When you find yourself in possession of one of Catherynne M. Valenteís FAIRYLAND books, you read it. Eventually. Actually, the truth is I read the third book of her series, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland And Cut The Moon In Two sooner rather than later. Oh, reader friends, I am so happy to be back in Septemberís world, both her regular world and her Fairyland world. Valente has special sort of talent where she is able to conjure magic out of regular words and friends, it absolutely shines as it is on full display in The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland And Cut The Moon In Two. Also? She is great at coming up with the longest book titles EVER.
Itís always a little bit hard for me to summarize the plots of Valenteís Fairyland books. Thereís just so much that happens and people seem to hate spoilers, so itís a bit complicated to explain the plot in a few sentences or so. Here goes nothing, my friends. September is 14. She has not been to Fairyland in over a year. She fears this is because she is growing up and believes grown ups do not go to Fairyland. September is engaging in odd jobs to save up money to use to pay her own way the next time she is in Fairyland. After encountering a woman and her dog named Beatrice who are repairing some sparks in the fence between the two worlds, September basically rides in on the Blue Windís coattails into Fairyland. There she experiences a lot of resentment as it is not quite the way she left it and Charlie Crunchcrab is ruling with an iron fist. So anyways, September ends up heading to the moon and meeting back up with A Through L and Saturday. She has been tasked with returning a Yetiís paw. And thatís the most basic summary of The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland And Cut The Moon In Two that I can give you all. Whoo. I feel like I need to take a break after typing all that.
I like that as the Fairyland series goes on, September ages and grows up. I suppose if you have kids and are reading it with them, they can age on as September ages. As I mentioned above, September is 14 in this book. Sheís no longer the young girl she was in the first book. Sheís matured, grown and changed. Sheís experiencing the ennui of being a young teenager. Thereís a scene in the book where September goes to the Restless Sea and as someone who was once young and stuck, I could completely relate to her feelings even if they were the result of a fantastical sea. I think that Valente does a great job of capturing what it is like to be a young teenager. I mean, September is still brave and headstrong. Yet, she changes too. Sheís grown a heart, after all. I just think you need to read this to understand her character growth Ė obviously.
What strikes me the most about Valenteís The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland And Cut The Moon In Two are all of my feelings about the secondary characters, actually just one secondary character. I am so freaking attached to Ell you guys. In this book, heís finally working in a library, but the powder wig librarian has cursed him so that every time he breathes fire, he shrinks. AND OMG, it is sad. I got so upset I had to look ahead to make sure he ends up okay. That is how intense my feelings are for the wyvern. Heís just such a great, loyal character that I canít help feeling completely attached and more than a little bit protective.
If you like your books smart and philosophical with some meat for discussion, consider reading the third Fairyland book. Within it, I found an interesting look at the debate of fate versus free will. Itís pretty heady stuff for a childrenís book, but honestly, I think maybe we underestimate children and perhaps they can handle it. Thereís a brilliant scene where September considers fate and just sort of rejects it. I love that. I kind of wish I had people to discuss my thoughts on whether I believe more in fate or free will (spoiler alert: I lean more on the side of free will), but I think that this book provides a good catalyst for that.
Frankly, Valenteís writing is just plain brilliant. Itís sort of ornamented writing but not in a way that feels obnoxious. I guess what I really like is that her words kind of take my imagination all over the place. I think itís neat that she writes this imagery and it just sets me to thinking of things I had not considered before. ALSO! I just want to end on this note and state that The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland And Cut The Moon In Two is the first book in this series that actually has a cliffhanger which sort of threw me, but whatever, I still love this book and recommend it with all my heart.
Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher
Other reviews of The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland And Cut The Moon In Two:
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-Catherynne Valente is going on tour from October 1 to October 17. Tour info can be found here: http://www.macteenbooks.com/ya/the-girl-who-soared-over-fairyland-and-cut-the-moon-in-two-book-tour/
-Watch the book trailer for Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWztk_QB5_U
-Watch the book trailer for Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQNqCb_yVpw
-Watch the series book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYG_f7iH3wk
-Read an excerpt of The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two: http://www.scribd.com/doc/163765615/The-Girl-Who-Soared-Over-Fairyland-and-Cut-the-Moon-in-Two-Chapter-Excerpt
-Visit Catherynneís website: http://www.catherynnemvalente.com/
-Follow Catherynne Valente on Twitter: https://twitter.com/catvalente
-Fairyland Series Page: http://fairylandbook.com