Yes, yes, yes! Every Heart a Doorwayis a powerhouse of a book, stuck into a novella. It had everything I look for in a story; interesting characters, diversity, a surprisingly compelling storyline and all the feels. The premise is very interesting, children who have tumbled into different lands and come back changed. Nancy traveled to the Land of the Dead and wants nothing more than to return to her Lord. Her parents do not know what to do with her so they bring her to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. There, Nancy realizes that she is not alone, all of the children there have traveled to their own unique world and all miss them. Her roommate longs to return to her candy corn farmer love, the twins in the basement to their vampire master, and the others to their specific doorways. Each person has had the chance to be in their perfect place and no longer know how to fully function in the world they are now stuck in. Add in a bit of murder and the story is complete.
The plot of Every Heart a Doorway is super unique. It blends fantasy, gothic and teen angst in such a different way that somehow works perfectly together. The writing of Seanan McGuire is great. She was able to spin such depth and range into only 174 pages, I was left wanting much more. The pacing was spot on, rapid and never stopping, it packed everything needed in. The world created was a bit confusing at first. The story dropped you right in and because of that I had to figure out the multiple dimensions on the fly. But, really that is the only slightly negative thing I can say about Every Heart a Doorway (other than that I need more, it was too short). Oh, the emotions; I felt, I cried, I hoped and sometimes all three within the same chapter. The characters were where the story shone, full of diversity, heart and angst, I loved them all.
When one story can meld an asexual main character, a bestie with gender dysphoria, beautiful high gothic imagery and all the feels, I want to run up to people and shout “READ THIS BOOK”. So this is my virtual shout, Every Heart a Doorway is a special read and I suggest you experience it. I have not head of Seanan McGuire before this, but now must go stalk her a bit and find out what else she has written. I really hope she returns to this world at some point, as I did not get nearly enough.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.