Down Among the Sticks and Bones | 5 star review
Series: Wayward Children #2
Also in this series: Every Heart a Doorway
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published by Tor.com
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 could be seen as a sequel to Every Heart a Doorway – you might want to read that one first!
I loved the entire concept of this book, especially after listening to Every Heart a Doorway. It was the perfect follow on and one that I enjoyed thoroughly, I definitely think that if any two characters got there own novel about their lives Jack and Jill was the best choice! Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the perfect accompaniment to the already fantastic book.
The use of gender stereotypes and the way they are flipped is done so so well in this book, and I think the entire book is such a great commentary on how not to raise children. I loved the whole concept of the parents and their reasons behind having a child, I also think it is slightly exaggerated situation but I don’t for one minute think it doesn’t happen.
I think my favourite thing about Down Among the Sticks and Bones would have to be the world it was set in. The horror element of this story was so well described and used to its advantage I couldn’t believe. I thought the way the lesbian romance was integrated through was natural and not forced, also the sibling rivalry and relationship was perfect for the story! That was most impressive part of the book, the use of the setting in the breakdown of their relationship was one of my favourite parts of the book. It was believable and a consequence of the way they were brought up – it brings the point of would the situation if they hadn’t been compartmentalised the way they had been by their parents.
My favourite character in Down Among the Sticks and Bones is definitely Jack, her life in the Moors was the best thing about the entire book! I loved the way she threw herself into her work and made something of herself. She found love and respect and a way to deal with everything around. I think her character growth was the most profound, and I loved her all the way through.
My least favourite character in Down Among the Sticks and Bones would have to be Jill. I struggled with how selfish she is and how self-centred her actions were. I understood how she became like that but I wish we had seen some more growth from her and that she had more developed reasons for the way she did things.
I would recommend the entire series. It’s beautifully written and the characters are well rounded even if I don’t agree with some of their choices. I’m waiting with baited breath for the next book in the series, a definite favourite for me.
Have you read anything like this series? Please let me know in the comments. I loved this one so much!