Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Tahereh Mafi - Furthermore - Book Review


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. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit—and with a liar by her side in a land where nothing is as it seems, 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.


This is the first middle-grade adventure written by the New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series. The author is the wife of Ransom Riggs (author of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) whom you might be familiar with. The book cover illustration is by Iacopo Bruno and reflects the story inside so well and in so many ways. When you first turn the pages you find yourself visiting an amazing story which is full of vibrant colour. This is a middle-grade read where the real magic begins. It is a story of unexpected friendship, humour and character warmth. 

This story is wonderfully enchanting and colourful - so much so that you may need sunglasses in order to read it. The story has been inspired by the author's love of reading as a child. She has taken all of her favourite books and thrown them onto an artist's palette to create a painting that will transport the reader into a magical adventure like no other. As a result, you'll find yourself hiding inside a floating cloud one minute and being attacked by a paper fox the next. 

The book starts very slowly, just like a babbling brook. The language is diverse and flowery creating words which shower down on you like little confetti petals. I loved the language and great use of metaphors. However, at times, the story did feel very whimsical and the humour did not always balance out the serious side of the story. I did wonder whether some of the strong subjects such as cannibalism might be more suited to an older audience than intended.

I really loved reading this book as, from the very first page, it screamed out individuality. It captures your attention and pulls you full throttle through the plot; it is certainly not conventional. The book is based around two main characters (Alice and Oliver) who develop an unexpected friendship. I enjoyed the different perspectives and voices that this brought as well as the author's engagement and dialogue with the reader.

If you are looking for something different and special this year to read, then this is the book for you. It just might take a little time to settle in your brain as you think about what you have read. This is a five star rainbow extravaganza. 
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