YALC was the source of many wonderful books, and I’m still trying to work my way through the massive stack of ARCs (and books that I actually bought). Most of them have been thoroughly enjoyable, but I seem to have picked up an astonishing amount of sci-fi, which I’m actually not that keen on.
Sally Gardner’s The Door That Led To Where was the first book that I received as a book blogger, and so it has a special place in my heart. I was quite looking forward to reading another book by the same author, telling the story of the mysterious disappearance of Becky. But actually, I really didn’t like this book at all.
An extraordinary tale about the search for love from the acclaimed Costa and Carnegie winning novelist Sally Gardner.
Jazmin has been shunned ever since her best friend Becky disappeared. But Becky didn’t just disappear – she jumped off a tall building and seemingly never reached the ground. It was as if she simply vanished into thin air. Did Jazmin have something to do with her disappearance? Or was it more to do with Icarus, so beguiling and strangely ever youthful, with whom Becky became suddenly besotted . . .
With detailed and intriguing black and white illustrations throughout.
I really can’t put my finger on what it was that I disliked so much about this book. It might have been that the characters didn’t seem particularly fleshed out, or that nobody knew what was going on. The coincidences between characters and their connections to Icarus were too much for me to handle, and I didn’t actually like any of the people I was reading about. Sci-fi isn’t really my genre of choice to be honest, and I was struggling to connect to anything in this story. Question after question was raised, but none of them were answered.
Although Becky was depicted as a central character in the book, and her disappearance was the mystery being investigated, I really didn’t feel like we knew Becky as a person, which led to me not having any real connection with her disappearance or otherwise.
As well as that, the entire book was written as a series of interviews/stories told to an investigating character, but either we don’t ever find out who’s investigating, or we did find out and I just didn’t care.
There were so many things in this book that I’m sure people would love – the beguiling, mysterious character of Icarus, the fraught relationship between Becky and Jazmin, the unravelling of a mystery that was intertwined in mysterious ways, and the story of people and their connections to Icarus and the vanishing teenagers. But it was just all wrong for me. I felt no connection with it, and didn’t really enjoy it at all.
Probably more me than the book, since Gardner is clearly capable of writing excellent books, and books that I enjoy, but this was a really disappointing one for me.