Review: Under the Whispering Door

Title: Under the Whispering Door (September 21, 2021)
Author: T.J. Klune
Pages: 384


Having read The House in the Cerulean Sea (which I loved) and now Under the Whispering Door, I’ve noticed a certain Pixar-esque sensibility to T.J. Klune’s writing – there’s a dynamic premise, a gentle touch, a colorful cast of characters, and a thoughtful message. The tone borders right on the edge of being too syrupy sweet, but Klune injects enough turmoil and heft into the proceedings to never cross over into cloyingness.

I did have some difficulty getting behind Wallace’s redemption arc here, as his introduction paints him in such a vile light that it made it hard to believe his personality could undergo such a 180 in such a short time. As such, I did not find this book to be as effective or affecting as The House in the Cerulean Sea, but it is still well worth your time. I really enjoy Klune’s writing and I look forward to reading whatever he pens next.

★★★½

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Invisible LifeTitle: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (2020)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Pages: 448


Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil to be free, but at the price of being forgotten. We follow her over the next 300 years dealing with the repercussions of her Faustian bargain. 

While initially engrossing, I never quite fell in love with this book. In fact, my feelings matched how I felt after reading A Darker Shade of Magic, Schwab’s most popular novel – well-written, intriguing premise, but it could never quite win me over. I felt every one of LaRue’s 300 years and I was exhausted by the end, which I suppose was the point, but in the end, the ultimate destination did not make the journey worthwhile. Schwab may not be the right author for me, but judging by the exuberant reaction to this book by critics and readers alike, it seems I’m in the minority here.

★★★ out of 5