Nataliya's Reviews > The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente
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Oh, September... You have grown up a bit, haven't you? And learned that actions have consequences. And you are not Heartless any more, are you, my dear girl?

"Hearts set about finding other hearts the moment they are born, and between them, they weave nets so frightfully strong and tight that you end up bound forever in hopeless knots, even to the shadow of a beast you knew and loved long ago."
Oh, September... You've hardened up and toughened up a bit now, haven't you? It's about time for you to learn the hard way that things are not always what they seem or what they ought to be. That you need to set right what you did wrong. But setting things right is not always what it seems to be. That sometimes what we are is not what we want to be, and vice versa. That doing what needs to be done can be tiring and tedious and unhappy.
"She did not know yet how sometimes people keep parts of themselves hidden and secret, sometimes wicked and unkind parts, but often brave or wild or colorful parts, cunning or powerful or even marvelous, beautiful parts, just locked away at the bottom of their hearts."


Oh, September... You learn once again that not everything in the world is divided up nicely and neatly. That it's not all about light and dark, people and shadows, good and bad. That your newly found heart can go to the lengths that you did not know it could, that it could go out to those who you never thought would be able to grow their own blooming branch in it. That sometimes you must forgive, no matter how much the hurt and pain was and is.
"Poor September! How much easier, to be hard and bright and heartless. Instead, a very adult thing was happening in that green, new heart. For there are two kinds of forgiveness in the world: the one you practice because everything really is all right, and what went before is mended. The other kind of forgiveness you practice because someone needs desperately to be forgiven, or because you need just as badly to forgive them, for a heart can grab hold of old wounds and go sour as milk over them."
Oh, September... You have so many things to experience for the first time. The forgiveness from you brand-new heart. The First Kiss, somewhat rudely taken from you. The betrayal, so hurtful, even if you know it was done with the best intentions in mind.
"'How could he? That's as bad as killing, to take away everything a person is.' September had never been betrayed before. She did not even know what to call the feeling in her chest, so bitter and sour.
Poor child. There is always a first time, and it is never the last time.
"
Oh, September... It is time you learn to stand up for yourself, and stand up to those who love you dearly, even if it hurts you to do so. Because you know yourself, and you have a Heart. Because some things that need to be done are your job, even if you are not certain about where life is meant to take you. Because you are beginning to grow up and you need to decide what you will take with you and what you will have to leave behind. It is a hard choice, but it has to be done, and such is life, even in Fairyland. And sometimes Fairyland is not that far off from Nebraska, after all.
"I shall do what needs doing myself, thank you," September said finally. "And I'll ask you kindly to stop telling me what I need and what will be wonderful just as soon as I agree with you! And most importantly to stop turning me into things I didn't ask to be and kissing me when I didn't ask to be kissed!"


Oh, September... You learned your lesson well - "You need your dark side, because without it, you're half gone." You learned that taking one's choice away is never the right thing to do, even if sometimes it seems like the only thing to do. You learned how to think slantwise and backward, like a true Bishop. "After all, if enough lost things band together, even in the darkest depths, they aren't really lost at all anymore."
"Perhaps memory is a thing that everyone involved has to work at, like stitching up a big quilt out of everything that ever happened to you."
Dear sweet September, you get to meet the other you in this Fairyland-Below, just to find the true you in the end. And this journey was not easy and not as whimsical as your first one - because you have grown, and things are now more wistful and just a touch darker.

And I'm lucky to have taken this journey with you, holding your hand along the way, marveling at all the strange weirdness, smiling at occasional Russian worlds here and there (oh, Catherynne Valente!) and sighing as my heart recognized the sentiments in each insanely quotable passage. I cannot wait to join you on the next journey you take, and someday maybe take my (future hypothetical) daughter on it with me and you.
"You can never forget what you do in a war, September my love. No one can. You won't forget your war either."
Oh, September, I easily give you 4.5 stars, wired into the ceiling of Fairyand-Below, next to the crystal moon with time on its face.
"A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world."
.....................................

My review for the first September book, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, is this way, if you're interested.
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Quotes Nataliya Liked

Catherynne M. Valente
“For there are two kinds of forgiveness in the world: the one you practice because everything really is all right, and what went before is mended. The other kind of forgiveness you practice because someone needs desperately to be forgiven, or because you need just as badly to forgive them, for a heart can grab hold of old wounds and go sour as milk over them.”
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There


Reading Progress

March 21, 2012 – Shelved
October 1, 2012 – Started Reading
October 2, 2012 –
26.0% "Hearts set about finding other hearts the moment they are born, and between them, they weave nets so frightfully strong and tight that you end up bound forever in hopeless knots, even to the shadow of a beast you knew and loved long ago."
October 2, 2012 –
33.0% "She did not know yet how sometimes people keep parts of themselves hidden and secret, sometimes wicked and unkind parts, but often brave or wild or colorful parts, cunning or powerful or even marvelous, beautiful parts, just locked away at the bottom of their hearts."
October 2, 2012 –
62.0% ""I shall do what needs doing myself, thank you," September said finally. "And I'll ask you kindly to stop telling me what I need and what will be wonderful just as soon as I agree with you! And most importantly to stop turning me into things I didn't ask to be and kissing me when I didn't ask to be kissed!""
October 3, 2012 –
70.0% "Folk are just folk, wherever you go, and it's only a nasty sort of person who thinks a body's a devil just because they come from another country and have different notions."
October 3, 2012 –
78.0% "For there are two kinds of forgiveness in the world: the one you practice because everything really is all right, and what went before is mended. The other kind of forgiveness you practice because someone needs desperately to be forgiven, or because you need just as badly to forgive them, for a heart can grab hold of old wounds and go sour as milk over them."
October 3, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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message 1: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Ha, sounds like a cool book. Great review. I always really enjoy your use of visuals. This made me think of a poem by Neil Gaiman I think you would appreciate (You may have read it already). It is his instructions to keep safe if you find yourself inside a Fairytale: http://rinabeana.com/poemoftheday/ind...


