Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: August 30th, 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
A captivating and colorful adventure that reads like a modern day fairy tale, from the bestselling author of the Shatter Me series.
Inspired by her childhood love of books like The Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world 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. 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.
Before I start, let’s take a moment to appreciate that beautiful cover!
Okay, moment over.
I have to say, this book is unlike any book I’ve ever read, and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s such a fantastic, wildly imaginative book with marvelous story telling and I could just go on and on!
Furthermore reads like a fairy tale. Actually, it’s like someone is reading you a fairy tale before bed. With little asides from the author and addressing the reader with ‘dear friends’, it’s like Tahereh Mafi is talking to me about what’s happening to Alice and I love it!
The land of Furthermore is so weirdly fantastic that I have to admit it was a little difficult to keep up at times. There are so many new rules about the different parts of Furthermore and logic pretty much went sideways about 100 pages ago, but it is definitely fun to read about. I was actually expecting Furthermore to be more like Ferenwood, maybe a little more dangerous like the synopsis said, but I didn’t think it would be so dark.
I loved reading about Alice’s adventure and I definitely loved Alice herself. She’s a very likable 12-year-old and I like that she makes impulsive decisions like any 12-year-old would. Children think they’re invincible, right? Oliver on the other hand, took a while to warm up to. I didn’t really like him at first because of reasons (I don’t want to spoil anything so go read it yourself! 🙂 ), but eventually, I really love their friendship.
That said, I don’t think Furthermore is perfect. I did have some issues while reading the book. First of all, I found the magic system/currency a little confusing. I wanted more explanation on how magic works in Ferenwood. Furthermore is definitely more confusing, but I think that’s the point so I didn’t mind. Tahereh did say that Furthermore is “where down can be up, paper is alive and left can be both right and very, very wrong”. You’ll get it after you read it, I promise 🙂
Another issue I have with Furthermore is how abrupt the ending felt. After all the trouble Alice went through and all the dangers she faced, I thought the ending could’ve been longer and explored more. I think I felt the same way about the end of Ignite Me, so maybe that’s just Tahereh’s style?
I thought her writing style is amazing, as usual. It’s just so whimsical and the imagery is so vivid. I can see how it can be a hit or miss, though. Some people don’t like the excessively descriptive paragraphs, and some people (like me) do.
In the end, I think Furthermore is a wonderful story about family, friendship and embracing your differences told in beautifully written prose. I definitely recommend it! 🙂
– but to be different was to be extraordinary, and to be extraordinary was an adventure.
Tahereh Mafi, Furthermore