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Every Heart a Doorway

(Wayward Children #1)

by
3.83  ·  Rating details ·  50,150 ratings  ·  10,175 reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 173 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Tor.com
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Popular Answered Questions
Didi Chanoch I would definitely put it in a high school library, as I think teens - especially trans, asexual and other queer teens - are the readers likely to get…moreI would definitely put it in a high school library, as I think teens - especially trans, asexual and other queer teens - are the readers likely to get the greatest benefit from it. It's a crossover book, in my opinion. (less)
Lbn I think they are fairly different despite both dealing with a school of unusual children/teens. Miss Peregrine's is more of a conventional adventure…moreI think they are fairly different despite both dealing with a school of unusual children/teens. Miss Peregrine's is more of a conventional adventure story and coming of age at its heart, with good guys and bad guys, despite the twisty time changing and fascinating cast of characters. Every Heart a Doorway is not as much an adventure as it is a meditation. It's also much less YA in tone than Miss Peregrine's (though the characters are teens), and there is more murky and gray in what you hope and wish for each of the characters. I really enjoyed Miss Peregrine's, but in a light way so that when the second came out, I eventually read it but wasn't marking the days until I did. Every Heart, though, is one of the best I've read in years-- fascinating, unique, dark but full of heart.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  50,150 ratings  ·  10,175 reviews


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Emily May
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“We went down, and at the bottom there was a door, and on the door there was a sign. Two words. ‘Be Sure.’ Sure of what? We were twelve, we weren’t sure of anything. So we went through."

This book is exactly my kind of weird.

I have to try and explain Every Heart a Doorway somehow, but it isn't easy. It's a kind of dark, creepy fairy tale about all those children who slipped through the cracks - a wardrobe, a rabbit hole, or a simple doorway - and found themselves somewhere else; somewhere no
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
This was definitely not what I was expecting it to be, but it was a fun read! I liked the mystery aspect of it and I enjoyed getting to know the cast of characters and the different worlds they had come from. I did want a little more of a punch with the ending, but it was overall satisfying.
C.G. Drews
(((cleaning out old reviews and was surprised to pull this one back up and find how much hate I got in the comments for it...lolol sob. I won't leave my thoughts here except to say I was disappointed that it snarked at Narnia, which is a series I acknowledge is problematic, but it was still a cornerstone of my childhood and I don't like books that diss other books.)))
Riley
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is hands down my favorite book of all time. I have read it 6 times now and I love it more and more each time. This book is for anyone who has ever felt different and weird. ever felt like they didn't fit in and dreamed of a place that accepted what others denied.

"For us, the places we went were home. We didn't care if they were good or evil or neutral or what. We cared about the fact that for the first time we didn't have to pretend to be something we weren't. We just got to be. That made
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Zoë
May 02, 2017 rated it liked it
There is so much potential with this premise, and I can't wait to see where she takes this story in the future.
However, this particular book left me unsatisfied. Most of that comes down to the length. It's a murder mystery with a pretty complex fantasy element and multiple characters with unique backstories, meaning that this book could have been easily double its current length, and I'd still be asking for more. That might not be the case with you, but I need to completely understand the
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karen
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best fantasy category 2016!

 photo IMG_7786_zps3wlncyxb.jpg

"Before I went through that doorway, I knew there was no such thing as a portal to another world. Now I know that if you open the right door at the right time, you might finally find a place where you belong. Why does that mean I can't go back?"

i started a review for this book when i read it three months ago, but i kept putting it off and as the pub date grew ever closer, i started panicking with "oh no, i loved this so
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Emma Giordano
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I cannot remember the last time I read a book in one sitting (given, this is a novella under 200 pages) but the reason I finished so quickly is because I was ADDICTED to reading, it really had nothing to do with the length. I literally picked this book up on a whim because I've been bored at work, and it quickly became much more than a distraction. I can't tell you how much I loved it!

