July 23, 2012

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente {Review}

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publish Date: May 10, 2011
Source: Library
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 gentlemen 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.

Wow. Just…wow.
Okay, maybe not just wow, but I am slightly awed by the amazingness that is this book. Sure, it has a pretty cover, but somehow it still manages to sit on the shelf all unassuming-like with such a magical story captured between its pages.

I’m not going to lie, when I first started (shall we call it The Girl? Yes, I think we shall) The Girl I wasn’t all too sure I’d like it. The writing wasn’t something I was at all used to, same story with the illustrations, and everything just seemed terribly, terribly strange. Somewhere between the flying leopard’s and the talking Wyvraries strange became a very good thing, though.

Now, I imagine you peering at your computer/phone screen and thinking to yourself “she’s gone right mad, hasn’t she” (if you think like a faintly British person, at least), but you’re wrong. I’ve simply been swept up by an amazingly spectacular story. I know my adjectives seem to be running away from me, but I can think of no other way to express my love for The Girl.

I’m sure many people think all the best fairy-tales have already been written but I’m happy to say that is most certainly not the case. It seems to me it’s a bit harder for things to become “classics” these days, but by golly, if I had the power I’d go around stamping every copy of this book with a “This Book is a Classic” certification. It is simply a book that deserves to be read by anyone. This is a book for every child’s wildest, most adventurous dreams as well as a book to revive the child-like wonder that we often lose with age.
The Nusthell: I’m not sure how much more plainly it can be said: The Girl is a book that needs to be read right now so it has that much longer to live in your heart and your memories. This is a book deserving of a shelf where it can live happily, be read many times, passed down through generations, and possibly acquire all the things that come with a well-loved book such as jam finger prints and smudgy edges.

Pages: 247
Series: Fairyland #1
Rating: Direct Hit


  1. I want to read this one. It sounds wonderful. Great review.

  2. Okay, um, this sounds awesome. I must read it immediately. *adds to to-read list*

  3. Jasmine, I can't express to you how happy I am that this one WORKED for you! A lot of people are unable to get into Valente's quirky writing style and story, but I feel that those who are fall in love. I'm excited to see your thoughts on the next one! You don't have long to wait. =)

  4. I don't read a lot of MG, or fairytales for that matter, but every time I see this one the title has me completely intrigued. I'm a sucker for long titles on pretty much anything. Songs, movies, books...and of course you have made the story sound quite amazing, so I might have to give this one a go. Thanks for sharing :0)


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