Well, that was weird. And, good?
I went into this without the slightest idea of what to expect. It’s a very short novel, 173 pages, and I was worried a bit as to what would happen in that short amount of time.
The story is about wayward children, kids have gone to other worlds and come back. The children who have opened doorways to other realms, to places like Neverland and Wonderland and places far darker than those could ever be. This is them trying to cope with their newly regained reality.
Think of this as a sort of Miss Peregrine’s Home type place, but for kids trying to integrate themselves into the real world. But that’s only some children. Others are trying desperately to reopen their doors and go back to the magical realms they called home.
“We don’t teach you how to dwell. We also don’t teach you how to forget. We teach you how to move on.”
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a sanctuary for the kids who the world has labeled ‘crazy’ and unstable after returning from their otherworldly adventures. All until a student is found dead in a hallway, her hands removed from her body. Now the race is on to see why these wayward children keep ending up dead. All while we learn of all the magical worlds that lay beyond the many doors, and seeing how each student copes with their return to the ‘real world’
“Real’ is a four-letter word, and I’ll thank you to use it as little as possible while you live under my roof.”
Now, this book was weird. There is no other world for it. It was strange and magical and weird. It’s filled with nonsense and wonder and beautiful and ghastly descriptions of magical realms.
The problem? I wasn’t all that into it. It started out fine and I expected to love it. I wanted something like this, something full of magic and otherness. And then it went and turned into a murder mystery, and I just wasn’t feeling it. More than that, the ‘mystery’ part was a little obvious. I called it halfway through.
Then there were the characters. I wanted more. I would have liked to get to know more of them and what magical worlds they came from. Christopher’s world seemed creepy but cool. Headmistress Eleanor’s world sounds like Wonderland, and I would love to see that adventure. I also want an entire book in Kade’s adventure in a fairyland. I wanted to know more about them. Not Nancy.
Nancy was just so passive. So…I don’t know the word for it. I didn’t like her. I didn’t like her world or the fact that in that world she thrived on passivity and acting like a literal statue. Throw in the fact that the single most interesting character in the book is the first one to die, let’s just say that I was a bit disappointed.
I feel like if it had been longer it would have been better. At the same time, had it been longer, it would have lost its magic I think. Overall, I liked it but didn’t love it. It was good, but not amazing. I wanted more than I received.
“Now I know that if you open the right door at the right time, you might finally find a place where you belong.”
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