I enjoyed Every Heart a Doorway so much more than I could have anticipated. The characters are intriguing, the
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Reality is harsh, even more so if you've been one of the numbers of children who went through magical portals to otherworldly lands, like Wonderland, or Narnia. Imagine escaping to a land magical beyond your dreams.
"I was looking for a bucket in the cellar of our house, and I found this door I’d never seen before. When I went through, I was in a grove of pomegranate trees. I thought I’d fallen and hit my head. I kept going because … because…”

Because the air had smelled so sweet, and the sky
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Chaima ✨ شيماء
If you want to contact me, please reach out to my spirit via astral projection whilst I'm daydreaming about finding my own doorway into a magical realm and kicking off a series of events that will eventually lead me into an eery boarding school with oddball people from different ethnicities and with differing sexual orientations!
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Re-read 2/6/19: Every time I read this I am genuinely surprised that there are people who don't love it with every fiber of their being like I do? Did we read the same book?????? I adore this world and these characters SO DAMN MUCH.

Re-read 1/19/18: Y’all, this was SO much fun to re-read after knowing the backstory of Jack & Jill that we get in Down Among the Sticks and Bones. I can’t wait to re-read it again sometime after I finish Beneath the Sugar Sky. I just love this universe SO MUCH.

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emma
THIS BOOK CHECKS ALL OF MY BOXES. Seanan McGuire may be...inside my very mind as we speak. (No but actually I kind of wish???)

https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...

First off, this book is teeny as all get out and oh MAN I love a short book!!!

Come to think of it...I really love a short book. Three five star ratings so far this year, and they’re clocking in at 173 pages, 181 pages, and a whopping 190 pages.

Maybe I just hate reading?

No no no no I will not get distracted from the fact that this is
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mark monday
Feb 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
the novel has at its center a fascinating idea, one gleaming with potential: a school full of children cast out of their various Narnias, longing to go back (oh and there's a serial killer on the prowl). too bad that potential was squandered on a predictable and often inept narrative, gruelingly repetitious dialogue and ham-handed exposition, and characters who are trying awfully hard to entertain with their snarky dialogue while fitting themselves into the most au courant of demographics. I ...more
Nat
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: diverse-reads
“You found freedom, if only for a moment, and when you lost it, you came here, hoping it could be found again.”

This story started out grand and sprawling, a majestic, epic tale of finding out what happens when you come back to an unwanted reality after living in a magical place.
And yet somewhere along the way, it didn’t work for me.

description

This book read more like a short story than a full novel and I liked that. But there were a lot of dull moments here and there, especially when tragedy struck. And I
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
*Unpopular Opinion Time*

I very rarely give books 1 star ratings, but I just didn't like it. The majority of my friends and the world loved it and I'm glad they did, but it just wasn't for me. Enough said =(
Melanie
Buddy Read with Cory!

Seanan McGuire was able to pack so much representation into 173 pages! How many 1,000+ page fantasy novels have I read with zero representation? This story has an asexual main character and a transsexual main character. The story does a pretty great job at abolishing gender roles, too. This book really is nothing short of a masterpiece.

“This world is unforgiving and cruel to those it judges as even the slightest bit outside the norm.”

Some of the passages in this book
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
#1 Every Heart a Doorway
#2 Down Among the Sticks and Bones
#3 Beneath the Sugar Sky
#4 In An Absent Dream

I somehow lived a full 25 years of my life without experiencing Seanan McGuire’s writing, and now that I’ve seen how incredible her story-telling is, I can’t imagine ever letting it go. This book sucked me in so wholly in such a short number of pages – it made me laugh, cry, and my heart soared. I was so invested in these characters, so fearful for them and desperately wishing I could
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘


WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARDS 2017 for best novella

As I hated them as a child, of course I had to write a review this way. That's my High Logic combating my High Nonsense for you. You're welcome.

START HERE : Have you ever wished that you could escape this world and discover another one in which you would really belong?
YES : Go to #1
NO : Go to #8

#0 "This world is unforgiving and cruel to those it judges as even the slightest bit outside the norm." Want more? Go to #3

#1 First off, welcome! You're
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jessica
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
im not sure i understand the massive amounts of hype that surround this book, but i still think its a pretty dang good story regardless.

which is surprising, because urban fantasy is soooo not my genre. like, at all. but its the writing and the overall message of the story that really sell this for me.

the notion of everyone having a doorway, a place we so desperately long to go when the world gets to be a little too much to bear at times, is so relatable. so even when i couldnt necessarily
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Pouting Always
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children takes in kids who have trouble readjusting to life after being found again. These kid's stories of where they have been are fantastic and hard to believe, leading parents to worry, especially when many of the kids seem depressed to be back. Kids are taken to the school to undergo therapy to let go of their delusions of the time they spent away from home and deal with the emotional fallout, or so the parents think. Eleanor West may tell the parents what ...more
Petrik
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Portal fantasy fans
A good enchanting short tale on acceptance and misfits.

