So I’ve been making my way through the Wayward Children series through audiobooks and decided to review both the second Down Among the Sticks and Bones and the third book Beneath the Sugar Sky in one post as I read them pretty close together.
Let’s just dive right in…
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 pretence 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.
– Goodreads –
This is definitely my favourite book in the series so far!I absolutely loved delving into the world that Jack and Jill lived in, The Moors.
The character development in this book fab, I really felt connected to Jack, she seemed to bloom with the Doctor as her mentor, as they both have a huge amount of respect for each other. The f+f romance definitely added to this story and helped to develop Jack’s character.
As for Jill, I couldn’t stand her! Her selfish and spoilt attitude really grated on me, she couldn’t be happy for her sister, she would do everything possible to achieve her goal no matter what or who stood in her way.
There are also instances which show how our upbringing can affect our future. Jack was forced to be her mothers pretty princess who was never allowed to be dirty (this later caused Jack to develop OCD). Jill was to act like the boy her dad had wanted, never allowed to wear pretty dresses like Jack. This upbringing determined their choices once they entered the door.
I really could imagine the dark and troubled environment of this world. The castle of the Master and the Dr’s windmill were described in such detail I could really feel myself there. The large judging moon was a fun touch which reminded you that they were in a different world.
This was definitely more character driven which I don’t usually enjoy, however I was pleasantly surprised by how invested I was will Jack and the Dr. I always have one main problem with these books, I want more! They are so short that I sometimes feel like the endings are very abrupt. Definitely giving this 4 and a half cups of coffee out of 5!
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.
– Goodreads –
Maybe it’s the fact that I loved the second book so much that I was seriously disappointed by this book. It may also be that I just relate more to the logical worlds rather than the nonsense ones. Candy corn farms and edible roads just don’t really work for me.
It felt like there was so many new characters I just couldn’t connect to any of them. The plot seemed pretty ridiculous, but I expect that is due to it being in a nonsense world.
I just don’t really have much to say about this. I can’t rate this book any higher than 2 and a half cups of coffee out of 5!
I’d love to know your thoughts on the first 3 books, I’m hoping to get to In an Absent Dream (#4) in the coming weeks.
See you in the next one…