Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will 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 Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss. (Goodreads)
My rating: 2 Stars
I liked parts…but not all.
I was really looking forward to this book. The cover is so much fun. The idea is so neat. I’ve heard so many rave reviews of it. And yet… it didn’t thrill me.
The concept is super cool. Alice lives in a world where magic and colour coincide. And she, sadly, is completely lacking colour. She has no colour whatsoever. This unfortunately, sets her apart in a not-so-great way from the rest of the folks in her town. Add to that that her dad has gone missing and her mom doesn’t seem to like her much, and this girl’s life is a little rough.
As a middle grade novel, I think this book works really well. Alice is dealing with a lot of the things that tweens deal with (bullying, loneliness, parents, siblings, wants vs needs) and yet in a fantastical setting that makes them a little easier to read about without things feeling forced.
The illustrations are gorgeous!
I love the little images and notes added throughout the book. It really was fun to turn the page and discover another cute little fox or banner with an intriguing phrase.
But…I just didn’t love this book like I expected to.
It was interesting. But it was also difficult for me to follow in places. The world is complex, and there were moments where I just didn’t understand. And — quite a few scenes felt far too coincidental to me. Especially the ending. It felt very rushed. Suddenly everything worked out and was wonderful. I expected more nuance. Middle Grade readers are smart. They can put details together and this ending felt a little bit like the author thought okay, it’s long enough, let’s just wrap this up.
As much as I didn’t love this book, I’m still intrigued enough to read the companion book, Whichwood. But, like Furthermore, it will probably be a library pick for me.
What did you think of Furthermore?