Book Review: Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire

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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.


How do I even begin to write a review to such a wonderful, magical, and completely relatable book? I have to say I don’t know if I’ve ever read something so relatable in my life. “Every Heart A Doorway” is a book for us readers and us dreamers, it’s for those of us who have always wanted to live in the fantasy worlds we read about and maybe even feel like we may belong there more than where we are.

You know what I’m talking about: waiting for your Hogwarts letter, opening every wardrobe and closet door looking for Narnia, or even waiting by your window in the hope that Peter Pan will come to whisk you away to Neverland.

If you understand exactly what I mean then drop everything you’re doing and read this book!


Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a place where parents send their troubled children who claim to have been to other worlds. Eleanor helps these children learn to cope with the fact that they are back in the real world and may not be able to return to their fantasy worlds again but offers a safe place for them where they can be believed. However, when the new girl, Nancy, shows up from a trip to an Underworld things start taking a sinister turn at the Home and she finds herself amidst a murder mystery.

Not only is this story very relatable to me as a reader it’s also very original in it’s acknowledgement of many different children visiting many different fantasy worlds and then going back home afterwards and having to deal with the aftermath. I absolutely fell in love with this concept, it’s never really been done before! It’s also almost heartbreaking how much I understand how the characters feel having to come back from these worlds and realizing they may not ever go back.

The world building was incredible I find it so amazing that Seanan McGuire managed to develop a world so quickly considering this is only a 173 page book! I loved learning more about all of the different worlds and how they intersect there are Underworlds, Nonsense Worlds, and Logic Worlds and all have their own unique twists. I could not get enough details about the worlds the characters all visited!

And the writing was fantastic as well it was magical, dark, and light-hearted all at once! The atmosphere the writing created was, for lack of any other words, hauntingly beautiful which is the best way for me to describe it. This book is strange, magical, and has a lot of humor as well and honestly it’s just perfection.

The only part of the plot that bothered me a little bit was that the murder mystery was a little predictable, but honestly that’s all!


I really, really loved the characters in the story not only because I found them all to be very complex and well-developed in such a short amount of pages but also because of how diverse they are as well. We have an asexual main character as well as a transgender boy character and I honestly loved how well both were handled in this story, I felt it was respectful and even a little informative too. There is also racial diversity with a girl of Asian descent and a Latino boy, it was fantastic to see diversity with gender identities and races!

Almost all of the characters that are mentioned have their own worlds and backstories and it was fascinating learning about the worlds they visited and how they impacted them.

in conclusion

Overall I was incredibly impressed with every aspect of this book and I NEED more!

What I Loved:

  • The unique and amazing story
  • The world building with all of the fantastic worlds
  • The writing and eerie atmosphere
  • The well-developed and diverse caste of characters

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Only that it was too short and I want more!
  • The murder mystery aspect was a little predictable


I don’t think I can recommend this book enough! Like I said in the beginning this is perfect for those of you who always wanted to fall into a magical world.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

27 thoughts on “Book Review: Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire

  1. TeacherofYA May 31, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    I’m not a fan of murder mysteries but I have heard good things about this book! I’m glad you enjoyed it as the author is apparently a prolific writer (I just found out!), so they must be doing something right!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek June 5, 2017 / 10:51 am

      I would say the murder mystery aspect is more minor compared to everything else, mostly they focus more on the children and the worlds they visited which is much more interesting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. Anna @MyBookishDream June 1, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    I have heard sooo many amazing things about this book! It’s one that I definitely need to read, especially since the main character is asexual (as am I, which I’m not sure I ever mentioned before) and I have never read a book with a character that identified like that. I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this book, it makes me even more exited to get my hands on it. Great review! ❤ 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek June 5, 2017 / 12:02 pm

      You definitely do need to read it! I don’t think you have ever mentioned it before but it is seriously amazing Anna that you can have a character you can relate to that way! I think it’s awesome that we are finally getting more diverse characters in all aspects from race to sexuality. This is the first book I’ve read that has had an asexual character and I found that it was done in a respectful and informative way, when you read this you’ll have to let me know if that’s true or not!
      Thanks Anna, you’re the best! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anna @MyBookishDream June 6, 2017 / 3:56 am

        Yeah, I’m really happy that there are more and more diverse books with each year! 😀 It’s seriously amazing! I hope that I will be able to get my hands on this book soon. You’re welcome! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews June 4, 2017 / 9:01 am

    So happy to see you loved this one, Heather ♥ It’s an all time favourite of mine!! I really wish it had have been longer too because I could have kept reading it forever. I’m super excited for the next book in the series 😀 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek June 5, 2017 / 1:42 pm

      It’s probably going to be a favorite of mine as well, such an amazing book! I wish it was longer, for sure it could have been 500 pages long and I’d love it! Definitely excited for the next book as well! 🙂


  5. TheQuirkyBookNerd September 24, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    Sorry for being so behind on things, but yay! I’m so glad you liked this book! This has definitely become one of my favorite series 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek October 2, 2017 / 11:09 am

      Don’t even feel bad in the slightest! I’m always behind on comments in general.
      This book was honestly so fantastic, I don’t think my review does it justice at all. Can’t wait to read the sequels! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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