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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.

406 pages, Hardcover

First published August 30, 2016

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About the author

Tahereh Mafi

48 books44.6k followers
Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California with her husband, fellow author Ransom Riggs. She can usually be found over-caffeinated and stuck in a book. Shatter Me is her first series, with television rights optioned by ABC Signature Studios; Furthermore, her first middle grade novel, is on shelves now, and Whichwood, its darker companion, will be on shelves November 14, 2017.

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5 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,503 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews168k followers
August 31, 2016

This was such a whimsical read! I can't say that I liked it more than the shatter me trilogy, but it's also COMPLETELY different than the SM trilogy. The writing was everything. Can Tahereh Mafi teach me how she does it? I'm jealous of her craft! The one thing that I had a major issue with in this book is that the world of furthermore is HECKA confusing. Like, I'm still questioning it. I feel like every 5 pages we'd learn about a new rule or a new weird aspect of the world and I'd be left feeling confused. At the same time, I almost feel like she wanted it to be that way. Furthermore might be something that you're not supposed to fully understand. I just didn't feel like it was a strong point in this story. Overall though, I really enjoyed this book! (Full video book review to come!)

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Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
916 reviews13.9k followers
August 2, 2016
I might bump this book up to five stars but I need to sit on it for a little. I read this book so slowly to let it sink in, but I'm already dying for a sequel. The main thing I take away from this book is that the writing is just so goddamn PERFECT. Tahereh has such an unprecented use of metaphor that the colors and the scenery in this book were the most vividly described experiences I have ever read. Transitioning from a series with little world building, I ADORED Ferenwood. It was like Diagon Alley on cocaine (I will be using this comparison a lot. Stay tuned.) Dare I say the writing is better than Shatter Me, but it definitely rivals the series. One thing I adored about this writing is that it utilizes SECOND PERSON!!!!!!!! Tahereh would use little asides addressing the reader, and it absolutely made my day to be referred to as "dear friend." I felt like I was curled up in her lap as she was telling me a bedtime story, it was such an interesting style of narration.
ALICE!!!! Oh my god, I ADORED Alice. If you put down Shatter Me because you thought Juliette was weak, Alice will blow your mind. The sass and the confidence packed into this twelve year old is so admirable, I fell in love with her immediately. She's like book 3 Juliette on crack (told you). Sometimes she took this confidence a little too far and it made her a bit impulsive, which I'll touch on later. And I was fully expecting to love Oliver just as much. Any character with a Y chromosome written by Tahereh Mafi, no matter what age, I was expecting to fall deeply in love with. And being honest, Oliver fell flat to me. He was sorta a jerk. I mean, I did have a mini panic session when he was described as pristine and clean (!!! LIKE !!!! SOMEONE! !! !! ELSE!! !!!!!), but he was not a good match for Alice. He was rude and expected so much of her without giving her instructions, and all this caused a really irritating rivalry between them. Perhaps I was let down because my expectations were high, but regardless, as a character he was still really fleshed-out and the dialogue between them had me in fits of grinning.
Now let's talk world building. I already mentioned how much I loved Ferenwood. Take The Capitol mixed with Diagon Alley, and there you have it. The imagery is UNREAL everything is so vivid. But although the town was described very nicely, I wish we had more explanation of the magic system. I feel like toward the end of the book you get a clearer explanation of talents and the magical coins that contain power, but at the beginning (when it matters most), I was very confused. Some things just needed to be explicitly explained up front, like how Oliver's talent of lying works and how the money/magic is used. One last complaint about the world-- I was having a hard time not comparing it too closely to Harry Potter. It seemed very similar, and knowing how much Tahereh loves the series, I was noticing that the two books came out a bit similar. A town's own currency, a street with magic shops, and just little things like that which I could draw a parallel. Surely J.K. Rowling doesn't have a trademark on any of these things, but the fact that I could stop and think "Hmmm that kind of reminds me of Harry Potter" was a bit concerning.
Onto Furthermore. I gotta say, I wasn't too impressed. This is partially my own fault because somehow when I read the synopsis I missed the part that literally described Futhermore as "dangerous," so I was expecting a light and happy trip through fields of flowers on the way to find her father. And this book was much, MUCH darker than I had anticipated. And sadly, I felt as if it could have been described a lot better. Coming from Ferenwood which was so bright and lovely and well-described, Furthermore seemed so bleak that I literally couldn't imagine it. It seemed like Oliver and Alice were just walking through blank, black landscape for half the book. I would say that this book needs some type of illustration or map, but even that might be impossible because there's no coherent left, right, up, or down inside Furthermore. And this is the root of one of my main issues with the book-- because the reader doesn't know what to expect as far as what sorts of magic can be expected in Furthermore, we're kinda just dragged along blindly and experience everything as the characters do. This goes back to I wish we had been explained things more explicitly, and I wish that Oliver could have given Alice a debriefing on what to expect, or just something to prepare the reader for what Furthermore is like, because I'm still a bit confused on all the different villages they visited and how all those different realms are sewn together.
Going back to Alice acting impulsively: if this was any other author, it would probably annoy me. But since it's Tahereh, I reconciled it with myself and couldn't help thinking IT HAS A MORAL!!! HER MISTAKES SERVE A PURPOSE!!!! But even then, and I'm not sure if it's because this is middle grade, Alice had a tendency to think stupidly sometimes, which was frustrating. And that's a sentence I found myself saying a lot. "But it's middle grade." I was very hesitant going into this just because of that fact. And yeah, I think maybe some facets of the book were simplified for the sake of the genre, but it was still well-done. One aspect of it's middle-gradeness, if you will, was that it implemented some made-up words and "childish explanations." I'm gonna compare it to Rick Riordan using his lame jokes in the Percy Jackson series; I adored it because I'm a fan of Tahereh and literally anything she has to say, but I can see how others might take it as annoying. It just depends on what kind of reader you are, and how much you can handle whimsy and silly metaphors.
In the end, I think this just wrapped up too conveniently. The ending was very rushed, sort of like in Ignite Me when things fall together seamlessly and a bit anti-climactically, and I would have liked to see a slower resolution that was explained better. It irritated me that the characters found such an easy way out after struggling for so long, how they made stupid decisions after being careful for so long.
I'm not sure if the problems I had with this book are because it was middle grade, or if some necessary details were just omitted. But I was absolutely sure I would be giving this five stars, and I'm left a little confused even though in the end, the main feeling that sticks with me is contentment. I would recommend this if you like REALLY whimsical books, if you like Tahereh's writing, or you just want an enchanting tale about a ridiculously sassy heroine going on a strange, dark adventure. And of course, I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel ;)


