Review of Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi!
Quick View Review
Overall Rating: **** (4.4/5)
Goodreads Rating: **** (4.15/5)
One Sentence Review: A whimsical read with wonderful characters that just make you endlessly happy, this book makes me think of a fun mashup of Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Tollbooth; it’s a light read you’ll get through quickly but that you won’t be able to help loving.
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. (summary from amazon.com)
If I had to describe this book in just one word, it would be joyful, because for some reason, this book just lifted my spirits and made me constantly smile. Even through the rough patches that every plot inevitably goes through, I couldn’t help but sigh happily and maybe emit a little giggle at the fun and pleasant absurdity of everything that took place throughout the novel.
I had never really heard much or read anything by Tahereh Mafi until I saw her speak at YALLWEST. Her keynote with Marie Lu was so incredible and inspiring, though, that I just knew I had to pick up one of her books right away. Something in me just knew her writing would be beautiful, her plots meticulously thought-out, her characters breathtakingly perfect.
And in the case of Furthermore, my instincts were definitely right on track.
I loved everything about this book, despite the fact that I’m not usually the biggest fan of middle grade stories. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the characters, especially Alice, of course; from the beginning, she found the soft spot in my heart with her sweet innocence and desire to just make the world a better place despite everything holding her back.
And no romance! What a new idea! Although I’m sure (I hope?) most middle grade novels don’t possess a love story, for me personally, I loved just witnessing an adventure without thinking or worrying about love interests and tangled relationships.
As for the plot, the words I would use to describe it would be intriguing and entertaining. Both are meant to reflect positively on the story: this book didn’t need nail-biting action or suspense to have you racing to the last page, because you just wanted to enjoy the ride and see where the path of the plot would take you. This book isn’t stressful, didn’t have me screaming or wanting to tear my eyes out like so many others do, but was instead relaxing in the best way possible.
And last but definitely not least, the fabulous fantastic spectacular writing. Need I say more? Mafi’s style might as well be poetry: it ebbs and flows so flawlessly.
Overall, this book was just absolutely lovely. Everything about it screams whimsical, fun, and happiness, and I suggest everyone, young adult and adult readers included, give this extraordinary piece of writing a shot. I know that I will absolutely be picking up more of Mafi’s work in the future, because as much as I loved this book, I cannot wait to see her shine in the young adult genre too.
Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review!