Series: Fairyland

Waiting on Wednesday – The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (Fairyland #4) by Catherynne M. Valente

July 2, 2014 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 6 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (Fairyland #4) by Catherynne M. ValenteThe Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente
Illustrator: Ana Juan
Series: Fairyland #4
Published by Feiwel & Friends on March 3rd 2015
Pages: 256
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Format: Hardcover
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

When a young troll named Hawthorn is stolen from Fairyland by the Golden Wind, he becomes a changeling – a human boy -- in the strange city of Chicago, a place no less bizarre and magical than Fairyland when seen through trollish eyes. Left with a human family, Hawthorn struggles with his troll nature and his changeling fate. But when he turns twelve, he stumbles upon a way back home, to a Fairyland much changed from the one he remembers. Hawthorn finds himself at the center of a changeling revolution--until he comes face to face with a beautiful young Scientiste with very big, very red assistant.

Time magazine has praised Catherynne M. Valente's Fairyland books as "one of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century." In this fourth installment of her saga, Valente 's wisdom and wit will charm readers of all ages.

About Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente was born on Cinco de Mayo, 1979 in Seattle, WA, but grew up in in the wheatgrass paradise of Northern California. She graduated from high school at age 15, going on to UC San Diego and Edinburgh University, receiving her B.A. in Classics with an emphasis in Ancient Greek Linguistics. She then drifted away from her M.A. program and into a long residence in the concrete and camphor wilds of Japan.

She currently lives in Maine with her partner, two dogs, and three cats, having drifted back to America and the mythic frontier of the Midwest.

The summary is intriguing but sounds almost like a spin-off. Wonder if September will be making an appearance?

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Audiobook Review – The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland #3) by Catherynne M. Valente

January 23, 2014 Bonnie Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Middle Grade, Read in 2014 7 Comments

Audiobook Review – The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland #3) by Catherynne M. ValenteThe Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente
Series: Fairyland #3
Published by LLC on October 11, 2013
Length: 8 hours and 22 minutes
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

three-half-stars

“One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century.”—Time magazine, on the Fairyland series

September misses Fairyland and her friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. She longs to leave the routines of home and embark on a new adventure. Little does she know that this time, she will be spirited away to the moon, reunited with her friends, and find herself faced with saving Fairyland from a moon-Yeti with great and mysterious powers.

The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two is another rich, beautifully told, wisely humorous, and passionately layered book from New York Times–bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente.

“Just because it’s imaginary doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”

In The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, September fears that now that she is 14 years old that she is much too old to be able to travel to Fairyland. Her fears become unwarranted as one afternoon she suddenly finds herself leaving her ordinary world once again. She’s joined again with her dear friends Saturday and A through L but instead of  journeying to Fairyland, she finds herself on an adventure to the very moon itself.

‘Shall I tell her? Shall I be a kind and merciful narrator and take our girl aside? Shall I touch her new, red heart and make her understand that she is no longer one of the tribe of heartless children, nor even the owner of the wild and infant heart of thirteen-year-old girls and boys? Oh, September!’

From the very beginning of the Fairyland series it has been said that are heartless and they have not yet grown a heart which is why they are able to do all the wonderful and amazing things one does when they are a child. The types of things that grown-ups with hearts frown upon and look on in fear. When children remain heartless they still retain their innocence. In this story, September finds herself in possession of a new, red heart and she’s not quite sure how to handle this. She fears that once she acknowledges its existence that the fun will all be over, that she will be forced home and will never be able to return to the wonderful world of Fairyland.

Having read the two previous Fairyland installments, I’ve grown used to (and grown to love) Valente’s florid use of words. Something seemed off with this one though. It was almost, dare I say, excessive? Her typical style of writing felt a tad overdone this time around and too ornate at times. While this installment may overuse the flowery writing, this entire series is a truly brilliant read. They are anything but simplistic and are actually extremely smart and sophisticated. The target audience may be middle graders and one might argue that they are much to complex for children of that age and they may be right. But technically there’s nothing wrong with a book that challenges a young reader. But personally, I think these stories serve as a tribute to those much loved children’s classics that Valente clearly draws deeply from such as Peter Pan, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Alice in Wonderland. And more so, I feel that they’re intended as a catalyst for those readers that still remain heartless to ease their concerns that the adventure isn’t over just because you’re grown up.

