The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland . . . – Catherynne M. Valente

Twelve-year-old September is whisked away from her Nebraska home by the Green Wind and deposited in Fairyland.  She goes on a quest to save Fairyland from an evil ruler, meets curious characters, and goes home.  This book is getting rave reviews. ????  The illustrations are the best thing about the book.  The narrative is flowery and superfluous and grated on me.  The narration reminds me of Jim Dale’s narration in Pushing Daisies (short lived but excellent TV show) except the narration is annoying in this book.  September is a nice enough character with a take charge personality.  Saturday, the young Marid aka water djinni, has no real purpose in the storyline except at the very end.  We don’t get to know him at all.  It’s unfortunate that he was held prisoner and nice that he was released but I didn’t become emotionally invested in him.  I did like the young wyverary, A-Through-L, only because I have a soft spot for dragons, except he isn’t really a dragon but a wyverary.  The book is being described as Wizard of Oz meets Alice in Wonderland, maybe, sort of, but it tries too hard to be quirky and unique and clever.  I’m not sure who the intended audience is.  I love fantasy, so I really wanted to like this book and kept reading hoping that I’d come around.  Everyone has different tastes, so for some, this book obviously resonates.

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