

I've read all of the books in this series, and I enjoyed them (even as an adult). My impression is that they are meant for teens.... I would say 13 years and above or so.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, August 15, 2019
I was delighted to find this book in the Burgess Farm Road LFL in Dracut today. I've already read and loved it, and on my recommendation it's the next choice for a monthly book group at the Book Cellar in Nashua NH, so I was glad of another copy to reread and have in hand.

I originally read this one because the concept of wandering into other worlds features in several of my favorite novels - and the idea that this might change the young travelers in unexpected ways intrigued me... (The fact that the author also wrote the marvelous "Newsflesh" series under the name "Mira Grant" certainly added to my anticipation; see my comments on the first book, Feed, here.)

And this was good! It blended the charm of the many strange fictional worlds with the darker aspects of those places - and added the anguish of young people who found their true homes in those bizarre locales and now are suffering the pangs of having lost their way back. (The premise includes the possibility that some of them will find ways into their fantasy worlds again, and also mentions that not everyone who makes such trips wants to go back - there's a separate school for the kids who are glad to have escaped, and need help in forgetting what they went through.)

Here, the story centers on Nancy, who found herself in the Halls of the Dead - a world where she and the other servitors learned to stand still and silent for as long as their lords and ladies wanted them to. Doesn't sound very much fun, but Nancy's perspective shows how drawn she was to a place of clear rules and frequent quiet. (We learn that she's asexual, and possibly hyper-sensitive to noise and color; since her parents want her to be a "normal" girl and provide her with vivid and very girly clothing and some nice boys to date, it becomes clear why she doesn't want to stay in this world. That said, there's some sympathy for the parents too; they seem to want the best for her, they're just not aware of what that is. And from an outsider's viewpoint, the kids would seem to be suffering extreme trauma and/or Stockholm syndrome, so the entire plot has some intriguing and problematic elements.)

Other characters include the bouncy Sumi, who came from a Nonsense world (vaguely Alice-in-Wonderland-ish), twin sisters Jack and Jill, from a monster-movie world full of mad scientists and vampires, and Kade, a transboy who was taken by the faeries under the impression that he was a girl, only to be kicked out again after the Goblin King admired Kade's military prowess (as he was killing said King - these worlds are weird) and claimed him the new Prince. (One might think that a school full of kids who share these weird otherworldly experiences would also feature lots of tolerance, but some of the kids are bigoted, selfish, and/or downright nasty.)

The setup provides plenty of material for a book on its own, but it's not nearly all. While Nancy's starting to learn about the different categories of these alternate worlds - Nonsense vs. Logic, Whimsy vs. Horror, etc. - it seems that there's a murderer in the school, robbing victims of different body parts. And while the deaths are bad enough, revealing the problem to the outside world could result in shutting down the entire school...

Fascinating, poignant, creepy, and sometimes quite funny. I thoroughly enjoyed this!

Oh, and don't miss the "about the author" bit at the end - I laughed out loud several times, including at the bit where "she has yet to be defeated in a game of 'Who here has been bitten by the strangest thing?'"

[There's a TV Tropes page on the book, with some entertaining tidbits. And I see that it's part of a series, so there will be more to read!]

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Cambridge, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, November 16, 2019

Released 3 wks ago (11/16/2019 UTC) at Cambridge, Massachusetts USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm taking this book to today's BookCrossing meetup at the Panera at Porter Square in Cambridge; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2019 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

Journal Entry 4 by wingfreezonewing at Boston, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, November 17, 2019
Picked up at the Boston Bookcrossers meet up...

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