Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
This is a rather quick review, but I couldn't skip over this enchanting book. Every Heart a Doorway was my kind of strange, and I don't think I've been this in love with a storyline/premise in a long time. As others have mentioned on Goodreads, it's dark, atmospheric, and heartachingly lovely. There was something so unsettling about these characters who have traded in their own families and "old lives" for other worlds—the worlds they truly belong to.
My issues with the book were twofold: (1) It was too short, in my opinion. I wanted much, much more. There were so many worlds I wanted to learn about, and the character development had so much potential. (2) Going along with character development, while I LOVED the characters and wanted more from them, I wasn't wholeheartedly invested in them. I was more intrigued and infatuated by them, to the point that some of the murder mystery scenes fell flat to me.
I think part of the issue for me was the dialogue at times felt a little stilted. I loved the conversations and how philosophical they were, but occasionally it felt as though the author used dialogue as a device to explain certain ideas or quickly summarize worldbuilding from the individual worlds these characters called home. The characters I really loved had the most distinct voices, and it showed in the dialogue (e.g., Sumi and Jack).
Overall, the length and character questions I had didn't bother me that much. I was still totally enthralled, and the "Girl Interrupted" vibes were ON POINT. So many gorgeous quotes. I would love to see this as a movie.