Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Publication Date: May 2011
by Feiwel & Friends
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Review copy from publisher
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. 

Have you ever finished a book and hugged it to your chest because you loved it so much?  No?  Me neither.  Just kidding.  That's exactly what I did when I finished The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (that title's a mouthful).  I absolutely adored this one, and it's now on my favorites list. 

Mind you, this isn't a book everyone will love.  It's got a quirkiness to it that some people will find a little too precious.  But I think most people will fall in love with it just like I did.  It's a beautiful, magical fairy tale that is perfect for the young at heart.  Here's a sample:

“When you are born,” the golem said softly, “your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk, and crusty things, and dirt, and fear, and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living. So every once in awhile, you have to scrub it up and get the works going, or else you’ll never be brave again.”       

There were so many lovely quotes like that all throughout the book.  Catherynne Valente is a talented writer whose style flows, and is completely different than the typical YA.  She is in a class all her own.  And what's even better is that there is another book to come!  I can't wait to read it, and I will definitely be re-reading this one.  I highly recommend it.

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