Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Girl Who ...


Last December, I journeyed into Fairyland with September. Then in February, I followed her again into Fairyland-Below on a search for Halloween. If this doesn't make any sense to you, then you haven't read Catherynne M. Valente's pair of YA fantasy novels, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. These stories are part Wonderland, part Oz and all heart-warming and fantastic.


I won't go into the plots of these stories because you're likely already familiar with them if you're at all interested. I'll just tell you that it took me a little bit of time in the beginning to get used to Valente's unique narrating voice and to stop seeing the seams between the various stories she has stitched together, a little time before I could see the beauty of the tapestry that she has woven that brings together stories both new and old. She has created something that manages to be timeless and original at once. If you need an escape into a world of strange fruits, shape-shifters and matters both urgent and festive, these are the books for you.

Wishing for a ship of my own,
K

12 comments:

  1. I love "and led the revels there". That's an excellent segment of title. Valente should get an prize for titles and for having a beautiful name.

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    1. I agree. She definitely wins the title prize.

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  2. I read the first one and very much loved it, but I haven't read the second yet (don't have it). So much fun!

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    1. I was very happy to get the second one for Christmas as I finished the first just a couple of days before. And, as you can see, it jumped right to the top of my TBR stacks!

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  3. Ah, you've written about these in such a lovely (and loving) way! I adored both books, and I can't wait for the third trip into Fairyland. Valente is a master!

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    1. They're fantastic and I totally didn't mention the artwork by Ana Juan which is really unique and special!

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  4. I want a ship to fairyland, too! I really enjoy these novels - I agree that they are so much fun and they have so much going for them.

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    1. I bet they're really fun to write too!

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  5. I loved Valente's adult novel - read it a year or so ago - but it was so NOT appropriate for young readers that I almost can't imagine what this will be like. I am definitely interested, though!

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    1. I was going to read it first but then ended up with these. It will be weird to go the other way too! I'm guessing it will be a bit like reading Coraline and The Graveyard Book and then, finally, American Gods. That was a shock.

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  6. I have the first one on my shelves and I really cannot wait to read it!!

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    1. Beware ... once you read the first, you'll be dying to get the second! :)

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