Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Giveaway + Review of The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon In Two by Catherynne M. Valente


The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3)


***THIS IS A REVIEW OF BOOK THREE IN A SERIES AND MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR ITS PREDECESSORS.  PLEASE SEE LINKS BELOW FOR REVIEWS OF PREVIOUS BOOKS***
Book 1: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship of Her Own Making
Book 2: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There


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.
 

Here is another rich, beautifully told, wisely humorous, and passionately [layered] book from New York Times-bestselling author, Catherynne M. Valente.

(Summary from GoodReads)


Finding a book that I love often gives me really mixed emotions.  I love having a new book to add to my favorites, push on everyone I know, and display on my shelves.  However, a lot of anticipation comes when the author puts out a new book.  What if it’s not as good as the first book?  What if none of their other books ever live up to my first love?  Since I fell head over heels for the first Fairyland book and then even harder for the second one, you can see why I was so nervous about picking up The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon In Two.  Although this book had the quirkiness and charm that I love in this series, I found that it lacked the direction and depth of the first two books.

September is finally becoming a teenager.  Parts of her childhood are losing their charm, and with her father home from the war, she starts to see a darker side of life.  She’s at an uncertain point in her emotional development—she sometimes isn’t sure how well she fits into her Oklahoma life, and as soon as her journey back to Fairyland begins in this book, she realizes that her feelings about it and the people she loves there are more complex than she realized.

Valente has built up her world in fascinating and fitting ways.  Creating Fairyland Below and a moon makes the world feel truly whole, without ever feeling like a marketing ploy to sell more books.  I loved meeting creatures such as the Taxicrab, though I have to concede that some characters and places didn’t charm me as much as I’d met in the first two books, which is a matter of personal taste.  Because the moon is prominent here, Valente had some gorgeous imagery with stars, and I wish there had been more of that.  I think it would have made the book even more thought-provoking and literary.

While the world and characterization were still decent, the storyline of this book didn’t showcase Valente’s talent as a writer as nicely as the first two.  The first two books in the series made me feel as though there were lessons to chew over long after the novels were done.  What amazed me was not having these little lessons but how nicely veiled they were.    They were the type of lessons that have you saying, “Wow, great book” as you turn the final page, and then continuously reflecting back on the book and finding more depth even when you never intended to.  Valente tried to achieve this goal again here, and she didn’t quite get there. Had the story been more fleshed out in a few places she would have nailed it.  With all of this said, this installment is set in a transitional time in September’s life, moreso than the second, and I struggle with books where transition and questioning one’s self are major themes.  My criticisms may be more reflective of my own taste than the literary quality of this book, which is why I recommend checking out some other reviews.

Fairyland is still a wonderful series, and I need any other books that will be added to it.  It’s that simple.  Despite some reservations here, I still ultimately adore these characters and this world.  This volume may not have been perfect for me, but it’s still exceptional, and I have faith that Valente will charm me again in the future.

 I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review, and in this case, the publisher was kind enough to offer some items to give away.  If you don't know anything about this series but want to learn more, check out this non-spoiler series trailer.



You need these books in your life. Trust me.  With that said, here are the rules for the giveaway:
*One winner will receive a paperback copy of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In  A Ship of Her Own Making, a paperback copy of The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, and a hardcover copy of The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon In Two.
*Open to U.S./Canada only.
*The giveaway will end on October 21st at 11:59 p.m.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 comments:

  1. This is one of my favourite MG series. It's so whimsical and airy, yet so dark and dreary as well. Loved your review, Liz! Can't wait for this book to release soon! :)

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  2. Oooh, fun! I've been meaning to read this.

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  3. I loved the first one, I've been meaning to reread it before I pick up the sequels!

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  4. I love Cat Valente's work! Really want to read this series.

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  5. Gave the first book to my wife on Valentine's in lieu of flowers. No regrets

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  6. I fell in love with the first book when I listened to the audio version that was narrated by the author.....amazing!....sort of like Alice in Wonderland meets the Wizard of Oz.

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  7. lived the first book - and Deathless, too.

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  8. I'm really excited to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  9. Thanks for the giveaway! I've been eying this series for a while now, but just haven't had the time to start it yet. Hopefully soon!

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  10. Thanks much for sharing your review, and for the contest!

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  11. I actually own all three (plus the prequel) on Kindle, but am entering anyway, as my library does not and would accept the books as donations. I think this series needs to be included in my library's holdings. I love the series but agree with your review, I was unfortunately forced to give this book a 3 (of 5) star review but am hoping for a swing back to the storytelling of the first two in the final two books of the series.

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  12. Great contest, thanks for having this.

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  13. This one's been on my get-from-the-library list for a while. Time to move it up, maybe?

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