Title: Under the Whispering Door
Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: September 21, 2021
Format: e-ARC through Netgalley- Thank you, Tor Books!
Burb from Goodreads:
“When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.
When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.“
This was my most anticipated release of this year. I’m so glad to say it lived up to my expectations! I loved House in the Cerulean Sea and was hoping to get more of the comfy, sweet, funny, and heart-wrenching moments. It delivered in all those aspects. There are so many times that I just laughed out loud! I love when books can just make you laugh so hard you can’t keep it in. Don’t get me wrong, we get the other emotions that we don’t love so much. I think what TJ Klune does so well is, using his humor in the most perfect times and places, which doesn’t make the sadder moments feel so devastating. There’s a lot of tough themes like loss and grief.
The absolute best part about this book is the cast of characters! I cannot express to you how much I fell in love with all of them rather quickly. I buddy read this and I remember messaging her early and telling her I love so and so! Oh, I love this person too! I think that Nelson had to be my favorite. Who doesn’t love a grandpa who is constantly pulling pranks but so full of wisdom?! I loved Mei, Hugo, and Wallace too but Nelson knew how to get the laughs. I loved the whole family aspect of this group. It made the story so much more touching and impactful, they loved each other.
The pacing of the book is a bit slow. It did take a little while to get into the story and figure out what was going on. Even though the plot was slow-moving, we did have some great moments with the characters. We do learn a lot of lessons along the way, and Klune always gives amazing quotes and moments, to make you think about life and love. The romance between Wallance and Hugo was a slow burn. If you love that type of romance then you will love this one. It was so sweet and tender. Hugo was just so amazing with everyone and his relationship with Wallace was just above and beyond.
One of my biggest issues with this book was the ending. I don’t want to ruin anything but it was a disappointment. Even though it was all predictable and I was hoping it didn’t go the way I feared, it totally did. I don’t know if I’m just changing as a reader but it took away some of the emotional punch for me. It just felt easy and I wanted so much more from it.
Overall, this book was amazing and what I needed and wanted! I love Klune’s way with words and the way he makes you fall head over heels in love with characters. I cannot wait to read what he’s coming out with next. I’m sure it will be one of my most anticipated! 🙂 I do wish that Klune offered a little quiz at the end to figure out what kind of tea I was!
I want to thank Tor Books for providing me with an e-ARC for review. All thoughts are my own.
Thank you Dini @Dinipandareads for buddy reading this with me!! It was such a fabulous time!