Grey Reads // Bloody Moors & Candy Castles – The Wayward Children 2 & 3

Warning: Spoilers for the first book ahead.


down among the sticks and bones wayward children WC.jpgTitle: Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor
Age: YA
Genre: Fantasy, horror
Released: June 13th, 2017
Trigger Warnings: Blood, child neglect
Fat, lesbian, sapphic

Synopsis*: 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.

Past Grey Reads

☁️ Book Review // Everything Leads To You – A Quite Love Story

☁️ Book Review // Girl Made of Stars – I Am Broken

☁️ Grey Reads // Everything’s On Fire and I Couldn’t Be Happier – Girls of Paper and Fire

Cloud Separation

Jack and Jill went down the stairs and discovered a dark world, perfect for them.

There are moments that change everything, and once things have been changed, they do not change back. The butterfly may never again become a caterpillar. The vampire’s daughter, the mad scientist’s apprentice, they will never again be the innocent, untouched children who wandered down a stairway, who went through a door.
They have been changed.
The story changes with them.

Can Seanan McGuire and I be best friends, please??? Like I think 100% we would get along. I’d ask to be best friends with Jack as well but unfortunately, I am all too aware she is a fictional character.

When I finished Every Heart a Doorway I was both speechless and had too many words running in my head because I loved it so much.

I desperately begged people to read it. Because it deserves to be read by everyone. Because everyone deserves to have read that book.

And here I am again, in the same position where I have no words and yet all of the words to express how deeply I love this book. I think I love it more than the first. Granted this story is without Sumi, whom I love very much, but this book has Jack. And I might love her more.

It can be easy, in the end, to forget that children are people and that people will do what people will do, the consequences be damned.

Down among the Sticks and Bones is a dark little book. We follow Jack and Jill from before they were even born to when they are booted out of The Moors, the world that is perfect for them.

We are shown how incredibly selfish their parents are. How incredibly wrong their assigned roles in life were for them.

How much their grandmother loved them.

How different and yet so incredibly similar Jack and Jill are.

Are you sick of the word incredibly yet? Sorry, I’m done now.

I always find it so fascinating how people, who grow up in the same house, at the same time, can be so different. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are bought up the same way though. Jack and Jill prove that and then some. This is why I believe wholeheartedly in nurture vs nature.

They didn’t know that Jillian was brave because she knew Jacqueline was always somewhere behind her with a careful plan for any situation that might arise. They didn’t know that Jacqueline was timid because she was amused by watching the world deal with her sister, and thought the view was better from outside the splash radius.

When Jacqueline and Jillian enter the world, their parents assign them the roles they will be expected to follow their entire lives. Jacqueline is the girly girl. She wears dresses and is not to get dirty. She is shallow and would rather observe from the wings. Jillian is a tomboy. She wears pants and gets dirty. She is quick-witted and desperate for attention and acceptance.


Except that is not really them at all.

The Moors knows this.

The Moors appears via a doorway and staircase from Jack and Jill’s grandmother’s trunk of dress ups. The twins decide to go on an adventure and make the journey down, down, down.

Jack and Jill enter a world entirely different from their own, where the Master consumes blood and the mad scientist raises the dead. Where the girls must choose who they would rather be. Jill chooses the Master and all the finery and blood that comes with him. Jack chooses the mad scientist and all the curiosity and knowledge that comes with him.

Someone with sharp enough eyes might see the instant where one wounded heart begins to rot while the other starts to heal. Time marches on.

McGuire does an incredible job at challenging societal expectations. She challenges gender a lot in this small story and I love her for it. She questioned the reason people choose to have children and said all the things I have been saying for years. More importantly, she gives great commentary on how the world treats children, and how they deserve to be treated, as they are. Human beings.

I love how McGuire weaves intricate characters with even more intricate relationships. I loved the dynamic between Jack and Jill. How, even when given a choice, how completely different they are. The way they banter with each other is incredibly entertaining. I loved the romance between Jack and Alexis, the relationship between Jack and Dr. Bleak.

The thing I enjoy the most of all is learning how and why Jack and Jill got to the end of Every Heart and Doorway. What leads them both down such different and yet entwined paths.

The stories of these children and their doorways will never disappoint and all I want is more, more, more.

I’ve seen this movie before, she thought, almost nonsensically. But we’re not the ones who made the monster. The Master did that. We’re just the ones who loved her.

5 Clouds

Where To Buy

Goodreads│💲Book DepositoryAmazonKindle│**

*Taken from Goodreads.
**If you would like me to include links to purchase books from a specific store in my reviews please let me know!
💲I receive a small commission off the following link

I read this book as part of my 2018 Library Love binge, where I read as many library books as possible to take advantage of my great local library network!
To follow my binge reading adventure just visit my 2018 Library Love shelf.
Or I’ll also be updating my 2018 Library Love Blog Post as I go!

