“Kade was possibly the most beautiful boy she’d ever seen. She wanted to spend hours sitting with him and talking about pointless things. She wanted to feel his hand against her skin, to know that his presence was absolute and focused entirely on her. The trouble was, it never seemed to end there, and that was as far as she was willing to go. (121)
4/5 – Every Heart a Doorway is a novella that takes place at a school for children who have gone through portals into other worlds and get forced back to our world for one reason or another and they are desperate to return to the world where they felt they belonged.
This book is beautiful. From the cover to the writing, it’s gorgeous. The writing is lyrical and I had to read it slowly so that I could take it in. Even though this book is less than 200 pages, take your time reading it and really focus on the writing. It’s worth slowing down and seeing which words McGuire chooses. There is very wonderful imagery as well as dark and disturbing imagery, some which I wasn’t expecting. This book is dark and I wasn’t expecting that going in.
If you’ve looked back at the past reviews I’ve done, you’ll see that most of the books I’ve reviewed are primarily LGBTQ+ focused with LGBTQ+ main characters. This is no exception, but this book has an asexual main character, Nancy. Something I haven’t ever read about in a book and it was beautifully done. As someone who identifies as asexual, I felt like it was well represented and I could relate to how Nancy was feeling. The differences between “asexual” and “aromantic” being explained just had me shouting YES. This is something I crave and am desperate for more of in books.
Then there was a trans character named Kade, and he was my favorite character. I know there are two more books and I don’t believe either are about him but there needs to be a book about him. Then there is the interesting dynamic of Jack and Jill who are identical twins who present very differently gender wise. Jack wears button downs and bowties where Jill wears dresses, this is very interesting considering their background and I know there is more of their story in Down Among the Sticks and Bones which I’m very excited to read when I can get my hands on it.
My main issue with this book was that it’s a novella. It’s really short and when you have your eyes opened up to a new world and all of these characters who visited said worlds, you want to see them all. Again, I’m aware of two more books in the series, but I want to know far more about the worlds that were visited without having to wait a year for the next book to come out. I’m impatient that way. With that said, this is a standalone novella, you can read Every Heart a Doorway and never read any of the others. Although, I don’t know how you wouldn’t crave more from this world and these characters. I will read the other two books, Down Among the Sticks and Bones and Beneath the Sugar Sky when it comes out because I love this world that was created even if we get little snippets at a time.
It’s a wonderful thing to see yourself represented in a book and I think that’s something I don’t always realize, but to see your inner thoughts in print in someone else’s book coming from someone else’s mind, that means everything.