REVIEW: Wayward Children Series, Seanan McGuire

“For others, the lure of a world where they fit is too great to escape, and they will spend the rest of their lives rattling at windows and peering at locks, trying to find the way home.” 

This series is a gift. Plain and simple. The writing is lyrical. The story is poignant. The characters are relatable and flawed. I cannot say enough wonderful things about these books.


The 411: The main characters in these books went through magical portals as young children (think THE LION, THE WITCH, and THE WARDROBE) and entered fantastical lands. But they’ve since returned to Our World and no longer know how to relate to a world of normalcy and sadness. The returned children often are in pits of severe depression as they try over and over to find another portal back.

Why? Because they belonged in these worlds. They could be their true selves. No judgment. Just true love and acceptance.

Enter Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. The last ditch attempt for parents who are desperate to find a “cure” for their delusions of another life lived. Eleanor believes them. And she helps these Wayward Children to re-acclimate while they A) Wait for another door to open, or B) Accept their return to life as we know it.


Each of these books are tiny–clocking in under 200 pages but holy cow do they pack an emotional punch. EVERY HEART A DOORWAY introduces us to the narrative, the home, and a few of our mainstay characters. DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES (my personal fave of the three so far) focuses on twin sisters, Jack and Jill, and their time spent in the magical moors. BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY is an adventure back to a land of Confection, in search for a beloved character.

And, hello, representation up the wazoo. All the races, all the ethnic backgrounds, all the genders, all the sexual orientations, all body types, all levels of physical and mental ability…I am truly amazed by all the diversity squeezed into these little novellas of joy.

I need Book 4 because I have questions and I love these characters so much. And I NEED, need, need Christopher to make it back to the Land of the Dead and Skeleton Girl.


EVERY HEART A DOORWAY:  ✰✰✰1/2
DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES: ✰✰✰✰✰
BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY: ✰✰✰✰1/2


“There is kindness in the world, if we know how to look for it. If we never start denying it the door.” 

REVIEW: To Kill a Kingdom, Alexandra Christo (March 6, 2018)

Woke up this morning to learn that Snarky officially has had over 90,000 hits!  Thank you for letting me gush about things I love and rant about things I hate.

Speaking of things I love: this book.

Retellings of fairytales and/or classic lit has become a favorite genre of mine. I wasn’t expecting this to be a reinterpretation of THE LITTLE MERMAID and I was a very happy reader. Just swap in sirens and add more blood. A lot more blood.


The 411: Siren Princess, Lira, is known as the Prince’s Bane–having made her name by exclusively killing mortal Princes. One a year for her seventeen years of life. On her way to number 18, she is responsible for the death of a fellow siren and her mother, the Big Bad Sea Queen aka Ursula on Steroids, isn’t having any of that. Lira is transformed into a human (but she doesn’t wish she could be part of that wooooooooooorld) with the mission to deliver the heart of Prince Elian to her charming mother before the Winter Solstice. The trick? Prince Elian isn’t your Prince Eric. He’s a pirate and a siren hunter, dead-set on serving some revenge on the Prince’s Bane.


So there’s glaring similarities to THE LITTLE MERMAID, yes? Ok–but TO KILL A KINGDOM stands completely on its own and is such a fresh, imaginative take that it feels original. Lira is not Ariel and Elian is not Eric and the mermaids in the story are physically hideous and annoying creatures, they’re the Flotsam and Jetsam of this story.

This book was so much fun. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I love books that skew towards the darker side and this definitely ticked that mark. Congrats, Alexandra Christo! I’m excited to see what you come up with next!


MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰
RECOMMENDED FOR: lovers of retellings with a darker twist and pirates!
MAY I ALSO SUGGEST: DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING duology by Tricia Levenseller


Thank you Macmillan / Feiwel & Friends for my galley! To Kill a Kingdom is available March 6.

Preorder links!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository