Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2)

Review From User :

Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.
I love McGuire's dark little fairy tales so so much.

I was captivated by Every Heart a Doorway last year, and couldn't wait to get into more of the author's weirdness with Down Among the Sticks and Bones. It doesn't disappoint. This second in the series is a completely new story, so it can be easily read as a standalone. But also has all the unsettling atmosphere of its predecessor.

In this book, Jacqueline and Jillian (or Jack and Jill) have been brought up to fit a mold created by their parents. Jacqueline-- her mother's pretty princess, who wears pink dresses and never plays outside where she might get *gasp* dirty. And Jillian-- the short-haired tomboy to replace the boy her father wanted but never got.

This is how they've always known it. But as they get older they start to wonder a single, old question: why That's when they find the impossible staircase with the door that disappears behind them. That's when they enter a different world - one of magic and death and different paths.
She had tried to make sure they knew that there were a hundred, a thousand, a million different ways to be a girl, and that all of them were valid, and that neither of them was doing anything wrong.
It's both an eerie, dark fairy tale and a takedown of ideas about what it means to be a girl. Because, of course, in the end, there is no one way to be a girl. And you can make a girl wear a dress, just as you can make a girl wear jeans and cut her hair, but that doesn't change anything. Not really. Not where it counts.

It's a short, fast read, full of beautiful writing. The impression left by it should just about see me through until the next book - Beneath the Sugar Sky. But if the author wants to write faster, then that's good with me too.

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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.

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