Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lovely and Whimsical: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: None
Released: August 30th 2016
Publisher: Dutton BfYR
Length: 416 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

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.


  1. I saw someone else review this the other day as well and they really liked it too. I loved her first book in her trilogy so I'm guessing I would like this one as well.

  2. a ruler? what does a ruler do? but the setting sounds exotic and exciting

  3. I'm not much into middle grade books but this one sounds like one hell of a premise. I might have to check it out.

  4. Oh I didn't know that she tried another genre but that's nice!

  5. I really appreciated Mafi's writing style with her Shatter Me series, but just didn't think that this middle grade book would be my sort of read, I barely read middle grade these days. But once again I think you've convinced me to give this one a go, Mafi's world building sounds exquisite! Gorgeous review Maja! :)

  6. I don't typically read MG Maja, but I don't think I can miss out on this one! I loved her writing style in the Shatter Me books, so I know I'll love it here as well:)

  7. I was delighted to obtain a signed copy of this at BEA. You have me eager to read it :)

  8. I started this one but I was too excited about EoS to really get into it, but I hope to give it another try once I'm done, because I love her writing!

  9. I haven't tried her Shatter Me series, but I'm curious to give this one a shot. I love the Alice in Wonderland vibe I'm getting from the story.

  10. I was wondering about this for Risa, She will be eight on Sunday, so if your nine year old loved it, I think I will get it for Risa for us to read. I can't resist.

  11. I need to finish the Shatter Me series. I enjoyed her writing and loved it on audio. I think this one sounds like a good gifting book to some in this age group I know (where I read it first... you know.. to make sure it is appropriate *cough*). ;D

  12. I don't read middle grade books but I just love the cover for this one and the synopsis sounds really good! I'm glad you enjoyed this one :)
    Genesis | Latte Nights Reviews

  13. I have not read any of her books and never been interested. But I think I would like to read this one soon.

    Yani // Paper Boulevard

  14. I'm thrilled you enjoyed this, Maja! I'm so looking forward to reading this. I adore a good MG title and I can't wait to see what Mafi creates with this magical world.

  15. Definitely a yes for me! I'll try to get a copy of this one ASAP!!!

  16. This book obviously caught my attention thanks to its pretty cover. Now I want to check it out because of that very interesting premise. Also, it seems like the world she created is unique and promising. :)

  17. The cover is fantastic and the world sounds really interesting, and I am curious to see how Taherah Mafi's writing style works for a MG novel. (Does this one still have the crossings out?) I don't read that many Middle Grade novels, but this one definitely sounds like it's worth picking up.

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