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Down Among the Sticks and Bones

(Wayward Children #2)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  44,620 ratings  ·  7,833 reviews
Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by
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Sandra It can, but it really ends with WTF?! If you do. I just finished it and it was good but I feel like I walked headfirst into a door.

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  44,620 ratings  ·  7,833 reviews

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Emily May
Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.

I love McGuire's dark little fairy tales so so much.

I was captivated by Every Heart a Doorway last year, and couldn't wait to get into more of the author's weirdness with Down Among the Sticks and Bones. It doesn't disappoint. This second in the series is a completely new story, so it can be easily read as a standalone. But also has all the unsettling atmosphere of its predecessor.

Lala BooksandLala
I just adore this series.
Booktube review:
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I loved this so much! If the series continues to explore the depths of different characters, then I'm already expecting to love every installment. It was so great getting to know Jack & Jill's characters, despite the frustrating childhood they had to endure. Someone get these children new parents ASAP! It was also nice to get to see the world their door lead them to & how it altered them in different ways. Can't wait to pick up the next book! ...more
Elena May
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Jack and Jill in Every Heart a Doorway , and I was so looking forward to their story! But now I’m sad it’s over!

Serena and Chester are obsessed with order and appearances. They have to be a perfect couple with a perfect house in a perfect neighborhood, perfect at work and at various roles in society. But one thing is missing. They can’t be an image of perfection unless they are the a perfect, nuclear family. And so they decide to have a kid...

Bad idea. They are terrible, terrible pare
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Re-read 1/3/20: Undoubtedly still my favorite installment in the series. I am SO excited to head back to the Moors in Come Tumbling Down!!!

Re-read 2/6/2019: Honestly Jack might be one of my favorite characters of all time. This is hands down my favorite of the series bc it is just SO GOOOOOOOD.

Re-read 1/19/18: Re-read this to prepare for Beneath the Sugar Sky and it was still SO DAMN GOOD. I stg, I like live and breathe for this series. I’m obsessed. Can’t believe I have something new in the ser
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love the worlds that Seanan McGuire creates and the overall concepts of her novels, but both this and Every Heart a Doorway fell just a little bit flat for me. This isn't because of her writing style, which is beautiful, but simply because the books are too dang short for me!
I will say that I enjoyed this more than Every Heart a Doorway as the plot was more focused. I actually was really loving it and invested in the story! BUT IT WAS TOO SHORT. This led to several instances of bein

ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

1.) Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★

This book is beyond words. No amount of word combinations I could possibly string together could do this book justice. This series is truly a gift from above, and I can't urge you enough to drop any and everything you're reading to pick up this or Every Heart a Doorway.

I didn't think it would be possible, but I actually enjoyed Down Among the Sticks and Bones more than Every Heart a Doorway. Once I turned that l
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
((Singing: Hello, darkness, my old friend...))


Wow! I am so glad I gave this book a second chance.

I started this last summer, put it down to participate in a Readathon and just kept neglecting to pick it back up.

Now that I have completed it, I have such a strong urge to go back and read the first book again.

This story helps to explain so much and to my delight, expanded on my two favorite characters.

Jack and Jill.
Born, Jacqueline and Jillian.

Jacqueline the perfect princess, prim a
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.6/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.”

And now this series finally begins! I don't consider the first book the beginning of this series... I consider this one. At this moment, I have read the entirely of it in like... 3 days. I can wholeheartedly tell you that I would much prefer if she started the series off with this book which feels much too personal and beautiful and have the first one be the thir
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

this woman….

according to miranda, between her two author-personas; Seanan McGuire and Mira Grant, this woman has SIX books coming out in 2017. which is crazy. and some of them, like this one, are on the short side, but they are in no way flimsy, tossed-off sketches. the amount of thick detail and lingering emotional resonance here’ll make your head spin.

‘cuz while this one may be short, it sure ain’t sweet.

i mean, it’s sweet in the “OH MY GOD, MY HEART IS BREAKING” way that appe
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars. This is my favorite of the whole Wayward Children series, along with In an Absent Dream. This is a prequel to the first book (and I actually liked this one much better) so if you missed the first book, you're good to start here ... but if you keep going with the series, you actually do need to read Every Heart a Doorway. :) Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Since Down Among the Sticks and Bones is a prequel to Every Heart a Doorway and since I was going into it already knowing
Elle (ellexamines)
Childhood dreams are fun to return to, aren't they? Until you remember that childhood isn't always an easy walk through the wildflowers. Until you remember that some of those dreams can turn to nightmares quick as a flash.

This was definitely better for me than book one. While I thought book one had the same amazing atmosphere and a fantastic concept, this book had far more solid character work.

If any of you remember my review of Every Heart a Doorway, you'll remember that Jack was by far my favo
Emma Giordano
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars! This was definitely a satisfying sequel. I think I may have enjoyed book one slightly more, but nonetheless, I adore this series and would highly recommend books one and two!

I believe it is written in third person-omniscient, which I find is not the most common form of narration in YA. It’s always a bit tricky to get fully immersed at first, being the prose is also quite elaborate and flowery, but I’ve consistently grown addicted to her writing style with both books.

