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

my rating: ★★★★★

tags: lgbt, fantasy, young adult

goodreads rating: 4.24

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


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.


  • This book, this book I swear to God you guys. This series is just too good.
  • This series has a perfect atmosphere, Seanan McGuire has totally encapsulated the perfect “Fall vibe”.
  • Seanan McGuire’s writing is seriously amazing. I don’t know how she does it but somehow, in under 200 pages, she can make me feel almost every emotion under the sun.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones follows Jack and Jill who we met in book one, but in this companion book, we see them in the world they were chosen for. I loved Every Heart A Doorway, but I think this is definitely my favourite in the trilogy so far. This book was hilarious in the sense that the author was completely sarcastic 90% of the time in her narration of the story. She would be talking about Jack and Jills’s parents and just being 100% completely sarcastic and making fun of them to the max and it was absolutely hilarious. This type of commentary throughout the book was actually what made me love it so much. Seanan Mcguire is not afraid to tell us what she thinks, and she was never afraid to talk about gender norms or how society shoves children into a gender box without letting them decide or explore for themselves.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones had a very different vibe (darker, gothic) to Every Heart A doorway (book 1), but I loved it nonetheless. I would definitely recommend this series for the month of October, especially this instalment, as it is very dark and has an intense Dracula/ Frankenstein vibe. Very Gothic and very fun.

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.

Apart from the writing, what I loved most about this book was the commentary on gender norms. I talked about it a bit before this book dealt with the issue SOO WELL. Basically, Jack (Jaqueline) has been brought up in pink dresses, as her parents’ special princess child and Jill (Jillian) has pretty much been brought up as a boy, always hanging out with the guys and playing soccer. Though, as we get through the novel we find out that Jill wants to be wearing dresses, and Jack would rather be hanging with the guys.

What I loved about this book is that the two sisters were brought up to live a certain way and when they walk down the stairs and go to their world they don’t get out of that immediately. It takes them ages to re-write everything they’ve been taught, and even by the end of the novel, Jack can’t stand to be dirty because it has been so thoroughly ingrained into her mind that dirt is bad.


  • Definitely going to read book 3, in fact, I’ve already pre-ordered it (something I never do)
  • I seriously love these books
  • This was actually really funny, I absolutely loved it!
  • Perfect for any October readathons that might be coming up!


Have you started the Wayward Children series? Have you read Down Among The Sticks and Bones?




    1. Thank you! This is a perfect spooky read, amazing for this time of year! You should definitely pick it up this month, it would be perfect for Spookathon!


  1. Oooh I’m glad you enjoyed this book! I am still on the fence as to whether I will read this series or not because it doesn’t really sound like something I would enjoy…but then everyone keeps raving about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely devour this series, it’s so good! I know how you feel, I was never going to pick up the books but I heard the main in book 1 was ace so that pushed me to pick up the book, and I pretty much read the whole thing in a couple of hours. You should totally pick it up if you see it cheap or have the chance to listen to the audio!


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