While Valente’s stories draw deeply from those classic children’s novels, she incorporates an eclectic blend of mythology, folk tales and fairy tales that make them wholly unique. Her novels will forever be a wonderful adventure to find yourself on.

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Early Review – The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

October 1, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. ValenteThe Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente
Series: Fairyland #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 2nd 2012
Pages: 258
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

four-half-stars

“One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century.”—Time magazine, on the Fairyland series

September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September’s shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland’s shadows back.

Fans of Valente’s bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September’s journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren’t always what they seem. . . .

Fairyland series

Hardly a day has passed since September hasn’t thought about Fairyland and Ell and Saturday and the Green Wind. Sometimes she even wonders whether she imagined the whole thing, but it was all so very real because September’s shadow is gone; she left it behind in Fairyland. But she’s thirteen now, and so much time has passed and she begins to think she’ll never make her way back, until one day she sees a rowboat floating across the fields behind her house. She knew this was her opportunity and hastened to follow them to wherever they were going. Upon her return, she realizes that Fairyland is quite different from when she left it several months ago and that September is not the only one missing her shadow now.

“…your light side isn’t a perfectly pretty picture, either, I promise you. You couldn’t dream without the dark. You couldn’t rest… You need your dark side, because without it, you’re half gone.”

September was once again an incredible character: full of heart, strength, and loyalty. Realizing that the problems in Fairyland stemmed from her actions from her previous visit, she didn’t hesitate for a second before starting her adventure to make things right. I loved the implications of the purpose of shadows and how their importance reaches far beyond their physical presence. Very mature topics that I see as being a fantastic ‘learning opportunity’ for children during a potential read-along with their parents. The writing is not just full of beautiful prose but manages to also have substantial meaning behind every word.

‘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 up away at the bottom of their hearts… all of those brave and wild and cunning and marvelous and beautiful parts they hid away and left in the dark to grow strange mushrooms–and yes, sometimes those wicked and unkind parts, too–end up in their shadow.’

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland was wonderful, original, and full of incredible prose and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland doesn’t disappoint. If anything, the second installment is even more brilliant. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland will be well received by children but I so love that it’s equally (if not more so) able to be enjoyed by adults. Catherynne M. Valente has definitely done it again; full of adventure mixed with a new take on old-world fairytales.

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Audiobook Review – The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

September 3, 2012 Bonnie Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 2 Comments

Audiobook Review – The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. ValenteThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Narrator: Catherynne M. Valente
Series: Fairyland #1
Published by Brilliance Audio on May 10, 2011
Length: 7 hours and 17 minutes
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

four-stars

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

“Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble.”

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making tells the story of a girl named September, who was actually born in May, who was fortunately born on a Tuesday, who is 12 years old, who’s mother builds planes and who’s father is off fighting in the war, and who is from Nebraska. She leaves her home one night with the Green Wind on the back of his flying leopard and doesn’t say goodbye and never looks back.

“… but as has been said, September read often, and liked it best when words did not pretend to be simple, but put on their full armor and rode out with colors flying.”

September was a charming child who was full of heart. She escaped to Fairyland in hopes of a little fun but what she got was not what she anticipated. Fairyland was full of violent and evil beings which was in all actuality no different than the world she left behind, yet, along the way she made some dear friends like Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday that made it all worthwhile.

“I wouldn’t even consider it if I were you. But then if I were you, I would not be me, and if I were not me, I would not be able to advise you, and if I were unable to advise you, you’d do as you like, so you might as well do as you like and have done with it.”

I’m quite glad that I took this adventure to ‘Fairyland’ via audio because I think the flowery words and huge sentences would have been too much for me to bear on print. As it was it still took some getting used to but I ended up enjoying this. ‘Fairyland’ (because it’s simply too long of a title to say repeatedly) is one of those Middle Grade novels that will be well loved by children because it’s adventurous and imaginative yet in retrospect will only be able to be truly understood and appreciated by an Adult reader. I do wish I had the second book on audio, but I think now that I know what to expect from the writing style I won’t have such difficulty.

Recommended for those that enjoy children fantasy stories with a dash of seriousness.

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