Furthermore (Tahereh Mafi)

This is a middle grade novel.

Imma give it 3.5 stars.

It was good, you know. Actually it was really good until that ending.

It’s about this girl, Alice, that’s born colourless in a world full of colour, that uses colour to make magic. But being colourless is not her only problem. Her father has been missing for three years and now a frenemy, Oliver, offers her the opportunity to find her father together with him.

So we follow these two kids from their town, Ferenwood, to a whole new world of Furthermore, which has so much more crazy ass magic.

It’s a fun ride.

No, seriously, this book is such a fun ride. Furthermore is apparently split into 68 villages or something and each village has it’s own set of rules, landscapes, lifeforms etc. And each village is so creative. I was ready to get hit with all 68 villages, but alas, that was not to be in this 400 page book. And I understand. That’s okay. I think we get about 5-6 villages in total. And they were so nice to read about. Like the creativity of the author to come up with these worlds. It was nice.

But. If you go in expecting the world to make sense, you may be disappointed. The book doesn’t explore how the world is made possible, it doesn’t actually explain the rules of the magic, it just tells you this is how it is. For the most part, you have to kind of go with it. If you’re really particular about how worlds work, I wouldn’t recommend picking up this book. But if you think you’ll be okay with just having the concept of these villages, then you’ll enjoy some lyrical writing and creative exploration into different magical realms. Please proceed with this book.

My other peeve was the narrator’s voice. At many instances, the narrator appears and it just takes me out of the story. I mean the narrator’s voice is fine, it’s a fun voice. It’s just I don’t like having a narrator voice at all. But I don’t think this is a good reason not to pick up this magical book. Just like blurry rules of the worlds, I can also look past this.

The characters are fine for 12 and 13 year olds. They’re smarter than most characters I’ve read which is why I completed this book. But you know, I spent so much time enjoying the experiences of these kids in these villages that at some point I could no longer be bothered to find out about the father that’s missing/stuck in Furthermore. Like who cares about that guy.

Oops. Heh.

But here’s my main issue with the book: these two kids, they go through a lot in these villages which are trying to kill them. People lose limbs, they lose their lives. There’s so much build up to rescuing the father. Like the dude’s locked up somewhere far and impossible to get to. So much build up.

And then Alice and Oliver find him by……….. what seems like damn chance. I don’t understand why Alice was required for this rescue.

And although the book is creative, I don’t know if middle graders deserve that ending.

I would have loved this book to have been a duology or even slightly longer.

Would recommend if you’re looking for a light magical read.

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