Buddy Review | Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Seanan McGuire

We both read Every Heart a Doorway and loved this story and were both really excited to continue with this series. Down Among the Sticks and Bones was another interesting installment of this story and we can’t wait to talk about it. Keep on reading to see our review!

Buddy Review | Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Seanan McGuire

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.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2) by Seanan McGuire
Published by Tor.com on 13/06/2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 187
Format: eBook


Candyce The covers are what got my attention when it came to this series. They’re stunning. And after reading this book, I have to say that it fits perfectly with Jack and Jill’s story!

Isabelle I never looked at this cover very closely and what a shame that is! This cover is amazing and has some great details. It fits the story so well!!


Candyce Once again Seanan sucked me in with her amazing writing style. I don’t know what it is, but every word seems to fit perfectly in these stories. I’m still amazed by how much she fits into a book that’s less than 200 pages! To not only make me feel for her characters, but to make me connect with the world and everything isn’t something that normally happens with such a short story.

We met Jack and Jill in Every Heart a Doorway, but Down Among Stick and Bones gives us their story. After reading this, I completely understand them even better than before. This is a tragic story and really hit me in all the feels. Jack and Jill’s parents want kids to boost their careers and what people think of them and that was so hard to read. They don’t seem to love them, but just want to show them off. Both children are forced into a certain role and the effect this has on them is really hard to read.

Down Among Sticks and Bones shows us what happens when children are pushed into certain gender roles. These twins don’t learn how to love. They had a chance with their grandmother, but when that’s taken away they don’t feel the love children need anymore. We see this when they enter their doorway. Jack and Jill finally are able to take on the role they feel comfortable with and at times try to hard to get the attention of the person they need it from.

Their world is pretty dark, but so interesting. The world building is phenomenal and I felt like I was there. Dr. Bleak was an interesting character and more of a father than their own. We don’t see much of the Master, but that too was an interesting concept of love. I think it also shows us that family isn’t always blood.

I could go on and on about this book, but it’s just really something you need to read for yourself. I won’t forget these characters or setting for a very long time!

Isabelle For me this was a reread and I loved it just as much as I did the first time around. Or maybe I loved it even more. It has been said many times but Seanan McGuire is something else. She is so talented and it’s unbelievable how she can write such a full story in only 187 pages. No word is unnecessary and no scene is out of place.

Jack was my favorite character in Every Heart a Doorway so of course I was super interested in reading her story. We already learn a bit about the twins Jack and Jill in the first book and I’ll say that was probably my one complaint. In the first book you learn the basic story of their adventure in the Moors. And in a way you already know what will happen. Nothing ‘else’ happens so especially the first time around I felt a tiny bit disappointed because I felt like I already knew the story. The second time around however I appreciated the messages and language a lot more and therefore enjoyed the story a bit more.

We follow Jack and Jill from birth and I really felt for these kids. Their parents are a clear example of people who shouldn’t be allowed to have kids as they only think of themselves and never of their kids. Jack and Jill are very much a product of their upbringing and I loved that Seanan showed how dangerous certain behaviors can be to children. I don’t think the parents ever imagined how harmful their behavior was. And even when Jack and Jill went through their doors and found their preferred roles they were further formed by their surroundings and that was just so interesting.

We only get to see a little part of the world and I would’ve loved a longer novel where Jack and Jill explore more of the world surrounding their part of the Moors. But even that small part was so cool to discover. It felt like a black-and-white horror movie and I was completely sucked in. There are a couple of small drawings in the book and they fit the story and feel of the story so well.

All in all this was a wonderful installment in the Wayward Children series and I’m happy I’m rereading these books. I would highly recommend them to everyone. It’s amazing how much you care for characters you spend so little pages with!

Favorite Quotes

There were so many amazing quotes in this book that we couldn’t just stick to a few this review. Here are some quotes that we loved:

“The thought that babies would become children, and children would become people never occurred to them.”
“The idea of telling the truth was simply untenable. It would be tantamount to admitting failure, and the Wilcotts did not fail.”
“The thought that they be harming them by forcing then into narrow ideas of what a girl- of what a person- should be had never crossed their minds.”
“Perhaps, if the sisters had been encouraged to love each other more, to trust each other more, to view each other as something other than competition for the limited supplies of their parents’ love, they would have closed the trunk and gone to find an adult.”
“Every choice feeds every choice that comes after, whether we want those choices or no.”
“Children have preferences. The danger comes when they, as with any human, are denied those preferences for too long.”
“Jack hadn’t noticed the darkness, but that doesn’t matter. A man who has lived his entire life in a cave does not mourn the sun until he sees it, and once he has, he can never go back underground.”

It’s amazing how much this author is able to put into a book under 200 pages! These are books we won’t be forgetting anytime soon. If you’ve read the Wayward Children series, we’d love to know what you thought. Let us know in the comments! Keep an eye on the blog for our review of the next book soon.

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