I am guilty of taking Furthermore off the shelf merely because a) the cover is gorgeous and b) I had heard so much about Mafi in the YA world. So without really reading the back summary, I ended up diving into the audiobook and I am not disappointed at all. Furthermore is the type of book I wish I read growing up. It’s whimsical, profound, and dangerous.
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.
When I think about Furthermore I think whimsy. There’s magic in the very words. Whether it be the descriptions of food, or the way they travel between worlds, or even Alice herself – everything drips of magical whimsy. It’s one of those stories where things don’t often make sense, and that’s the entire point. Futhermore is one of those stories I know I would have loved as a middle grade reader. Alice struggles with being so visibly out of place, missing her father, all while feelings so terribly alone.
Furthermore is told in an interesting stye of an outside narrator, almost like we are reading someone tell us a story. The only thing I can think of it being similar to is the intro of, ‘The Princess Bride’ movie. But what this allows us to do, is to see inside both Alice and Oliver’s feelings, but also to kind of get an outside perspective. So when the narrator tells us they don’t understand something or skips ahead, we feel almost included in this. Granted listening to Furthermore via audiobook definitely contributed to this feeling.
But Furthermore is a story about friendship, being vulnerable, and telling our truths. It’s about accepting our differences, how the world can make us feel lesser for being different, but how we need to accept ourselves. It’s full of a quest for love, where alongside you can find unexpected friends, perilous danger, and self-understanding. Alice is headstrong, smart, and passionate and your heart will skip a beat just being able to understand how alone Alice feels. But by the end of the book, and throughout the roller coaster of their trip into Furthermore, you’ll find a charming story about love and self-acceptance.