Oh, my goodness, y'all. This was a short, but dark, new adult fiction that I gobbled up within 2 hours. It's incredibly popular over on GoodReads, and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why I didn't hear about this clever twist when it was released in 2016. Luckily for me, I have a pretty fantastic local library that carries it.
What happened to Alice or Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy after they fell into their worlds and then returned to ours? This is the question McGuire works to answer in less than 200 pages and it is so dang clever. I can't say much about it without ruining the entire plot, but what if there was a school that could help you with the hope of returning when the rest of the world thinks you mad?
Every single character was shattered and broken. And every single one was loveable--even the creepy ones. And I mean--shudders--creepy.
McGuire also worked to make sure that her cast was incredibly and realistically diverse without ever harping enough to have social aspects overtake the narrative.
Nancy is the main character. She is wonderful and still and quiet and asexual. It wasn't just mentioned and left. It was a part of her, it was explained, and it was very well done.
Kade is the only one to accepted he will never return "home" to the world that cast him out. And sadly, they cast him out for the same reason his own parents won't let him home: he's transgender. This was handled with care and acceptance, while also showcasing when people can be cruel.
Sumi is loud and colorful and continually moves. She's of Asian descent, and I actually ended up identifying most with her. I guess I wouldn't end up in a very Logical world, y'all.
Then you've got Jack and Jill. So dang ick and so dang likable. Just... so good. I appreciated that McGuire also showcased how sibling relationships transcend friendship.
Just go out and read this one. It's so worth the short time it takes to be sucked into your own rabbit hole.