Book Reviews

Review: Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

As a major fan of the Wayward Children novellas, I knew I had to read Where the Drowned Girls Go. And this one has to be one of my favorite in the series! As the series progresses, more of the stories are interlocking again and that brings me so much joy. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you’ve already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company.

There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again.

It isn’t as friendly as Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

And it isn’t as safe.

When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her Home for Wayward Children, she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.

She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming…


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Where the Drowned Girls is a stunning addition to the Wayward Children novellas. Not only does it bring back some favorite characters from previous novellas, it adds a whole new dimension to the world. Where do those go don’t wish to go back? Until now, we’ve been preoccupied with children who want to find their door, but what about the others? Or the ones who are forced to try to forget? A school to convince us in the walls around us.

From the beginning, Where the Drowned Girls Go was heartbreaking. The differences in attitude and treatment all fractured my heart into pieces. That, combined with the intense fatphobic comments, reminded me not only of how cruel kids can be, but how they can grow up into adults. But in true McGuire style, nothing is truly as it seems and there’s always more than meets the eye. In Where the Drowned Girls Go, the line between teach and freedom, having to get used to this idea and seeing possibility, is explored.

The line between heroes and bullies which changes based on the circumstances and phrasing. On who’s the one telling the story. How heroes and monsters are merely a matter of definition. Where the Drowned Girls Go, despite breaking my heart, ended up being one of my favorites. What does that say about my reading taste?? But I loved how it looks at the perceptions of stories and reality, of heroes and demons, of clouds and tornadoes. There’s a very gripping feel to the book, to the terror of discovery, to noble and heroic sacrifices, and to the power of choice.

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Where the Drowned Girls Go isn’t merely compelling themes and atmospheric vibes though. It’s an action driven story with character development which will inspire rage and smiles. As we witness these characters evolving and trying to take back their story, it will become one of your favorites in the series too. Find Where the Drowned Girls Go on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite novella series discovery?

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2 thoughts on “Review: Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

  1. I really loved this installment too. I had been scratching my head at how Across the Green Grass Fields fit into the meta of the series and then this book brought it all together in all the best ways.

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