Sunday, July 14, 2013

Brad About Books: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Read on April 23, 2013
Published: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 247 pages
Source: Publisher
Series: Fairyland, #1

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a magical, whimsical tale for the ages that made my heart soar and opened my imagination even further. Never before have I seen a book that can have that effect on me, but this novel broke the mold.

Middle-grade is such a fun genre, and I don't read enough of it! I finally sat down one day to read this book - you don't even understand how thrilled I was to be completely emerged and enthralled by Fairyland. The world-building is so rich and dazzling - in fact, everything about this book is dazzling. The only two words I know how to describe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland and do it justice? Magical. Whimsical. The writing is so clever, and the way that Valente presents the world gives balance between light and dark, good and evil. A tremendous and outstanding read!

And like I said, the writing is just quirky and clever. I could easily tell that Catherynne M. Valente put a lot of thought into structuring her sentences beautifully and magically, and it really does show. Even though I don't read that much middle grade, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a definite favorite. I absolutely fell in love with September. Her character is so adventurous and mystical, and she is just so cool! I'd love to go on an adventure with her! And of course, every member of the ensemble was fantastic - A-Through-L, Saturday, The Green Wind, everyone had their own moment to shine, and it's one of the many reasons why The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is brilliant.

Fairyland itself is one of a kind. It has its flaws (believe me, there are some sinister things stirring!), but it also has its gorgeous times that made me dive even deeper to the story. One thing I remember the most about this novel was a scene where September was presented with four options (if I do recall, they were To Lose Your Way, To Lose Your Life, To Lose Your Mind, and To Lose Your Heart) and whichever she chose decided her adventure {I won't say what she chose!}. I found that so interesting and unique! This journey was absolutely captivating, and I found my eyes were always glued to the page. A one of a kind page-turner that was marvelous in every way possible. Sign me up to go to Fairyland!

Overall, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is for anyone who loves a fantastic adventure and a unique story. Addictive, magnificent, and riveting, I couldn't help but fly through this book! (And perhaps I flew through this book on the Green Wind? *Anyone who has read the book understands that!*)

M Y     R A T I N G

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