Catherynne M. Valente's THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING reminded me of why I fell in love with reading as a child. It's filled with beautiful prose, complex ideas, an engrossing setting, and lively and charming characters. The story follows a young girl named September as she's swept away from her home in Nebraska and journeys through Fairyland on a quest to right the wrongs brought on by their new ruler, the Marquess. Valente has a lot of fun with language in this book; in some places, the story almost feels like a poem, one that the reader gets to step inside. Valente has created a world in this series that's unlike anywhere I've ever ventured in literature. It has fun homages to the fantasy worlds we're familiar with, but its texture is completely its own. September is also a wonderful protagonist: clever, brave, and compassionate. She gets frustrated and frightened by the obstacles in her way, but her compassion always overcomes. I've wanted to put this book in the hands of everyone I know since the moment I finished it. It will enchant you.
After ordinary, 12-year-old September is told her help is needed in Fairyland, she is instructed by the Marquess to retrieve a talisman from the enchanted woods, which leads her to unexpected adventure and friendship.