The lengths I am going through to draft a good email and convince Penguin to send me one of these ARCs is so nerve-wracking I want to cry because THE BOOK NOW EXISTS IN PAPER FORM AND I DON' HAVE IT IN MY HANDS!!!!1 THIS IS A TRAGEDY!!!!!!!!!!


I want this book so badly it hurts... I literally check once a week to see if any new info has come out or if the cover is on its way. I WILL BE HARASSING THE ENTIRE INTERNET FOR AN ARC ONCE THIS BOOK SEES THE LIGHT OF DAY! I CAN'T WAIT OH MY GOD !!!!!! august 30th can't come soon enough. i hope oliver fucks me up as much as warner did




Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
April 14, 2017
I really loved this! The second you have a main character named Alice I'm going to make comparisons to Alice in Wonderland and I think that really was the intent with this one. We have a character going "down the rabbit hole" to a world that's even more magical and whimsical than the world she came from. The magic system was really cool, it was tons of fun, and I think it did the Alice story justice. I'll be doing a video review soon since I do have quite a bit to say about it!
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,572 reviews33.9k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
August 5, 2016
DNF after about an hour into the audiobook. After a somewhat frustrating experience with the author's debut Shatter Me, I was curious if a few years and her first middle grade foray would turn out to be a better experience.

But for my taste, this tries very hard to be whimsical and funny without quite succeeding at either, the motivations and emotions are constantly explained to us, and I found the overuse of Alice's proper name annoying when a simple "she" or "her" would often do. The plot and obstacles feel familiar, which aren't necessarily bad things in and of themselves, but they're more items to tick off when they're obscured by tangled and circuitous language that doesn't quite manage to be clever.

Still, I think some readers may find some of the jokes funny, and this one may work as a read-aloud bedtime book with younger kids. But I'd venture to guess that most older middle grade readers will be too sophisticated to find this story--or this writing style--truly engaging. Really, kids are extremely intuitive and smart and can figure out a character's feelings on their own. Books shouldn't need to spell out everything, and the best ones don't do all the thinking and dreaming and feeling for their audience, but also allow room for a reader's own imagination and empathy to take flight.

An audio review copy was provided by the publisher.

Audio notes: When I saw Bronson Pinchot was the narrator, I giggled briefly imagining his old TV character reading me a book. But his voice is surprisingly resonant and pleasant to listen to, and he pulls off female voices well. I usually prefer women narrators because men can sometimes sound silly doing girls' voices (I totally get that it's hard!), but I really enjoyed the way BP read this story.

And PS, if I were reading the book myself, I might've skimmed ahead to see if I liked it any better later on and to see if it was worth sticking out. But I'd already given up an hour without much enjoyment, so...DNF it is at this point. Glancing at other ratings so far, it seems as though other readers have enjoyed it much more than I did.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,461 reviews9,615 followers
February 10, 2018
I was right! The first time I read this I have it a 3 star and it was my mood. This second time around was awesome! I listened to it on audio and the audio was fantastic! Now it's on to the second book, Whichwood!

