Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on August 30, 2016
Genres: Childrens, Middle Grade, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic
Pages: 400 Format: ARC Source: BEA
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.
But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit—and with a liar by her side in land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.
I acquired this ARC from the publisher at Book Expo America. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Having never read anything previously by Tahereh Mafi, I thought Furthermore would be a great jumping in point for her writing and I was definitely right! In Ferenwood magic comes in the brightest of colors and Alice Alexis Queensmeadow has always felt out of place. An adventure to save her father takes her to a new land, forcing Alice to question everything she’s come to believe. Beautiful and vivid, this story really shined!
Alice Alexis Queensmeadow was such a wonderful character. She’s always been different and it’s hard for her to admit her true talents. And yet Alice is still open to adventure and putting herself out there. The other MC, Oliver Newbanks, grated on Alice but had a quiet kindness too him even if it was hidden behind all his lies. The emotion and depth shared by the two of them was so encouraging especially in a middle grade story. There were definitely some tears shed.
This was an absolute visual feast of a book. The descriptions were so detailed and vibrant. Colors jump off of each and every page and it was essential to the very foundation of the story. The magic in Ferenwood came directly from the luscious hues and glorious beauty of the world and it made for an absolutely stunning setting. There was so much to take in, so many elements to behold. It was a sensory explosion!
With all of that being said I did have a couple of issues with this one. I felt like the very detailed nature of this book while beautiful also bogged down the flow of the narrative on multiple occasions. It was like getting lost in the descriptions. The narration also bothered me a bit and it was hard to get use to. Plus I thought the ending was way rushed, and I wanted more out of it.
Overall Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi was fun and a very enjoyable read. Filled to the brim with magnificent colors and quirky characters, this one was a great middle grade novel. It held important issues dealing with growing up and honesty as well as the fears that come with them. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone in the middle grade range as well as those who love lush descriptions.
So are you planning to read Furthermore? Do you love books filled with vibrancy and color? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!