Review: Every Heart a Doorway. Wayward Children 1 by Seanan McGuire

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Childrenevery heart a doorway
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 things.

No matter the cost.

  1. Every Heart a Doorway
  2. Down Among the Sticks and Bones
  3. Beneath the Sugar Sky
  4. In an Absent Dream

I finally did it! I tried out Seanan McGuire and am SO happy I did! LOVE her style and creativity and am very much looking forward to more.

I listened to the audio book of this version and first of all, I have to admit, that I was NOT a big fan of the female narrator. Her voice was a bit annoying and I hated the Oklahoman accent she used for Kade. Almost made me dislike him as a character.

I love the whole setting, which is a school for kids and teenagers who went to a magical world and for some reason got back to their own one. They don’t feel like they belong anymore and want to find their way back. The school helps them deal with their feelings and also tries to help them get back. Sometimes doors open again, sometimes they don’t. The owner of the school, Eleanor has been to a magical world herself and knows how the kids are feeling.

Every person has unique experiences and their worlds can be very different to one another. They are separated into high logic or high nonsense worlds and can be as colourful as the care bear world above the clouds and as dark and scary as the Underworld. I loved reading about the different worlds that the characters went to and how it affected them.

Every character is unique and distinct and it was easy to feel for them and to understand their longing for the worlds they no longer have access to.

For us, places we went were home. We didn’t care if they were good or evil or neutral or what. We cared about the fact that for the first time, we didn’t have to pretend to be something we weren’t. We just got to be. That made all the difference in the world.

This is not a happy & fluffy story and definitely darker than I thought. Which is a good thing though, as it reminds me of a fairy tale.

I don’t want to say too much about the action and especially the ending, as there are a lot of surprises waiting!

I was so invested in the characters in the end and will pick up the next books in this series for sure. Not decided yet whether I choose the audio books again..

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.

4,5/5 Stars. I took half a star off, as I didn’t like the narrator. But apart from that it was really perfect. I almost cried in the end & books that make me that emotional are GOOD books.


  1. Lol at kicking off half a star.
    Glad you liked it. I enjoyed it too back when I read it and I’d really like to read the other books , but I’d probably have to reread this one first. I’ve forgotten much of it, but I found the concept interesting.
    For some reason in my head I pair this with the comic book I Hate Fairyland.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve not read Seaman McGuire outside her October Daye series but I love those so I’d definitely like to give her other works a go! And what could be wrong with close to perfect?! I’ll add it to my list! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thought I’m not very familiar with audiobooks, I understand how a narrator could make or break a story, and it’s a testimony to McGuire’s writing skills that despite your issues with the narrator you still enjoyed the story 🙂
    I’m very glad you want to explore her novels: as a staunch fan, I look forward to your comments!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks 🙂 And to be honest – you hyping the books made me pick them up, so thank you again! 😀 I think I will stick to the audio books, especially since Seanan McGuire herself is narrating book 2, if I got that right 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved this book! Seanan McGuire is amazing, and I love her writing. This book (and the next in the series) are both so beautifully written, and I love the world of these stories. I’m so glad you enjoyed it

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I love both — but I’d say read at least the next Wayward Children book first. (I wasn’t as crazy about #3, but thought #2 was terrific). I’m 8 books into the October Daye series right now, and loving that as well.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I really liked this series, too, but I’m glad to hear your opinion of the narrator. I’d read the e-books of all 3, and was wondering if I should have listened to them instead, but I’m happy with my choice (and happier now that I hear about the weird Oklahoman accent for Kade).

    Liked by 2 people

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