Okay, I love middle grade books and I love Tehereh Mafi's Shatter Me series but it took me awhile to get into this book. But don't get me wrong, I will read it again later on to make sure it wasn't my mood. And the book was crazy cool.

All Alice wants in life is to find her father. He just disappeared one day. Alice doesn't feel like her mother loves her any more and she's not sure she loves her mother. Alice has three younger brothers but they aren't really in the story but for bit parts.

They live in Ferenwood and it's a magical place. It's just different. I would like to explore this world a little more, but it's when you get to Furthermore that everything is cray and dangerous.

This boy named Oliver that Alice has known all of her life says they have to go find Alice's father together because of THINGS. <-- no spoilers. And Alice thinks he's off his nut. Why would he all of the sudden know where her father is and why should she trust him.

Anyhoo, there is no choice and off they go to Furthermore where Oliver has been before and he's trying to keep Alice safe. But, to be honest, she's being a butthead about a lot of things. She's almost gotten them and herself killed doing stupid stuff. Who wants to listen to a boy that knows the rules of Futhermore. (eyeroll)

There are cannibals and paper foxes and so many cool things. Well, they are not all cool, I'm just sayin'.

But in the end, they all found what they were looking for . . .


or did they? I'll never tell!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
August 13, 2018
I really enjoyed Furthermore! It was definitely a different kind of story, but there was a lot to love!

Tahereh's writing is beautiful as always. As it is EXTREMELY descriptive and exceptionally whimsical in this novel, I did have to slower my pace to catch every detail, but it was well worth it.

For whatever reason, the narration reminded me a bit of "A Series of Unfortunate Events"? I don't even know if they are the same (I believe ASOUE is third person omniscient and I'm not entirely sure if Furthermore is the same) but there are certain passages where the narrator is speaking TO us -for example, Alice falls asleep and the narrator says "Now, while our young Alice is asleep, let us make quick work of important details." and proceeds to explain information rather than showing it through the story.- 'Breaking the fourth wall' in literature is not something I'm normally exposed to, so it was really interesting to have that sort of relationship with the narrator!!

The one negative aspect I found in the foundation of the novel is that in the beginning especially (which was much slower than the rest of the book), it felt like there were many chapters that were included specifically to reveal ONE important detail. I felt many of the first chapters before Furthermore could have been combined to shorten the novel and take out unimportant details.

The magic system is probably one of my only problems with the story. As I stated before, this book is whimsical AF which I'm sure anyone can assume the magic system will be very unconventional. With me already having that expectation for something totally out there, I have to admit, it did not seem as developed as it could have been. There's little explanation on how each person's magical talent works, the exchange of currency (which I could not grasp WHATSOEVER) and some part of Furthermore were just confusing. For example, at one point, Oliver breaks open "a fink" (which I couldn't really tell you what that is despite just finishing the novel a few minutes ago) and somehow manages to create a brand new pair of shoes that don't get dirty or damaged at all. There was just very little explanation in the magic system. I think some sort of guide in the back of the book would have been very helpful for retaining details and making sense of things that aren't as clear in the books.

While I think the land of Furthermore also had it's issues in explanation and development, I thought the idea of it was FASCINATING. Reading each new adventure into a new village was honestly exhilarating. Being totally honest, their travels distantly reminded me of the Percy Jackson series (not to say it's a carbon copy, just that I had the same feelings reading Alice & Oliver's journey as I did when reading Percy's). The land of left totally reminded me of the Lotus Hotel & Casino in certain ways, and I really enjoyed getting a flash of nostalgia from reading it! I am a little disappointed because Oliver mentions there are (a hundred or so I believe???) villages in Furthermore, and I feel like we don't see enough of it. I would have loved more scenes exploring the world so we get a larger view of everything.

-Alice: I LOVE ALICE. This girl is the sassiest, bravest 12 year old I've ever seen. There's this great line where Oliver asks her if she's ready and she replies, "Always, but what for?" She doesn't care what's ahead of her, she knows she has to get her father back and anything standing in her way is just another obstacle she must overcome. On a slightly less positive note, I do think she kind of embodies the saying "Children think they are invincible". Her bravery definitely borders on impulsive and reckless at certain points in the book, but ultimately I truly adored her character and would love to read more from her perspective.
-Oliver: Oliver is another character I enjoyed, but it was VERY difficult to warm up to him at first. He leaves Alice in the dark for a lot of the book, not preparing her for what's coming, not being truthful, tricking her in what felt like a somewhat manipulative way to get her to follow him, which I do not condone. He definitely has some shady traits, but I do love their friendship and would be so happy to see more stories of their adventures together.

