Title: Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Series: Wayward Children, #2
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: YA Fantasy, horror
My Rating: ★★★★★
Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
This is the story of what happened first…
Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.
Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.
They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.
They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.
My review for Every Heart a Doorway, book 1.
Jack and Jill were some of my favorite characters from book 1, and I was really excited when I learned book 2 was going to be their back story.
From the very first chapter we quickly learned how severely controlling their parents were. How their father only wanted a boy and how their mother only wanted a girl. And how they decided to totally separate each of the girls into stereotypical gendered roles: Jill was the “tom boy”, who was allowed to play sports and get dirty. Jacqueline “Jack” had to be prim and proper, always wearing frilly dresses.
And then one day they discover a “door” in the bottom of their grandmother’s suitcase, and their lives are forever changed.
Seanan McGuire once again wowed me with her writing. I didn’t think I could love this one any more than the first book, but I was wrong! The world that Jack and Jill entered was so dark and intriguing. And what you may expect to lead to a sisterly bonding experience became anything but.
I loved how even in a different world, the two girls were already destined to be different sides of the same coin. Jack ends up choosing to work hard and be an apprentice for a Dr. Frankenstein-type of doctor, while Jill chooses to be a “child” for a vampire. The way their roles suddenly reversed was so well done and I absolutely loved how we slowly got to watch them evolve. There is also a f/f romance that left me feeling so shook!
This book was so fast paced that I quickly flew through it within a day. I think if you love any sort of story that will transport you to a dark, brutal world, then this may be your cup of tea!