DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES
Written by Seanan McGuire
Published by Tor, June 13, 2017
My star rating: 3 stars
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. Find it on Goodreads
After reading book one, Every Heart A Doorway, I was totally obsessed! The book was short but it managed to draw me in to the character and the world(s). I couldn’t wait for more! So I immediately put this one on hold at the library and was so excited to get to it! Sadly, I was a little let down.
Before going into this, I knew that this wasn’t a continuation of book one. If you weren’t aware, this is a prequel of sorts, following twins Jack and Jill and what happened to them before they ended up at the school. We learn about who their parents were, how they were raised, and how they were as siblings and individuals.
My main problem with this book was the pace. So much time was spent with them as children. Learning of who their awful parents were, what made them have children, and how they parented Jack and Jill. It was just boring and unpleasant and, quite frankly, it seemed to go on forever. It just felt so drawn out and I wondered when we were going to get into the story. Because so much time was spent on all of this, the middle and ending (When they finally found their doorway) felt rushed and lacked the emotion and detail I wanted. Yes, the info dumping of them at home with their parents helped create a bigger picture and some emotional connection with the girls, but I lacked the emotional connection with their new surroundings once they finally got there.
What I absolutely loved though, was who these girls became once they went through their doorway. They were free from their parents and everything that was expected of them. They immediately grabbed on to that freedom of choice and ran with it. They did what they wanted, wore what they wanted, and became who they wanted, even if that meant being apart. Things that they were not allowed to have back at home suddenly became something that they could choose for themselves.
The world building was also not quite what I expected. Well, it was, and it wasn’t. I think this is the case where my own expectations were just a little too high. We did get to envision the world but, like I said above, it felt too rushed.
I also liked that this book seemed to be so much darker than book one! As we learned in Every Heart A Doorway, there are so many different worlds. Some are bright, some are dark, some are colourful. There are so many places a person can end up depending on their personality! And this was one of the darker places which was fantastic to see. I also liked that we got a bit of background on two of the main players of book one. I thought I understood who they were after reading Every Heart A Doorway, but after reading this, I have a whole new perspective and understand so much more! I can’t wait to see what happens in book three!
Until next time, happy reading!