Past Grey’s Shelves

☁️ Bookish Bits // Series TBR – Extra Down the TBR Hole

☁️ Bookish Bits // Library Love – 2018

☁️ Bookish Bits // I’m Finally Participating in A Readathon and Challenge! – Late-A-Thon + January Jam Jar

Rain - S

beneath the sugar sky wayward children WC.jpgDetails

Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor
Age: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Released: January 9th, 2018
Fat, ace, trans, POC, disability 

Synopsis*: When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.)
If she can’t find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests…
A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.
Warning: May contain nuts.

Past Month Ahead

☁️ Month Ahead // December – I Already Hate It

☁️ Month Ahead // Happy Birthday To Me + Hiatus Announcement – January

☁️ February Ahead // I’m Finally Going To Read The Raven Cycle Series & It’s Black History Month + A Great Resource for Education!!!!!

Lightning Separation

The story continues through a world of stillness and silence onto a world full of cake and candy.

Talking foxes are a sign of fever, not guides sent to start some grand adventure.
But children, ah, children. Children follow the foxes, and open the wardrobes, and peek beneath the bridge. Children climb the walls and fall down the wells and run the razor’s edge of possibility until sometimes, just sometimes, just sometimes, the possible surrenders and shows them the way to go home.
Becoming the savior of a world of wonder and magic before you turn fourteen does not exactly teach caution, in most cases.

What is my biggest reason for loving this series? God, there are so many.

It’s diverse af!

The world-building is HUGE! Massive, incredible, impossible and yet here it is in these small little books, books that contain everything.

The characters are so well crafted and the relationships between them are intricate. The knowledge there is still to learn about just the characters we’ve been introduced to is endless.

The beautiful prose and descriptions, the way McGuire can transport you to more than one world and you will let it consume you for the time it takes to read the book because why wouldn’t you want that? Why wouldn’t you want to live in a world where anything is possible, that is bright and colorful and dark and twisted, even just for a little while?

The brilliant commentary on society as we know it, on how we treat children, on our adamant denial of magic we can’t explain, whether that be of the mystical or pedestrian kind.

I just love this book, this series, the author, the worlds and characters she has crafted and gifted us with.

“Over here! Next to the naked lady!”
“A cake’s a cake, whether or not it’s been frosted,” said the stranger primly.
“You are not a cake, you are a human being, and I can see your vagina,” snapped Nadya.
The stranger shrugged. “It’s a nice one. I’m not ashamed of it.”

Beneath the Sugar Sky begins with Rini, Sumi’s unborn daughter, falling out of the sky in a cotton candy dress, and into a lake on the grounds of the School for Wayward Children, where said dress quickly disintegrates. How can a very naked girl be standing in existence when her mother was killed before she was given the chance to create her?

Despite the contradictory nature of Rini’s existence, she is looking for help to bring her dead mother back so that she can save their world of confection and so that Rini can continue to exist. Cora, Kade, Nadya, and Christopher join Rini on the journey through worlds to track done all the parts of Sumi to bring her back and save Rini.

Does that sound like a drug trip or what? 

Yet again, McGuire brings us an insane story about the teenagers of the School for Wayward Children and I can’t get enough!

Christopher nodded. “Eleanor still can’t decide whether it was a Fairyland or an Underworld or something new and in between. That’s why people shouldn’t get too hung up on labels. Sometimes I think that’s part of what we do wrong. We try to make things make sense, even when they’re never going it.”

I am extremely happy to meet Rini, I love her mother, and so, of course, I fell in love with her no-nonsense, all-nonsense way of thinking. That probably doesn’t make sense if you haven’t read the book but if you have you’ll understand. So you should probably read the book then. Just saying.

I am now finally running out of words to say about this wondrous series because I have nearly used them all up already but I just want to say that I love that we’re slowly getting fed tidbits about Kade, I am hungry for more!

I loved Cora and all the wondrous fat rep she brought to the table and getting to know weird and creepy and lovable Christopher more was a gift. I want more. I need more.

“Just keep getting through until you don’t have to do it anymore, however much time that takes, however difficult it is.”

5 Clouds

Where To Buy

Goodreads│💲Book DepositoryAmazonKindle│**

*Taken from Goodreads.
**If you would like me to include links to purchase books from a specific store in my reviews please let me know!
💲I receive a small commission off the following link

I read this book as part of my 2018 Library Love binge, where I read as many library books as possible to take advantage of my great local library network!
To follow my binge reading adventure just visit my 2018 Library Love shelf.
Or I’ll also be updating my 2018 Library Love Blog Post as I go!

Past Month in Review

☁️ Month in Review // Christmas is Over Thank Fuck – December

☁️ January in Review // I Cried, Laughed, Ate Pasta, Celebrated My Birthday & Completed TWO Read-A-Thons/Challenges

☁️ Month in Review // I FINALLY CHANGED MY NAME – February

Storm - S

I need the next book now!

Have you read this series yet? 
What have you been reading?
What’s your favourite world to escape to?


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21 thoughts on “Grey Reads // Bloody Moors & Candy Castles – The Wayward Children 2 & 3

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