Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (I love the illustrations throughout the book and this one is no exception. Just lovely.) 
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: May 10, 2011  
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Page Count: 247 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Some children are content with their home lives and never dream of adventures. Some children are Ravished and end up on adventures they did not anticipate, but do not altogether hate. September falls into the latter cater gory. One day she's washing the same old teacups as everyday and then she looks out the window and sees the Green Wind and his Leopard and agrees to come away with him. September expects more fairies in Fairyland, she didn't expect to be abandoned by the Green Wind so soon and she certainly didn't expect to meet a Wyvern. September was in general ill-prepared for her Fariyland fate, but excepts the challenge that she is to defeat the evil Marquess that rules Fairyland with fear and chains it's inhabitants wings so that she can control the air too. Of course she'll find some help along the way, and question whether she wants to go on or go home.

This is hands down one of my favorite books ever. It was everything. Catherynne M. Valente has a way with words and imagery that just sucks you in and never lets you go...until your clock stops. The cast of characters were completely delightful and each one of them finds a way into your heart or at the very least nestles into your head. I loved all the folklore and mythology that Catherynne wrote into this story. I especially loved the Arab Nasnas tied in with Aristophanes speech from Plato's Symposium. The origin of love is an interesting and fascinating concept and I really loved Plato's version, which is also mentioned in the musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I adored the Interlude's that let you in on the Key's adventure, just as you may have started to forget about him. I really would hate to give away too much, but I am certainly looking forward to more like this from Catherynne. I may just have to pick up some of her adult novels. And oh, the illustrations are funky and fun and really just so perfect to go along with Catherynne's writing. If you like bold and adventurous girls that are plopped into odd, whimsical fairy tales, make sure you buy this one right away. Rarely do you find a book with this much heart and adventure.

First Line:
"Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents' house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small amiable dog." 

Favorite Lines:
"(It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.)"

"September had never seen so many stars, and Nebraska was never poor in stars. There were so many unfamiliar constellations, spangled with milky galaxies and the occasional wispy comet."

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