Another large problem with the book I had was the ending. Everything wrapped itself up perfectly at an extremely fast speed. A fast and perfect ending is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves in books, and I wish we had dragged it out a bit more with a few more problems in between.

Extra Things:
For whatever reason, a lot of my favorite parts of this book seem like pretty minimal things, but they blew my mind while reading.
1. To my knowledge, the people of Furthermore are mostly POC? (And not color in the sense of bright pigmentation that's constantly mentioned in the novel.) I could be wrong, but any appearances I caught were described has having "brown" or "dark" skin, which made me really happy to see. I also found it interesting how the one white character -like literally white, the color of milk, having no pigment in her skin- is the outcast and judged by everyone in the town as they all HAVE color. It was an interesting twist and I really love watching authors kind of play with society that way.
2. In the beginning, Alice is approached by a stranger and remembers her mother told her, "If a girl is afraid she doesn't have to be nice." THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT IDEA TO TEACH WOMEN. As someone who constantly receives unwanted attention from strangers when alone, I seriously live by this mantra and could feel myself nearly tearing up watching an author incorporate this into a book aimed at young readers. Bless you, Tahereh Mafi.
4. A character becomes disabled throughout the course of this story!!!!!! This is a really important theme that is not touched upon often, and definitely when it is not the focus of the book. This was another thing that made me extremely happy to see. That being said...

Ultimately, Furthermore was GREAT. If you are looking for a silly, fun, yet also dark read, I would HIGHLY recommend it. The smaller issues I had really don't overtake the pure enjoyment I felt while reading this novel. The only other thing I would ask from this novel is A SEQUEL. I think a sequel would really complete the story, be a good way to clarify some things left unexplained in this book, and would satisfy all my desires for more adventures from Alice & Oliver. Great, great book and I'm so excited to tell Tahereh how much I enjoyed it at her NY signing. You could really tell how much fun she had writing, and that's really all an author could ask for while creating.

I received a free copy of this book from Dutton Books at Book Expo 2016. I had no obligation to review this book and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Carolina Carriço.
543 reviews576 followers
Shelved as 'series-to-start'
June 7, 2016
I approve!! And I approve even more if she creates a guy in Warner's level of perfection.
Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews48.2k followers
December 4, 2020
This is the rare book with a beautifulcolorfulfunwonderful cover that also has insides to match.

Do I probably like the cover ever so slightly more than the contents? Maybe. But life isn't fair.

This is a very fun and quirky and unique fantasy and it reminded me why I loved middle grade and adventure.

All good things!

Bottom line: All I really have to say is "fun."


logically i know that the fact that this is a middle grade fantasy book with a main character named alice does not mean i will like it as much as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, my favorite book.

but emotionally...
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,794 followers
August 6, 2017
You know when you’re desperately TRYING to love a book and you’re reaching a point where you’re FORCING yourself and it’s still not working and then you give up on life and become a hermit


I dunno, when people talk about Furthermore, they talk about how exquisitely poignant and elegantly crafted and whimsically carved the book is and im like just
the writing was alright

I’d be more impressed with the book as a whole if I knew what was going on. It seems like it took 150 pages to establish the ground rules of what the plot was and then it took another 150 pages to establish what on earth is going on and then theres like 100 pages of some other stuff happening and by the time to reach there you’re so Done with everything

Alice is a girl without colour in a colour-filled world. So basically she’s the ugly duckling and to make matters worse, her home life is terrible bc her mother is v rood and her father, the only one who really cares for her, went missing.

And now its up to her to find him and bring him home. . . or that’s what she makes her quest to be

I’m gonna be honest, I was lost a lot of the time. It seems like anything that could have been a mundane task and would have taken approximately 13 seconds to complete takes 34 pages of prose and prose and prose.

Sometimes it enhanced the atmosphere, like for example,

“The morning arrived the way Alice imagined a whisper would: in tendrils of gray and threads of gold, quietly, quietly. The sky was illuminated with great care and deliberation, and she leaned back to watch it bloom.”

Like okay, I get that, that’s not terrible and might even be appreciated.

But then other times it just gets EXHAUSTING

“The afternoon our story begins, the quiet parts of being alive were the busiest: wind unlocking Windows; rainlight nudging curtains apart; fresh-cut grass tickling unsocked feet. Days like this made Alice want to set off on a great adventure.”

I’m quite positive I lost you at this point.

To me it just felt like lots of flowery words and exaggeration and not enough plot building and purpose.

And to that, I tire v easily

1.5 stars!!
Profile Image for Cookie.
52 reviews38 followers
Want to read
July 26, 2014
I admit I was looking forward to another YA book with new guys as hot as Warner...