Nataliya s.penkevich wrote: "Ha, sounds like a cool book. Great review. I always really enjoy your use of visuals. This made me think of a poem by Neil Gaiman I think you would appreciate (You may have read it already). It is ..."

I've never read this poem before! Thanks for linking to it - it was lovely. I loved these parts:

hearts can be well-hidden,
and you betray them with your tongue.


and:

Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one’s lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.


This poem is very much in tone with Valente's book. It should be a companion piece to it!


Catie Lovely review! Didn't you just love that part at the end with Saturday? <3


Nataliya Catie wrote: "Lovely review! Didn't you just love that part at the end with Saturday? <3"

Thanks, Catie! Yes, that part was just perfect, wasn't it? ...that would be all right, too.Oh, Saturday, you lovely blue boy :) So sweet and yet so sensible!

I can't wait for more September books. I want to know the secret of Dodo's eggs, and I really want to know what was happening to all the fairies. I want to see September grow up a little more with each book and discover everything her heart has to offer her.


Catie Nataliya wrote: "Catie wrote: "Lovely review! Didn't you just love that part at the end with Saturday?

Thanks, Catie! Yes, that part was just perfect, wasn't it? ...that would be all right, too.Oh, Saturday, you..."


Me too! It will be so great to read these out loud. :)


Nataliya Catie wrote: "Me too! It will be so great to read these out loud. :) "

I know! The style these books are written in - they are practically begging to be read out loud.


Carol. Out of curiosity, what kept it from the five star for you?


Nataliya Carol wrote: "Out of curiosity, what kept it from the five star for you?"

It just did not have the same effect on me as five-star books usually do - those I usually rate very easily and without any doubts, while it took me a little while to decide how to rate this one. I'm trying to figure out what exactly it was lacking. It may be that the very quotable passages written in a very wistful tone eventually got a little overpowering. And also because it's aimed at a younger audience it was occasionally a bit too simplistic - which is my fault for reading it as an adult, not the book.

But 4 star rating is a very good rating as far as I'm concerned. Some of the books that I loved dearly still got 4 stars from me :)


Carol. I understand, Nataliya. In fact, now that I think about it, your statement that "those I usually rate very easily" is the best way to explain my own 5-stars. I know sometimes they aren't perfect, but my reaction to them puts them into that category. Looking forward to reading this one myself.


Nataliya Carol wrote: "I understand, Nataliya. In fact, now that I think about it, your statement that "those I usually rate very easily" is the best way to explain my own 5-stars. I know sometimes they aren't perfect, b..."

I agree. Some of my 5-stars are by no means great works of literature and not nearly perfect, but they were perfectly right for me, at least when I read them.


message 11: by Tracy (new)

Tracy What a beautiful review. It makes me wish I were small again and reading this book.


Nataliya Tracy wrote: "What a beautiful review. It makes me wish I were small again and reading this book."

Thanks, Tracy! Sometimes I wonder though if this book would be loved more by adults than children, since we have the advantage of being able to look back on the childhood and understand the wistfulness and melancholy that likely will be lost on kids who would be focusing more on the adventures and will blissfully be unaware of all the experience that comes with the years and allows you to look back in time and smile.


message 13: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather Pola At first glance, the cover looks like a Guns & Roses Album cover! Great review and thanks for that, because of course I want to read it now!


Nataliya Heather wrote: "At first glance, the cover looks like a Guns & Roses Album cover! Great review and thanks for that, because of course I want to read it now!"

Haha, you're welcome, Heather :)


Damian Dubois A great review. I noticed you didn't mention the thing that bugged me the most throughout the novel. What about the 'daughter' of our intrepid adventurer, September and her oh-so-shy Marid, Saturday? That was a 'what the?' moment at the end of the last book and it wasn't even mentioned throughout this one! Other than that this was another fantastic storyline :)


Nataliya Damian wrote: "A great review. I noticed you didn't mention the thing that bugged me the most throughout the novel. What about the 'daughter' of our intrepid adventurer, September and her oh-so-shy Marid, Saturda..."

Well, I assume Valente will someday revisit Fairyland, and we just may see that particular plot development. Who knows?


Damian Dubois I certainly hope so :) New Fairyland book in October apparently.


Nataliya Damian wrote: "I certainly hope so :) New Fairyland book in October apparently."

That's great! I cannot wait to see more of September and her friends. (This is why the book should be out in September, not October!)


Damian Dubois Haha, indeed it should!


message 20: by Nyx (new)

Nyx Black Wow, your reviews are marvelous! I love them a lot, they include plenty of quotes that I'd forgotten by the time I read this... :D Anyway, good job!


Nataliya Nyx wrote: "Wow, your reviews are marvelous! I love them a lot, they include plenty of quotes that I'd forgotten by the time I read this... :D Anyway, good job!"

Thanks!


message 22: by Nyx (new)

Nyx Black You're welcome. I like reading your reviews because they are very informative. I liked this review because it reminded me of plenty of things. Hey, have you ever read the School for Good and Evil? It's a bit like this story, but slightly different. Also, have you read the last book of the Fairyland trilogy? I'm curious.


kiya banfield Nice story


Isabella The language is hood and the pictures are amazing. What is the title of the next book ?


Neopolitan333 The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two. The one after that is called The Boy Who Lost Fairyland.


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