Author: Tahereh MafiSeries: None
Released: August 30th 2016
Publisher: Dutton BfYR
Length: 416 pages
Source: Publisher for review
The bestselling author of the Shatter Me series takes readers beyond the limits of their imagination in this captivating new middle grade adventure where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.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 a 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.
Furthermore, Tahereh Mafi’s first (and hopefully not last) foray into middle grade fiction is a colorful exploration of what it means to be different in a society with set rules and expectations. In a style reminiscent of beloved childhood classics, Mafi weaves a tale of a girl’s quest for her father and for self-discovery.
Alice Alexis Queensmeadow was born with no pigment whatsoever: her skin is white, her hair is white, and only her eyes have the faintest trace of color. Alice would be a bit strange just about anywhere, but in Ferenwood, a land built on color, she is considered ugly and dim. With a mother that hardly cares and two younger siblings, Alice depends on her father for love and comfort. When her father disappears for almost three years, Alice is crushed and ready to do anything to bring him home, even follow a lying boy into the unknown. With her nemesis Oliver as her guide, Alice embarks on a journey that will cost her a great deal (even a few limbs) and hopefully lead her to her father.
Furthermore is a rich world filled with things beyond your wildest imagination. Mafi allowed herself to dream and play, bringing to life things like paper foxes and emergency rulers. If you can imagine the most colorful world with no limits, you’re getting close to Furthermore. We as readers quickly become desperate to explore every corner, every nook and cranny of this magical place.
Mafi’s writing is completely liberated and whimsical, freed from confines and expectations. She is a writing chameleon with a fantastic ability to adapt her writing style to her themes and narrative voices. Furthermore is told by a third person omniscient narrator who often addresses us directly, which also serves to remind us of timeless children’s classics.
I suspect that some adults might have trouble with Tahereh’s style, as was the case with her YA trilogy, but I myself was always a fan of her writing and I’m still very much in awe of her skill. I read parts of Furthermore aloud to my 9-year-old and she laughed and wondered at its beauty.
With Furthermore, each new page is a wonderful adventure and they all combine into a reading experience you won’t soon forget. As much as I’d like to read a new young adult book from Tahereh, I hope she won’t stop writing middle grade.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.