Hogwarts, Narnia, Middle-Earth, every reader who has tasted speculative fiction will most likely have imagined themselves transported to one, Every Heart A Doorway (EHAD) showed the aftermath of going into these different worlds with no option of going back to them. It’s a great premise and I love how the book told the character’s struggle in coping with their new reality; where even their own family doesn’t trust the things that they
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Warda
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
[4.5 ]
This was so good, so whimsical, so beautiful, so gorgeously written and transportive that I couldn’t get enough of it.
The narrator, Cynthia Hopkins, truly brought the story to life. My heart was so content.
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Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
*4.5/5 stars

We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.

This book was heart-achingly beautiful. I don't even know how to coherently arrange my thoughts to explain the way this book dragged me in from beginning to end. I adore compact narratives. I think they have the potential to say so much in so few words, and this has definitely fallen among my favorite books that say so much in such little space. This book was about identity. And it handled it beautifully. It was odd,
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Elena
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.


It seems like I have finally stumbled upon the lives of the Wayward children.

The book is underrated as in not many people have read it, but its overrated as in it gets too much hype. My expectations were so high, I was really hoping to binge read the whole trilogy that's out and fall in love with the author's writing, characters, and the whole idea of the story. I ended up checking the
...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Their love wanted to fix her, and refused to see that she wasn't broken.

I think I might have needed to adjust my expectations from novel-goals to novella-goals. I judged this as a book. I did not judge this as a novella. To be fair, I do think this novella could've done with more character work and that all-important middle section. But the fact remains that my rating and review of this is slightly unfair, and I've definitely enjoyed later works Down Among the Sticks and Bones and Beneath the
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amy ☂︎
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
yes hello this is a psa: this book has magical doors that lead you to different worlds, dancing skeletons and on top of that, beautiful lgbt rep in it!!!!!!! if that didn't make you scream GIMME NOW, i honestly don't know what will.

description

Every Heart a Doorway, to me, felt like a tim burton movie distilled into a novella. why? maybe because of it's morbidity, it's peculiarity or it's uniqueness. maybe it was the general dark and eery tone of it; or maybe it was the dancing skeleton, after all.

either
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is, so Eleanor tells the concerned relatives of children who claim to have gone through a magical portal to a different world, a boarding school where they will help to cure your child’s delusions. Eleanor is lying through her teeth. Her school is actually the opposite: it’s a place where these children and teens will be not only believed, but understood, and where they will have the company of others who,
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April (Aprilius Maximus)
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, 2016
1.) Every Heart A Doorway
2.) Down Among The Sticks and Bones .5
3.) Beneath The Sugar Sky .5
4.) In An Absent Dream .5

-----------------------------------------------

What a delightful little book.
...more
Emily
I love the concept of this book - a boarding school for kids who have made it back from mysterious other worlds, à la Narnia - but the execution was awful. It's horribly overwritten, the characters are completely one-dimensional, and the plot is laughably bad. It goes for a magical realism feel, but you end up with the mad scientist making tea that includes:

"Three drops of warm saline solution and a pinch of wolfsbane. Not enough to be dangerous to me—I’m human, despite what Angela might say to
...more
Trina (Between Chapters)
I was enthralled from start to finish by the tone of this story and absolutely loved it! I was hesitant about the premise, I thought I wouldn't enjoy a story about doorways to other worlds but this book pulled me in and said, 'let me prove you wrong!'

If you've heard about the representation of this book, yes it has on page rep of an asexual main character, a trans male main character, a Japanese side character, a Latino side character, and good discussion of the distinction between being asexual
...more
carol.
Fairy tales, myths, folklore; these small, archetypal tales that have endured through generations of childhood. Seanan McGuire reinvented them once again for the current decade. Solid writing, acceptable plotting, imaginative characterization all combine to make this an intriguing read.

Nancy is the New Girl, arriving at the Home for Wayward Children after having disappeared for weeks. Her parents don't know what to do about her almost-starvation, her stillness and her predilection for wearing
...more
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9,912 followers
Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (www.miragrant.com), author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and
...more

Other books in the series

Wayward Children (5 books)
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)
  • In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4)
  • Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)
“You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.” 264 likes
“We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.” 254 likes
More quotes…