I do feel Down A
jack and jill arent my favourite characters from the first book, but what i really enjoy is how the reader gets an opportunity to finally experience life beyond a doorway in this sequel.

this has all of the world building and character development that i so desperately desired/is missing from first book. and i appreciate how this stuck to one genre (it didnt throw in a mystery/thriller element into a fantasy story, like its predecessor does). i think that really helped sell the storytelling qual
Caz (littlebookowl)
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Rating: 4.75 stars

Really enjoyed learning more about some of the fascinating characters we met in book #1, and exploring a new world!

So dark and heartbreaking.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
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
5.) Come Tumbling Down ★★★★
6.) Across the Green Grass Fields ★★★★


Great discussion on gender roles and a beautiful but heartbreaking fairytale-like story.
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 ★★★★★
#5 Come Tumbling Down ★★★★★
#6 Across the Green Grass Fields ★★★★★
#7 Where the Drowned Girls Go ★★★★★

I genuinely did not think that anything could top Every Heart a Doorway for me, and then this book came in and blew my expectations out of the water. Seanan’s writing is always masterful and poetic, but the underlying messages she wove into this novella made it even more m
High Lady of The Night Court
The Moors exist in eternal twilight, in the pause between the lightning strike and the resurrection. They are a place of endless scientific experimentation, of monstrous beauty, and of terrible consequences

It got even better. It’s honestly not fair that a series of books can be this good, especially when this book was the story of what Happened with Jack and Jill when they went into their world. Honestly, I usually get bored of a series when each book has a different narrator or different ch
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(3.5) I'm not 100% sure how to rate this book...

I liked it but not as much as the first one. I'm definitely planning on reading the next one since I want to hear more about the other worlds!
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia, audiobooks
As gorgeous and as delicious as the first book. My heart feels full. I love character development, character study so it was awesome to find out more about Jack and Jill who appeared in Every Heart a Doorway.

I adore the eerie vibe this series has, how whimsical and dark it is. I believe this world exists. I’m completely enveloped in it whilst I’m reading it. But what I love more is what the undertone of the stories represent for me and as a whole.

To be who you are in a world that’s telling you
Re-read 1/4/20:

I relaxed into this re-read, enjoying the story of the twins more this time, immediately after seeing them in the events in Every Heart a Doorway and feeling the tragedy a bit more.

I'm still a bit ambivalent about reading order, but I have to say I probably prefer the standard order.

On to the next!

Original Review:

Even though I knew this was somewhat a prequel to the first Wayward Children, I still kinda hoped for more.

HOWEVER, as a straight story and judging it on its own merit
Ughhhhh. Why didn’t I love this book?

If there were absolutely any justice in this world at all, I’d be singing its goddamn praises right now. I’d be clambering to rooftops so I could shout my love from them. I’d be buying rhyming dictionaries (or, more realistically, googling rhymes) in order to better write my sonnets. I’d be baking cookies with stick-and-bone icing.

Scratch that last one. Sounds gross.

But it’s all a moot point, because there is no justice in this world, and instead of doing any
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
★★½ /5

This book was fine. I really liked the themes and ideas it brought up about parents, expectations put on children. I especially liked the beginning, writing style really fitted the story and but on the other hand, I didn‘t care for the plot. The story line itself wasn‘t that interesting for me and it struggled to keep my attention.
It wasn‘t a bad book, but simply not entirely for my taste.
♛ may
Full review posted

I’m honestly surprised at how underrated this series is. It one of the most fantastical, intriguing stories I have read in a LONG time and boi theyre short as heck you can finish them in less than an afternoon


6 Reasons why this book is the BestTM

1. Epic narration of Jack and Jill’s backstory (yes the characters from the first book, who would have thought)
2. Creepy, dark, and eerie. Idk how the author came up with this world but it’s absolutely riveting. Ms. Plz let me in
4.25ish stars.

Creepy and concise in the vein of the most classic fairytales and with obvious comparisons to classic horror novels, this story has a timeless feel. It's both whimsical and disturbing with a healthy dose of dark humor.

It branches off from the brilliant Wayward Children novella series, separate but necessary reading (just because it's that good). It works perfectly as a standalone and although it doesn't have a direct connection to the storyline introduced in Every Heart a Doorway
Trina (Between Chapters)
The dreamy storytelling quality of this series is amazing. Some of my favorite audiobooks for sure. Loved the exploration of gender roles and how there's no wrong way to be a girl. There is a f/f romance included. ...more
4.5 stars! I looooved this!
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
This is such a gorgeously haunting sequel to Every Heart a Doorway. I enjoyed Jack & Jill's story just as much as I did Nancy's.

The idea to tell the tales of children who have returned from their own personal fantasy worlds is both unique & nostalgic.

It strikes that chord of commonality in all of us who grew up devouring the boundaries of our own imaginations, finding emotional sustenance in the idea that an owl could fly through our window with a letter confirming the magic we always knew cou
This is the 2nd book in the Wayward Children series. This is my 2nd time reading it, and I listen to the audiobook this time around. This book is all about Jack and Jill, and my favorite character in the series is Jack so I love visiting their world they visit when they go through their door. Their parents are not the best parents, but that is part of the reason they are who they are. I have to say I loved it more the second time I read it.
Kayla Dawn
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
3,5* - I really wish these books were longer.
I love the writing style, the world, the characters. But there's just not enough of all of it.
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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 (, 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

Other books in the series

Wayward Children (10 books)
  • Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)
  • In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4)
  • Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)
  • Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6)
  • Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children, #7)
  • Lost in the Moment and Found (Wayward Children, #8)
  • Untitled (Wayward Children, #9)
  • Untitled (Wayward Children, #10)

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