Title: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Dutton Books For Young Readers
My Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
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 A 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.
First and foremost, to the one who designed the cover page of Furthermore, I bow down to your magical talent! I fell in love with the cover even before I went on Goodreads to check the synopsis. I love the blends of colors and details, kudos to the team who created this incredible cover!
Furthermore started off with the story of this almost twelve year old girl called Alice. She believes that she’s an outcast- for her donning milky white skin, hair, basically everything from head to toe. It wouldn’t be so weird if the rest weren’t filled with so much…well, color.
“Red was ruby, green was fluorescent, yellow was simply incandescent. Color was life. Color was everything.
Color, you see, was the universal sign of magic.”
Despite the fact that she has not even a bit of color on her, Alice is an extremely confident little girl. Although she knows that she’s different, Alice tries very hard to embrace her little quirks. This is an important lesson for everyone, no matter young or old. The struggle of accepting yourself even if your family doesn’t accept your imperfections isn’t easy. Tahereh instilled a lot of this at the first half of the book, and I couldn’t appreciate more.
“Alice knew that being different would always be difficult; she knew that there was no magic that would erase narrow-mindedness or iron out the inequities in life. But Alice was also beginning to learn that life was never lived in absolutes. People would both love her and rebuff her; they would show both kindness and prejudice. The simple truth was that Alice would always be different—but to be different was to be extraordinary, and to be extraordinary was an adventure. It no longer mattered how the world saw her; what mattered was how Alice saw herself. Alice”
Speaking of Tahereh Mafi’s writing, this is the first book I’ve read by her, and what an incredible talent she has! I absolutely adore the way she weave the worlds of Ferenwood, almost wishing I was a resident of that land.
Okay-okay, let me get to my favorite part of the book, and it’s FERENWOOD! OMG! For the first 100 pages, I was transported to Ferenwood and gaping at the breathtaking beauty of the land. Burst of colors everywhere and everything is exceedingly and extremely magical! I loved the landscape setting of this world. She wrote about Ferenwood so damn well and there’s nothing to complain about that.
The plot is a simple but an interesting one. Alice basically wants to prove her worth to world and when she officially turns twelve, she’ll take up an adventure worthy of her talent and at the same time to seek her lost father. However, her plan is interrupted when the deceitful Oliver asked Alice to postpone her “Surrender” and promise to bring her to her father.
I especially loved a page from the book, because it’s highly relatable. Her agony of losing her lost father and how she’s dealing with it spoke to me. That was the part where I had to take a break and reminisce my own moments with my late father.
And we have come to the part where I was too confused to keep up- The world of Furthermore. This land has many sets of rules and it’s quite a chore to keep up. However, what really irks me was the dialogues exchange between Alice & Oliver.
“Alice: Oliver, what’s that?”
“Oliver: Alice, I’ll tell you later.”
“Oliver: What are you looking at Alice?
Oliver: I’ll tell you soon, promise.”
“Alice: Oliver, Where are we going? What’s happening?
Oliver: We don’t have time, I’ll tell you in a while”
They were supposedly hurdling adventures in Furthermore, but to me it’s a little too draggy for my preference. Thankful for Tahereh’s rich imagination, I soldiered on till the end.
Speaking of the ending, I felt it was a little too rushed. Everything took place suddenly, therefore the closure was pretty abrupt. Though, I think we shouldn’t forget that this is actually a book targetted for much younger readers, all is good I guess.
However, I really think you should give this colorful book a chance, because the first half of just too beautiful to be missed and that definitely makes up to the flaws at the second half.
Anyway guys, thank you so much for taking the time to read this review. Till next time, Adiyos!