Hi friends! I randomly decided to try reading Beneath the Sugar Sky again, since the main reason I dnf’d it last time was because I didn’t like audiobooks. But now that I enjoy listening to them, I decided to try catching up to this series again. Also, this series has the most beautiful covers ever? They’re all so aesthetically pleasing!
This book does have spoilers for the first book in the Wayward Children series, Every Heart A Doorway. The second can be read as a stand-alone, but I would recommend reading the first before jumping into this one!
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.
First of all, the narrator for this book is absolutely fantastic! Her accent for Kade especially is just amazing. This is such a short book, but packed with so very much. I can barely begin to find the words.
The representation in this series is so diverse. Every character is fleshed-out, even in the limited page space.
Cora is plus-sized and deals with anxiety. She’s also a mermaid! I loved her as a new character, because her perspective as a new student was so refreshing. She’s dealt with bullying of all sorts due to being plus-size.
Nadya is Russian (and the narrator does a great accent for her too!) and she’s missing an arm. She’s also from a sort of mermaid-world, and her honest banter was hilarious.
Rini is Japanese, and she was just so funny. Her outlook on the world is of the nonsensical sort, considering she’s from Confection. AKA, CANDYLAND.
Christopher is Mexican-American, and from a sort of skeleton world called Mariposa. He had cancer, and he talks about having to deal with racist comments. He’s also such a cinnamon roll and AGH I LOVE HIM.
Kade is just amazing honestly. He’s trans and I’m not entirely sure as to what his world is? But his tenacity, courage, and cleverness is so admirable. Also that accent. Yes and yes.
The writing is so terribly gorgeous, it’s like a fairy-tale. When I listen to this series, each narrator somehow manages to capture the feeling of the words, the rich lushness that compels the reader onward.
The plot of this particular installment isn’t too dark. It’s more of an adventure than anything else! It’s fun and whimsical, but also carries deeper meanings. Seanan McGuire’s stories always have a message, and this is one of acceptance and belonging.
As always, the main reason why I can’t rate this 5 stars is not necessarily a fault of this book. Since this is a novella, we don’t get a full-fledged story exactly. I would have loved to see more of the different worlds, especially Confection.
That’s it! I know this was a short review, but this was a short book haha! I’d highly recommend picking up this series if you haven’t yet. Tell me:
Have you read this series? Is it on your TBR?
What’s your favorite whimsical, nonsensical book?