Oh well, it's still Mafi. I'll take what I can get.
Profile Image for P .
687 reviews320 followers
December 4, 2016
“Red was ruby, green was fluorescent, yellow was simply incandescent. Color was life. Color was everything.
Color, you see, was the universal sign of magic.”

Although it took me two months to finish this book, I'd say that I really enjoyed reading Futhermore more than I thought. This book is imaginative and breathtakingly beautiful with the writing style. Weird. Powerful. Enjoyable. I can't believe how she did all this wonderful material by herself: the characters, the worldbuilding even the narration itself, they're masterpieces.

“Alice was an odd girl, even for Ferenwood, where the sun occasionally rained and the colors were brighter than usual and magic was as common as a frowning parent.”

Alice is just a girl who doesn't have colors and different from the others in Ferenwood. When her father went missing, she desperately tries to find him even though she has no idea where he is. The book was slow in the first few chapters, that was the reason why I almost lost my interest, and then it picked up its speed with magic and many odd things waiting to happen around 25% passed.

I was in awe when Alice and Oliver starts their adventure to Furthermore. Mafi did this part so well and she didn't fail to surprise me one after another that I was embarrassed about how close I wanted to dnf this book.

“She'd decided long ago that life was a long journey. She would be strong and she would be weak, and both would be okay.”

I was fully satisfied with the ending, it's beautiful and heartwarming that I had tears in my eyes. Thank you, Mafi, for creating such a imaginative piece of work for us. It meant so much to me.

Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,032 reviews1,424 followers
September 28, 2016
This is one of the most beautiful, captivating and fantastical stories that I have ever had the pleasure of reading! Mafi has amalgamated a bedtime story, a classic Gothic fairy tale and a middle-grade adventure story into one enchanting and bewitching bundle.

Alice Alexis Queensmeadow lives in Ferenwood, a place where magic is color and color is magic. She, herself, lacks any hint of pigmentation to her features. Her skin is white, her hair is white and her eyes are white: she is a bleached exception in this world of vividity. But this is not the worst of the disasters to befall her in her short life. The disappearance of her father, the subsequent loneliness she experiences at home and in her small community, and her anxiety over her forthcoming Surrender ceremony all culminate into the start of a fantastic and daring adventure.

Mafi has created one of the most unique, thrilling and bizarre of worlds that I have ever encountered in literature. Each page has some extraordinary and eccentric peculiarity to enchant and enthrall the reader. The magic system is fantastic, the characters are kooky, the writing is sublime, and all of this combines into the single greatest (and oddest) things I have ever read.

I can find nothing to fault in this crazy and wonderful adventure. Don't let the Middle Grade tag fool you; this has something to offer all those who have the ability to suspend judgement and just believe.
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
703 reviews3,275 followers
September 23, 2016
Furthermore is a three-star story carved from five-star prose.

In a land where color is of the highest value, Alice is born without any pigment. Her hair is milk-white, her eyelashes are the color of sugar, her skin is pale as moonlight. Only her eyes have a hint of honey color and her cheeks sometimes blush the palest pink. It seems Alice's mother doesn't like her, and her brothers barely know her; only Alice's father loved her truly, but he went missing three years ago. Determined to be reunited with her father, Alice teams up with Oliver and embarks on an adventure through several fantastic worlds, each more bizarre than the last.

Without a doubt, Furthermore's strongest quality is its luscious prose. There's no end to the spectrum of color brought to life in its pages:

The many skirts and bodice were a cascade of color: ruby melting into dusk, golds becoming greens, blue and plum and raspberry drenching the hem.

The sun had begun its descent, and the sky had turned a dusty, smoky blue; ambers and golds and violets melted along the horizon and kaleidoscoped through the branches, snowflaking spectacular shapes of light across the land.

The author brings a delightfully quirky sense of humor to the book:

[Alice] tore off running.
Out the door and down the path and through the meadow and into the field, past the pond and across the bridge and over the hill and up and up and up to the tallest tree in all of Ferenwood. There she sat, heart bumping into bone, and decided she would not leave this tree until she died.
Or until she got bored.
Whichever came first.

And Ferenwood is described in such delicious ways, its a place any reader would hope to see and smell, to touch and taste:

Indeed, one might occasionally be pressed to wonder whether the aesthetic of Ferenwood wasn't a direct answer to the question, How many colors might we fit in one place?

Sleeping homes exhaled quietly, smoking chimneys gently puffing, unlit windows glinting golden in the dawn. Dew had touched the earth and the earth touched back: Blades of grass shivered awake as they reached for the sky, freshly showered and slightly damp.

Glass apples were hung from the ceiling, honey-canes gift wrapped in packs of three; figcherry jams were stacked in windows and honeysuckle taffies were spilling out of wooden barrels stacked in each corner.

