Amy Gonzalez's Reviews > The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own M... by Catherynne M. Valente
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's review
Feb 23, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, hardcore-amazing, ya-books
Recommended to Amy by: my boyfriend who read about it on Boing Boing
Recommended for: Fantasy lovers, word lovers, overall book lovers
Read in February, 2012

YES!!! This is book #1, meaning it is a series!!! I believe the second book comes out in early May 2012. Not since A Wrinkle In Time, have I read a fantasy book that stretches my imagination and vocabulary to visualize wondrous worlds. The illustrations by Ana Juan at the beginning of each chapter are stunning, especially when you get to the later chapters and your mind is trying to grasp the transformations between worlds.It also reminds me of Neil Gaiman's the Sandman series in its scope of characters, especially when the main character meets Death.

The main character, a 12 year old girl named September, is an amazing addition to the growing list of strong female protagonists in (YA?) literature. Taken from a kitchen window in Omaha, September follows a flying leopard and a spirit called, The Green Wind, to Fairyland. She is given a mission to save the land from the evil ruling of another girl called, the Marquess. It's not clear at first why September is chosen to fix Fairyland, but then you begin to see how she is intelligent, brave, ethical, and loyal throughout her adventures there.

I hesitate to call this just a YA book because it is rich with truths that I feel you understand when you get a little older. For example, "Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one."- I posted that on my Facebook timeline because I just felt that weight when I read it. And there are so many other lines that I found myself reading over and over, like this one, "But lost children always find each other, in the dark, in the cold. Its as though they are magnetized and can only attract their like."

Starting with the fact that it begins with, "Once upon a time...", to having a library loving dragon, and dark and dreary elements that make up classic fairy tales, there is so much to love here. The best of all though is the narrator. In this book, the narrator speaks directly to you and breaks storytelling rules by giving away secrets and pointing out moments of foreshadowing. And there is so much going on with September in Fairyland, you are thankful to have a watchful narrator by your side.

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