REVIEW: Ten Thousand Doors of January and Pretending
These two books were gifted to me by netgalley so I could review them.
Ten Thousand Doors of January:
In this book, we follow January Scaller who is the ward of a very wealthy man named Mr Locke. Her father scours the earth for mysterious treasurers for Mr Locke to keep in his home. As the ward of Mr Locke, she often feels out of place within the walls of his home surrounded by objects that just sit pretty and do nothing, and that’s not what our girl wants to do in her life, even when Mr Locke and his friends say that she must. In addition to her being a woman, she is also blessed with being a mixed race girl but those like Locke’s friends are cautious around her because of this very thing that makes her different in her high society life. She may seem like she has the perfect life, but it is far from that.
When her father disappears when she is 17, leaving her to be vulnerable in the caste of society, she discovers something that will change her life; a book. This book tells the tales of secret doors and magical worlds filled with adventure, danger and truths that she has been waiting her whole life to hear. She finds a blue door in a field and her journey of self-discovery starts there.
As a debut author, Alix E. Harrow does a wonderful job of creating such a vivid world where our main character feels like she is an outsider, as many of us will feel at some point in their lives, but through out this portal fantasy comes to find herself and why she just might feel out of place even more than normal people. Or whatever normal people are. I personally love portal fantasies as you get the exploration of many different worlds within one another. It’s like multiple stories within one book. The writing is beautiful and really captures what it’s like to go to other worlds by being descriptive and flowery.
4 out of 5 stars.
In this cool contemporary written by Holly Bourne, we follow April who feels out of place in the world. So she does what everybody else does, become somebody else on the Internet. Dating is a particularly difficult subject for her so when her attempts at dating keep failing, she takes on this persona Gretel. As soon as Gretel becomes real, Joshua messages her and they begin seeing each other. See, Gretel is everything that April isn’t. Gretel is the manic pixie dream girl that men want but as she and Joshua grow closer together, April must decide to tell him the truth that Gretel isn’t real or keep on lying to him and hiding behind this façade.
On the outside, this book seems like an adult contemporary book that you can easily breeze through. Though yes, that is true we also have some hard-hitting subjects such as PTSD and abuse. She works at a charity helpline helping people with what she went through herself. This constantly triggers her but she knows she is doing something good from a bad situation.
Overall, this book was a solid read considering that this was Bourne’s second book in the adult genre.
3 out of 5 stars.