First of all, apologies for the lack of posts the last few weeks; I have had a crazy workload, and this will continue to be the case into late-November. This has unfortunately coincided with a vasculitis flare, so the result has been that I’ve not really been reading much the last few weeks. When I finish work I’ve just been collapsing on the settee and binge-watching Scrubs. I’ve got dozens of books on my TBR pile (s) but I just haven’t had the energy.
I saw so many instagram posts on this book leading up to its release, and had to pre-order it. The cover is just beautiful, the colours are really rich and jewel like. My picture is a bit rubbish, because it was taken at night, I did not plan my blogs well this week, but trust me, this is a gorgeous book. I’m actually gutted it’s a paperback and not a hardback. My copy is already a bit scuffed after one reading, and it is one of the books I will definitely reread.
From the blurb:
Once upon a time, a girl was forgot.
Twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow has only three things in the world that matter: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; triplet brothers, who never knew her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him, so some said he’d gone to measure the sea. Others said the sky. The moon. Maybe he’d learned to fly and had forgotten how to come back down. But it’s been almost six 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. No matter the cost.
Firstly there is a mistake in the blurb- in the book Alice’s father has been missing 3 years, not 6. Secondly, this book is clearly based on Alice in Wonderland.
Alice lives in the magical land of Ferenwood with her mother and 2 (pretty sure it’s not 3) brothers. In Ferenwood everything is brightly coloured and the land is infused with magic; the inhabitants consume this magic by eating plants, fruits and vegetables. Each person has a “talent” that is showcased in a ceremony called the Surrender when they reach the age of 12. Each individual taking part in the ceremony will be assigned a task to complete over the following year, utilising their natural gifts. The person with the strongest or most impressive talent will be awarded the most important task.
Alice has decided that she will win first place at her Surrender. Alice has had a difficult time for the last few years, especially after her father disappeared. He was the only person to make Alice feel beautiful and believe in herself.In a world where everyone is judged on their appearance Alice is the only person without colour. Her hair and skin are white, and her eyes have the smallest amount of pigment. Everyone else has vivid hair, skin and eyes, so Alice feels as though she just fades into the background.
Alice is practising her dancing talent, so that she will be prepared to wow the judges, when she is accosted by Oliver, a beautiful, brightly pigmented boy who called Alice ugly at school. He is a year older then Alice so he was already assigned his task and says he needs her help. He asks Alice to give up her one chance to be taken seriously by the people of Ferenwood to help him finish his task. Oliver needs Alice to go with him to Furthermore, a mysterious land from which people never return. If she does make this sacrifice, he says he will tell Alice where her father is. What will Alice decide to do? Either way, adventure is inevitable.
This is a really strange novel and Tahereh Mafi’s first book for younger readers. I don’t want to say too much, as it is so easy to give spoilers with this book, as you don’t really know anything going in. The writing is very dense, the author paints a vivid picture of both Ferenwood and Furthermore, and the world is wonderfully whimsical. It takes a while to get to grips with the bookverse, but once you do you’ll be hooked. I feel that it took me a long time to read this book, because there is so much information to absorb. If you pick it up, prepare to invest a few days to finish it. I gave it 4/5 stars because the ending seemed really rushed, but it is really a 4.5 – I can’t figure out how to do half stars on Goodreads.
Furthermore is available in paperback R.R.P. £7.99.
Let me know if you’ve read this book, plan to read it or will be giving it a miss.