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Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)
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Book of the Month > May-June 2018 BotM 2 - Every Heart a Doorway (possible spoilers)

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message 1: by Kaje (last edited Jul 12, 2020 12:37PM) (new) - added it

Kaje Harper | 16815 comments Our May/June Book of the Month vote was tied until the last minute, so I'm going to post both books. Read either or both (or neither) as suits you. The second book that was within 1 vote was Every Heart a Doorway Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1) by Seanan McGuire by Seanan McGuire

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 now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.


Content warnings: (view spoiler)


This thread is for discussion of this book - there is no specific reading schedule and you may post at any time. There may be spoilers in the comments, so be aware if you have not yet finished. Especially if you are posting early in the two months, please try to put real plot spoilers into a spoiler-hiding tag - write <*spoiler> before the text and <*/spoiler> at the end of it - with both * removed to make it work, and it will be hidden, revealed only (view spoiler)

I look forward to seeing what the group thinks of this one.


message 2: by Ari (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ari J Moreno (arituzz) | 9 comments So, this book was... weird. Good weird.
I loved the writing. The characters were beautifully unconventional and the plot was thrilling enough to keep me hooked.
I am so willing to read the next installment in the series in the near future :)


message 3: by Ari (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ari J Moreno (arituzz) | 9 comments I read the second instalment and liked it even better! The Wayward Children is an intriguing and unique take on portal fantasy tales. Will definitely read the third book in the series.


message 4: by Kaje (new) - added it

Kaje Harper | 16815 comments Ari wrote: "I read the second instalment and liked it even better! The Wayward Children is an intriguing and unique take on portal fantasy tales. Will definitely read the third book in the series."

Good to know. I like her writing, in general. Still trying to get to this one though.


Iamshadow | 334 comments Kaje wrote: "Ari wrote: "I read the second instalment and liked it even better! The Wayward Children is an intriguing and unique take on portal fantasy tales. Will definitely read the third book in the series."..."

The fourth one comes out January next year, and the cover is every bit as gorgeous as the rest. (Link contains slight spoilers for the content of the novel, mainly, the main character.)


message 6: by Kaje (new) - added it

Kaje Harper | 16815 comments I finally picked this one up. I hadn't realized it was
2017 Hugo winner
2017 Alex Award winner
2017 Locus award winner
2016 Nebula award winner
2016 Triptree honor list


Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~ (linda2485) | 340 comments Kaje wrote: "I finally picked this one up. I hadn't realized it was
2017 Hugo winner
2017 Alex Award winner
2017 Locus award winner
2016 Nebula award winner
2016 Triptree honor list"


Wow, really? That's surprising. But then I hated everything about the book, so I'm clearly the wrong audience for it.


message 8: by Kaje (new) - added it

Kaje Harper | 16815 comments It has some really diverse ratings and reviews. So far I'm enjoying it, but not fully engaged.


message 9: by Kaje (new) - added it

Kaje Harper | 16815 comments This ended up a 3 star book for me, which means I won't post a formal review. There were things I liked about it - the LGBTQ diversity wasn't heavily hammered home, but felt fairly natural. The writing was smooth and readable, and in places the fairy-tale atmosphere was very appealing. But I had a hard time buying into the story as a whole - the idea that these worlds were the children's natural homes, when to me they felt like bizarre fantasy spaces that just warped them in different ways from the homes they grew up in.

(view spoiler)

I'm not a horror fan, and so perhaps I'm not the reader for this. My reaction to the horror elements was to see all the ways they ought to be remedied. And I didn't fall for the main characters as I usually do for this author's MCs. That left me with a cool distance from the action, which is not what I prefer. Still, the book sucked me in enough that some of my WFT reactions didn't come until well after I was done reading it. Which is an accomplishment of storytelling.

I do think it is cool this is getting the readership is it - 28,000+ ratings on Goodreads, mostly positive, for a story with a genderqueer and an ace main character in it. That's worth something, even though there are some stereotypes in it.


Tiffany I'd had high expectations for this book. It has an ace protagonist and it's fantasy!
It also started so beautifully.
However. The protagonist is a bland lump of rock of a character, not exactly the ace representation I had expected. What traits does she even have except the ones the world she went to gave hee.? She likes to stand still. She doesn't eat much. She only wears black and white. All from the fantasy world. As if an ace girl has to be a blank slate unless/until she's been to a fantasy world. And she doesn't really do anything to the plot. Jack does everything mostly. "Because how can an asexual character do anything except sit around and be asexual?" is the tone I got from the book. Just my opinion, though, but I do identify as asexual, so I assume my opinions might prove helpful to someone.
And I was just not expecting the violence. It looks like such a fantastical and whimsical book, but it has a lot of violence. Violence and I just don't get along.
(view spoiler (Oh, and someone should add trigger warnings for transphobia as well as murder.) hide spoiler )


Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~ (linda2485) | 340 comments Tiffany wrote: "I'd had high expectations for this book. It has an ace protagonist and it's fantasy!
It also started so beautifully.
However. The protagonist is a bland lump of rock of a character, not exactly the..."


This book was a mess and a half. None of the representation in it was well-done, not just for the ace and trans characters, but the characters of color as well. And the world building was nonsensical.


message 12: by Kaje (new) - added it

Kaje Harper | 16815 comments Tiffany wrote: "I'd had high expectations for this book. It has an ace protagonist and it's fantasy!
It also started so beautifully.
However. The protagonist is a bland lump of rock of a character, not exactly the..."


I had the murder in our trigger warnings, but added transphobia. I did feel like this story was an opportunity squandered.


Tiffany Oh, and I forgot. There should also be trigger warnings for (view spoiler (Animal abuse. Remember the poor guinea pig? The guinea pig part added absolutely nothing to the story except to pound in how awful Jack is. And Jack is portrayed as heroic later, while the guinea pig's owner is a transphobe. To me that sounds as if the author is condoning animal abuse. The whole part was really upsetting to me, as an animal lover and vegan.) hide spoiler)


Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~ (linda2485) | 340 comments Tiffany, Kaje's first post shows how to code for spoilers. :)


message 15: by Kaje (new) - added it

Kaje Harper | 16815 comments write <*spoiler> before the text and <*/spoiler> at the end of it - but take out both * to make it work - I put those in so the code doesn't vanish.


Tiffany I tried, but my phone's keyboard doesn't even have the symbols. Sorry. It's not that much of a spoiler anyway; it's a minor detail totally unconnected to the plot.


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