Sunday, July 22, 2012

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

September is a twelve-year-old girl, Somewhat Grown and Somewhat Heartless, and she longs for adventure. So when a Green Wind and a Leopard of Little Breezes invite her to Fairyland - well, of course, she accepts (mightn't you?). When she gets there, she finds a land crushed by the iron rule of a villainous Marquess - she soon discovers that she alone holds the key to restoring order. Having read enough books to know what a girl with a quest must do, September sets out to Fix Things. As September forges her way through Fairyland, with a book-loving dragon and a boy named Saturday by her side, she makes many friends and mistakes, losing her shadow, her shoes and her way. But she finds adventure, courage, a rather special Spoon, and a lot more besides . . .

I found Fairyland (I'm gonna call it that for the whole review cause it takes too long to type out the title!) really hard to get into at the beginning, and thought I wasn't going to like it. This continued for the first three chapters, and just when I was thinking of giving up, the story picked up and I began to like it better. It continued to improve, until I was absolutely hooked! It's a magical read, full of surprises. You never know what's going to happen next! Fairyland is a little like 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (by Lewis Carroll), it is set in a world where there are are kinds of strange, sometimes crazy things! However, Fairyland had a more solid storyline, and I liked it better then I did Alice in Wonderland.

September was a fantastic young girl, you couldn't have asked for a better main character! She was brave, strong, fierce and determined, and although she is supposedly 'heartless', towards the end she becomes a little less heartless... :) Saturday, a Marid boy, was lovely, but he didn't come into the book until fairly far in, and I felt we didn't get to know him very well. I liked him, but I wish he came into the book earlier. I wish we had got to know him better! Now, my favourite character, was the wonderful, loveable caring, book loving dragon Wyvern Wyverary, A-Through-L (or as September called him, Ell). I just loved him so much! He was funny and so  big hearted and kind! I thought the fact that he knew everything about anything that began with the letters from A through to L (hence his name!) was so creative! And it came in handy in a lot of situations too! 

Fairyland is one of the best-written books I have ever read. It was told in third person, but the narrator (the author) interacts with the readers, making them feel like they're part of the story. It's a brilliant and quite original technique, and the author definitely made it work. The writing is beautiful, the descriptions are exquisite! The quality of writing is top-class, I wouldn't be surprised if this book wins and award or two. It certainly deserves it anyway!

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making surprised and delighted me. It's not a book that I usually would have picked up, but I really loved it - I'm glad I was offered it for review, or else I don't think I ever would have read it! I would recommend this book to anyone, it is ultimately aimed at the Middle Grade market, but I think it could be enjoyed by any age group. To be perfectly honest, I'm a little embarrassed to say even I didn't understand some of the words used! The author has an amazingly wide vocabulary :)

Overall, Fairyland is a enchanting, magical, and mesmerizing book. It's such a fun book, and if you're reading it - please don't be put off by the slow start, it gets much better, and it's certainly worth the wait! Fairyland is a wonderful book, one I'll definitely be recommending to everyone I know! And the ending certainly leaves me desperately wanting the next book! 

Source: For Review - a massive thanks to the publisher for sending me this in exchange for an honest review.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Age group: 9+
Official Publication Date: 7th June 2012
Publisher: Corsair, an imprint of Constable and Robinson
Challenges: ABC Reading Challenge


  1. Fantastic review! I think that's the longest title for a book ever... ;) I normally don't like books in third person, but since you said that it is the best-written book you have read, I think I might give it a try. Thanks for posting! :)

  2. So glad you enjoyed this too, Cliona! I found it hard to get into as well but I'm really happy I didn't give up on it either! And I agree, the writing - despite being in third person - was amazing <3

    Fab review, Cliona <3

  3. Brilliant review! This book sounds really interesting, and sounds nothing like any other book I've read before! I'm really glad you enjoyed it! :)

    Thanks for the awesome review!,
    Beth xx

  4. Great review! This looks amazing and now I'm even more excited to read it!
    The dragon sound so cute and though Inusually prefer first person novels, third person works for me too! It's a shame you found the beginning a bit slow but I'm glad it picked up! :D

  5. Totally agree with you on this one, I loved Fairyland and loved the story-telling aspect of it. Im definitely keeping it for a bedtime story for my kids when I eventually have some!


Comments make my day :)

This is an award-free zone, sorry but I just don't have the time to pass them on! Thanks for thinking of me anyway :)