Every now and then a book will come along that not only captivates a reader but also leaves the reader unsure of what he just read. Sometimes this sense of wonderment and loss for words can be a good thing but other times, it can be bad. Reading other reviews of this book, I felt eased knowing that this sense of "what did I just read" was shared by the majority of people that also read the book.
The plot is based around a group of teenagers who attend Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children after having stumbled upon various worlds through hidden doors, returning back to our world against their will to parent's who believe they have developed some type of mental illness. Like I said before, this book is hard to adequately describe what went on.
But dear heavens above, this book was nearly flawless.
From the opening chapter, McGuire not only grabs the reader but she pulls them into this fantasy world where nothing is as it seems with characters that leap off the page and plot twists that literally envelop the reader's attention. While on the shorter side, this book is beautifully written and effortlessly paced. McGuire does what so many authors don't do, she knows when to end the story and does drag the reader on a wild, boring, and drawn out conclusion.
What I most enjoyed about this book was that I found there to be a very creepy, eerie, sense of dread throughout the entire book. I can't remember the last time I read a novel and it made me shiver due to it's overall dark tones. Every Heart is a Doorway is, at times, dark, bleak, and beautiful. It is listed as a sci-fi/fantasy novel, but it reads more like a horror YA novel.
Long review short, don't miss this book. It is easily a contender for book of the year and frankly, I've never read anything like it in my life.
When I look back at the summers of my childhood, I can recall ever so sweet memories of having an endless number of days ahead of me and trying to fill them with as many adventures as I possibly could. There is an innocence to childhood summer that can't be replicated once adulthood strikes. It is a metamorphosis brought on by maturity and despite the best attempts - visiting old places, old friends, and even trying to rekindle the spark I felt doing my old rituals - once the innocence of summer is lost, it cannot be brought back.
But Dandelion Wine comes close.
Centered around a recurring character, Douglas Spaulding, in the same town of Green Town, Illinois that makes an appearance in a multitude of his novels, this book is nothing more than a series of short stories loosely tied together illustrating the captivating nature that is boyhood summer. And as the reader sits back and enjoys this timeless classic, it begins to turn, to shift, to become something altogether different as it forces Douglas to undergo this change, this loss of innocence due to various life events that occur during this summer vacation. In typical Bradbury fashion, the writing is more prose than it is novel-esque, and the illustrations leap of the page.
It is a rare opportunity for a reader to be invited to appreciate so many nostalgic feelings all in one book but Bradbury invites us along for the ride. He opens up his heart and spills it all onto the page and grabs the reader by the hand, whisking them away on one last summer adventure. This is the feeling of complete carelessness. This is the untainted joy one feels when the days are long and just waiting to be filled with fun. This is the summer of 1928.
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Grace has had a few things in life go wrong but the death of her best friend, Charlie, has to be the toughest. Upon attempting to move forward with her life, she discovers an old note from Charlie making her question everything she knew about her best friend. I did something terrible, Grace. So when Grace decides to investigate further, she uncovers that Charlie kept her in the dark about a lot of things from their childhood and her whole world gets turned upside down when she finds Anna, a woman claiming to be Charlie's sister.
Told in a time hopping style, this book grabs the reader from page one and doesn't look back. Jensen really shows her craft, masterfully pacing and orchestrating such a dynamite suspense novel that is sure to leave the reader craving more.
I actually finished reading this book about a month ago but due to life's trials, I am just now getting around to reading it and reviewing it. I still remember everything that happened and I still enjoyed this book. As soon as I finished it, I called my mother and immediately made her purchase it. There was never a dry or dull moment in this novel and it really set Jensen up as a writer to watch in the mystery suspense category.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.