Furthermore is the debut Middle Grade book by Tahereh Mafi. It is a standalone fantasy novel perfect for all ages to read. I finally got a chance to read the ARC that I have had for a while. I was glad to read it at this time near its release date. It was very much worth the wait.
Furthermore is a portal fantasy of the best kind. While lamenting her colorless existence (in a world where color equals fortune and power), Alice chooses to sacrifice the wrong Surrender during her coming-of-age ritual. Now, purposeless, she aids Oliver Newbanks, a boy who once taunted her for her looks, in his Surrendered task – to find her missing Father.
Furthermore is utterly enchanting; a treat of a read for anyone who loves a good yarn. I read the first page and fell in love, then read it aloud to my husband and watched as he fell in love as well. Since then, we have been fighting over who gets to read the book. Suffice it to say, I won.
The characterization in this book is really powerful. There are only a handful of people who really matter but we as readers identify with each and every one of them. There is also an element of classic fantasy; of Oz and Wonderland while retaining something new and unique. It has a touch of magic to it that will appeal to readers generations from now.
There is also a highly sensitive touch with regards to prejudices, in judging a person based solely upon their looks. I suspect that the author herself is no stranger to this as she has handled the subtle complexities of the problems with a deftness I can only wonder at. There is a stunning narrative surrounding this young miraculous girl who is like no one else she knows – a battle of the haves and the have-nots. It feels a bit like Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches if you would drop the lessons learned from that tale into a magical world. Even that feels like too ham-fisted of a comparison, but I have nothing else to offer. It’s a gorgeous job that Mafi has done with this book. Truly, I am in awe.
Beautifully written with lush prose, Furthermore takes you into a stunning new fantasy world where beauty is king and specific ideals of appearance matter far more than they should. The vivid descriptions and thrilling storytelling will carry you along at a quick pace but you really should stay simply for Alice, who is the undisputed star of the show. I loved this book, through and through.
5 out of 5 stars.
– Follow the Reader –