Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Under the Whispering Door

After receiving an ARC for TJ Klune's upcoming novel, In the Lives of Puppets, I wanted to give his first two books a go.

The feel-good, heartfelt novels aren't usually my cup of tea, but this one sounded cute and light—a reprieve from my usually intense, serious, or otherwise grandiose reads.

Under the Whispering Door is hopeful, cozy, and much like a good hug after a cry... but it's also repetitive, saccharine, and obvious. The main message is living life to its fullest because you never know when it'll end. Unfortunately, after Hugo and Wallace share their feelings, and you're left to believe that Wallace must pass through the door the following evening, the Manager (a tight-lipped rule follower) changes his mind because he's bored and resurrects Wallace to see how things play out. (There's a little more context, with the Husks, but that doesn't make this decision any more warranted.) So, the theme—savoring every moment you have—is undermined by the bullshit ending. I get it's a feel-good book, and it's targeted at those who have lost someone close to them, but the ending doesn't make sense when the whole book was leading up to a bittersweet conclusion.

All in all, this book was okay. I'm hoping TJ Klune's other works are more my speed.