The book struggles a bit in its execution. There's much repetition to be had. Alice seems to be screaming an awful lot. She and Oliver do a fair amount of running. And there's a cyclical nature to the following formula:

Alice & Oliver arrive in a new place.
Alice conforms to how the new place makes her feel.
Oliver freaks out about Alice's behavior.
Alice asks for an explanation.
Oliver does everything imaginable to avoid giving a direct answer to her question.

The payoff, however, is sweet, with some eloquently phrased messages: The importance of accepting oneself as-is; Acknowledging that love has the power to both hurt and heal; And, finally, learning to appreciate what it means to be different:

To be different was to be extraordinary, and to be extraordinary was an adventure.
Profile Image for gio.
1,019 reviews386 followers
October 8, 2016

What was this? I just...didn't recognize Mafi's writing here. But let's start from the beginning.

Small premise: I think the best Middle grade books need to be enjoyable for adults too. Of course I don't expect a book targeted for 11-12 yo children to be as complex as an adult book, but I think the best MGs should be enjoyable for older people too. Think Valente's The Girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making (which has much more depth than this book and is far more imaginative) or The Lie Tree, by Hardinge. I honestly thought Mafi could be on this list, but...she isn't.

I know that as of now I probably wouldn't enjoy Mafi's trilogy as much as I did two years ago, for several reasons, but I didn't expect Furthermore to be so plain.
The message is wonderful, because the book itself deals with concepts like diversity in a good way, but the rest isn't that good to be honest.

Alice lives in a world full of colour. People have green, blue, red skin or eyes. Alice doesn't. She's white-haired, has white skin and she's also harboring a big secret about her own abilities. Long story short: Alice is different. She stands out, being the only person devoid of colour, and she feels both left out and singled out because of it. The novel is about embracing your own uniqueness/diversity, which is a beautiful message, especially considering that Furhtermore is targeted towards young people, but it's so literal. I appreciated the concept, obviously, but I think Mafi could have even shown that it's not just your looks that might make you stand out.

Other than that, I had problems with Furthermore. The characters' voices are not always believable: on one hand you have moments in which Alice and Oliver sound like 12-13 yo kids, on the other hand sometimes they talk like adult people. This irked me. Not to mention they're not exactly likable.

The writing and the world-building bothered me. I know that Mafi can write better than this and I know that 12 years-old Gio wouldn't have wanted to read a book written like everything has to be explained for fear the reader won't understand. Kids are not stupid, you don't have to make the narrator point out every single thing. Also, her fanbase is clearly older than that, so I think she could have written something slightly more mature anyway.

Honestly underwhelming, with a juvenile, fake-quirky narrator.

Overall, Furthermore isn't a bad book. It's just quite plain imo.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,167 reviews98.2k followers
March 21, 2017
Readalong for the BooktubeSFF Awards which is being hosted by Adriana from Perpetual Pages, Chelsea from TheReadingOutlaw, Samantha from Novels and Nonsense, Connor from Connor O'Brien, Elizabeth from Books and Pieces, Kaitlin from Kitty G, Sam from Thoughts on Tomes, Elena from Elena Reads Books, and Thomas from SFF180!

Alice lives in the land of Ferenwood, with her mother and her three triplet brothers. In Ferenwood, the world is filled with color and magic, but our poor Alice is as blank as they come. She is in a constant battle of accepting and loving herself, and feels very alone in this world. That is, until a secret keeping boy named Oliver offers Alice an opportunity to go on an adventure and rescue the only person Alice has ever felt loved her.

Together, Alice and Oliver are swept away in the many different, and every changing, lands of Furthermore! This is honestly the middle grade version of Caraval, except it touches on the topics of race and of loving yourself for who you are.

“Why must you look like the rest of us? Why do you have to be the one to change? Change the way we see. Don’t change the way you are.”

I loved some of the messages of this book, but I didn't love the book itself. Maybe it was the hype? Maybe it was because I don't read middle grade too often? Maybe this just wasn't for me? Regardless, the journey that takes place in this whimsical story never completely swept me away, and it often came across as pretentious, if I'm being honest.

This book tried too hard to be whimsical and different. I was constantly being pulled out of the story by some of the passages and descriptions that were beyond words over the top, especially at the start of each and every chapter. I understand that this is intended for younger audiences, but I still couldn't believe most of the descriptions Alice gave.

Overall, this was just okay for me. Nothing groundbreaking, a lot of flowery writing and a few missed opportunities. Again, I don't read much middle grade, so it's hard for me to compare it to other things out there, but I was a little let down by this.

“The simple truth was that Alice would always be different—but to be different was to be extraordinary, and to be extraordinary was an adventure. It no longer mattered how the world saw her; what mattered was how Alice saw herself.”


