Number of Pages: 373
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Under The Whispering Door by TJ Klune follows Wallace Price as he navigates his life after death and everything that comes with it. This story talks about grief, death, love, and loss in a heart tugging way with moments of warming reprieve. Wallace has to come to terms with his short life with the help of the Reaper, Mei, and ferryman Hugo that were assigned to help him cross over. Nelson and Apollo, the ghosts of an old man and flunked out service dog, are the comedic relief that this story needs while also being rocks that the characters need. During the group's story, they are faced with several bad apples and a cosmic being that is set on seeing Wallace cross sooner than they would like.
I know I said I didn’t like romance in the books I read, but I loved the romantic subplot that this story had. Not only because it was one of the best queer romances I have read but also because it progressed in such a natural way. It was something that started as a whisper in both parties and then progressed into something that wasn’t perfect but was still filled with passion and care.
This story also handled grief, death, suicide, family strain, and so many more uncomfortable topics in a way that didn’t diminish how hard they are to both experience and talk about. I felt the character’s pain and turmoil without it being too much to handle. (Over course everyone has different tolerance levels for topics such as these so that may not be the case for all readers. There is a trigger warning at the beginning of the book, which everyone should read and take into account before starting reading.” Each character responded to what was thrown at them in unique ways that reflects their diverse backgrounds and personalities.
There isn’t anything I would change about this book. The only reason I took off a half point off of my rating was because this book was very back heavy. While it made sense with the flow of the book, sometimes it felt as though the ending was a little smushed timeline wise. I understand the decision to have the timeline the way it was and overall it really made me feel the desperation the character did. However, I wish the rush was more towards the middle of the book or that there was a little bit of time between the two big problematic events that take place.
The Favorite (Quotes)
“With this in mind, he picked up his ridiculously expensive Montblanc pen, jotting down a note (IDEA FOR MEMO: PLANTS ARE TERRIBLE AND NO ONE SHOULD HAVE THEM).”
“He Hadn’t known awful wedding planning was genetic.”
“And then, if the moment wasn’t strange enough, she made jazz hands.”
“They’re Velcro, because laces are for suckers.”
“Oof. I’m too old and too dead for this.”
“What is a few years in the face of forever.” (Did I cry when I read this? You can’t prove anything…)