#PrideLibrary19 – Every Heart a Doorway

“You’re nobody’s rainbow. You’re nobody’s princess. You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Genre: Fantasy | LGBTQ+ | Young Adult
Length: 170 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Tor
Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository

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.

I started reading Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire because a friend of mine recommended it. In her review, she talks about how magical and macaber it is. Mostly I was just confused. At first that is. The story revolves around a house with children like Alice, from Alice in Wonderland. Only difference is, they returned to this world and they probably can’t return. They have to readjust, whether the world they went to was Nonsense, Logic, Wicked or Virtue. Confusing right? You start the story as Nancy who just came back from serving the Lord of the Dead. You’re just as confused as her and I think that really helps the story. You understand what she’s going through and as the story becomes more macaber, you are right there with her. 

One part I liked was that while all the lands people traveled to were so different, everyone in the house is going through the same process, even the owner. But there are a lot of differences aswell, enough to create this little group of outsiders in a whole house full of people that don’t belong.

I sometimes feel like the queer community is like this. We’re all different, but being part of the queer community makes us part of a whole. Speaking of the queer community, there’s some really awesome representation in this book. An asexual MC and a trans SC. While it’s not like this huge part of the characters, it’s something that’s explicitly told, which is awesome!

The only thing I didn’t like about the book is that it was short. Sure, it was long enough for the story, there wasn’t any filler story, that was really good, but it somehow felt like the characters were a bit flat, and I wished there were maybe 100 more pages so we would have some more depth. But, other characters have their own books and I’m really excited to start them and I stand by my point that it didn’t have any filler, so it might actually be for the best.

Have you read this one before? Or is it still on your TBR (if it isn’t, please add it).

4 thoughts on “#PrideLibrary19 – Every Heart a Doorway

  1. TheCaffeinatedReader says:

    I had actually not heard of this but up until like February I wasn’t really aware of any books that had come out after 2009 lol. I just want to say though that this was a really lovely thing you said: “I sometimes feel like the queer community is like this. We’re all different, but being part of the queer community makes us part of a whole.”<3 I hope my library has this book!


  2. Olivia-Savannah says:

    When I saw these books in the shop I was surprised about how short it was as well. I think I am going to try this series but I am a bit cautious because I don’t like being confused for too long and sometimes I have trouble when a book is a bit whimsical. But the rep sounds good and I am glad it is explicitly named. And I am happy to see you liked it 🙂

    Olivia-S @ Olivia’s Catastrophe


  3. imyril says:

    I loved Every Heart, but I didn’t particularly enjoy Beneath The Sugar Sky (the direct sequel) so I’ve ended up a bit lukewarm about the series overall. Still, it’s lovely to see such a broad range of characters in terms of every kind of representation.


  4. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites says:

    I remember thinking the first time that I wish we’d gotten to see the world Nancy went to, which might be why I liked the subsequent novellas (especially the second book) better 🤔 but since the focus here is on what comes after, you’re absolutely right, there’s no filler and you’re left wanting more the way the children want their doors to reappear.

    personally I wouldn’t really describe Every Heart as macabre (but it’s been a while so I’m mostly left with overall impression rather than plot details, and that might also be relative to other books I’ve read; Miss Peregrine comes to mind, along with some gorier / more horror-type reads) though I can see why people would think so. and the rep is definitely something I appreciated, especially since there are so many possible sequels for this series, and the fact that each book is so short makes it much less daunting to want to read them all!


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