Okay, these are the things that really bothered me with this story:

➽The ending happened in the blink of the eye, and I thought I had to be reading wrong, because there was no way all this lead up was for that anticlimactic ending, but it was true. After all the problems and trials Oliver and Alice endured, it felt so wrong for them to have such an easy ending.

➽Alice's mother seeing the right of her wrongs, and blatant abuse, all of a sudden felt really terrible to me, too. I loved that Alice had an unconventional family dynamic that made her question if she was loved. These problems are topics we need in middle grade to help kids not feel alone, not problems that get erased by turning the page.

➽Speaking of awful representation, can we talk about how Alice loses her arm, and they completely change the mission of finding her father to getting her arm back? My heart broke when I discovered this, because I actually thought that maybe she wouldn't have an arm, and middle grade readers would have a disabled amputee main character for representation, only to discover Alice's number one priority switched to being "fixed." It felt so bad and was such a missed opportunity.

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Profile Image for elodie ☾.
173 reviews
Want to read
July 28, 2014
A new book by Tahereh Mafi?


I don't care what this is about, I WANT TO READ IT!
Profile Image for grace.
130 reviews1,605 followers
October 2, 2016
"The afternoon our story begins, the quiet parts of being alive were the busiest: wind unlocking Windows; rainlight nudging curtains apart; fresh-cut grass tickling unsocked feet. Days like this made Alice want to set off on a great adventure."

Man oh man, Tahereh Mafi has a way with words. THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. Cannot wait to do a video review.
Profile Image for lauren ❀.
282 reviews418 followers
July 10, 2017
Well, this is a disappointment. Sure, I had no expectations when reading this book BUT this book is honestly so much worse than I expected. A lot of people loved it but to be honest I really didn’t. It was a total waste of my time. Why I picked this book up, I don’t know.

I know it’s a children’s book but that was not why I didn’t like it. First of all, I was so bored. I got distracted so easily and only read a few pages at a time. I could not concentrate for a long time.



Second I feel like the whole plot was just pointless. All Alice was doing was finding her dad. The entire journey she went on was boring. I seriously cannot understand why people love this book.

It was so boring and just not interesting at all. I had to force myself to carry on with this book. I didn’t like anything about this book. I especially did not like Alice. She was so annoying and sooo stupid!!!! She kept doing such silly and dumb things that got her into trouble and it was so irritating.

Also, I know that the people in the book are magical and that it is fantasy but something I find weird was that in Furthermore people eat each other because they need magic or something. I didn’t really get it but I found it really bizarre.

I really regret picking this book up. Although I feel it was more me than the book itself that made me dislike it I still wouldn’t recommend it. There’s not a lot of action in my opinion and it's very boring.
Profile Image for k .
292 reviews
May 25, 2017
1.) plot - it's so strange to comment that this book reminds me of the Wrinkle in Time. Considering that I just finished reading it before diving right into this fella. I mean, they both have boys for a companion that as far as i'm concern were their love interest. Both were struggling to fit in the society; a misfit and lastly, both of them were on their way to find their missing father.

Anyways, the plot was absolutely amazing and magical (as expected!). It kinda reminds me of Percy Jackson's and Magnus Chase's magical adventures. It was really fun reading it, really. It was both hilarious and exciting.

The concept of having a unique protagonist was what I love the most and the irony of her magic to her appearance. And the fact where color was a currency, adventure was inevitable, and friendship was found un the most unexpected places.

2.) writing style - the writing style was everything I ever wished for!! It made me feel that I was with the characters, exploring the fascinating yet dangerous towns of

That unlike how our dear marvelous author Tahereh Mafi wrote Shatter Me series, she managed to mixed a bit of humor in writing Furthermore which was understandable for the reason that this is a children-
novel. And that the narrator was sometimes talking directly to her dear readers!

3.) twist and turns - okay! I did not expected this book to have many twist and turns especially at the end. Though we all know that the ending was seriously and obviously rushed, that I do not have an issue with.

My favorite scene would be, uhm, their stay in Left. It was both terrifying and exciting! How I wish the narrator somehow narrated their stay in the Left more than necessary.

And in the end when I finally reached the end of the book, I found myself wishing to stars that the author managed to wrote an epilogue for as far as I know, there won't be any sequels to this magical tale of a colorless girl in a world full of colors.

4.) characters -

Alice - was this typical children-novel character. She was easy to get annoyed and curious. I was crestfallen over the fact that the town found her odd for she lacked colors and that she considered herself the ugliest. I mean, gurl, take a look at that face in the cover, you are a work of art!

I love her determination to rescue her missing father and her friend Oliver despite the fact that he was awfully mean to her. That he will find and bring her father home, come hell or high water.

Oliver - at first, I found him cute for being patient at Alice but somehow, that didn't stop me from getting to kinda loathe him sometimes for he was plain mean to Alice or perhaps he was just straightforward and that I am one big stupid girl. Anyways, as the time goes by, I get to love him despite his flaws. And the next thing I know, I am rooting for him!!
Go my cutie love!

Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
858 reviews3,756 followers
November 21, 2016
When I read middle grade I am torn between thinking I am too old for it (shaking my fist at these bratty, ungrateful kids), or thinking I'm not smart enough for it (what is the lesson behind this?). Furthermore made me do both of these things. At times I had no idea if this was a fantasy world or if it was our real world seen through the eyes of children, but that's kind of what made it awesome.

So, I can't possibly summarize what even happened in the book, and I admit that I didn't see some of the allegories that other reviews have praised. However, the reason I picked this book up was because I was interested in reading more from Tahereh Mafi, an author whose style I have previously liked. Furthermore did show me that the things I enjoyed about her writing in Shatter Me weren't just a fluke, but that she also isn't limited to that one style.

I listened to this on audio and the experience was like having a bedtime story read to you. I would highly recommend that format. I did check out the print version of the book as well to see if it had formatting similar to her Shatter Me series and it does not. So you wouldn't be missing anything from the audiobook.

It might have been a combination of her writing and the narrator, but the style of the audiobook was very whimsical and gave me Raven Cycle vibes.
Profile Image for Kelly (Diva Booknerd).
1,106 reviews299 followers
July 3, 2017
I've just read the most fantastically superb book dear readers, fantastically superb! It was truly magical, a modern day Alice In Wonderland. I'm so incredibly overjoyed! Five stars is simply not enough.

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Alice is magnificent, unique and incredibly lovely. The reader is introduced to Alice on the eve of her twelfth birthday, a day that poses great significance in the small town of Ferenwood, a community flushed with colour and magic. With her bangle adorned limbs and ravenous taste for eating blooms, Alice is a monochrome canvas which ensures her unseemly status as a pariah. At the tender age of nine years old, Alice's father mysteriously vanished leaving Alice a wistful version of the girl she one was. But it seems childhood nemesis Oliver knows where her father has gone and although Oliver is an insufferable bore, Alice believes once she finds her father, her world will become radiant once more.

The tentative companionship between Alice and Oliver was incredibly charming. Oliver is conventional and often demure while Alice is loud, boisterous and fond of adventure. Together Alice and Oliver must navigate Furthermore, an enchanting world in which time shall not be wasted and visitors are appetising. Nevertheless, Alice is absolutely delighted by Furthermore despite Oliver's insistence to keep her oblivious to the dangers the two young travellers are facing.

The world Tahereh Mafi has created is imaginative, whimsical and incredibly vivid. It was devastatingly spectacular. Furthermore also touches on feelings of abandonment, deception and a sense of belonging in a world in which you are labelled a pariah. Alice feels desolate, her lack of aesthetic colour leaves her detached from her community and will resonate with readers. Her loneliness is palpable. One of my favourite aspects of middle grade reads is the absence of romance. It allows authors to create wonderful friendships between characters, as is the case with Alice and Oliver.

Futhermore is a beautiful exploration of middle grade fantasy, captivating and a fantastically fanciful narrative. Tahereh Mafi is an exquisite author who crafts words delicately, lovingly, ethereally and Furthermore is immaculate.
Profile Image for Amelia.
173 reviews49 followers
May 6, 2018
4.5 stars

Am I the only one who thought this book wrapped up much quicker compared to the flow of the story?

Other than this, I absolutely loved this story, and cannot wait to read the sequel!!
Profile Image for Romie.
1,074 reviews1,273 followers
May 11, 2017
First, I want to say - once again - that Tahereh Mafi has magic in her fingers, her writing style is so poetic it's beautiful. I could read anything by her simply because I adore her writing style.
Now for this story, I'm pretty torn.
The worlds of Ferenwood and Furthermore were really interesting. The first was based on being in harmony with nature and everything that is surrounding you. The second was based on power, and how to get more. I really liked to read about how our characters were dealing with these oh-so-different worlds.

Now Oliver. I must admit I fell instantly in love with this character. I trusted him since day one, and I could relate to him so much it was insane, there was never a moment that made me think "What the hell, Oliver ? What's the matter with you ?" Just never. I understood him, and of course he has flaws - lots of them - but he's just so true and afraid - of himself and what others may think of him - that I couldn't not love him.

But Alice... I took me a LONG time to like her, like 3/4 of the book... I just had to remember at everything she said or thought that she was only 12 and couldn't be expected to act a more mature way. But in the end, I felt her insecurities and even though I wasn't a big fan of her at the beginning, I was nonetheless sorry for her pain. She's an interesting character because she experiments a huge development throughout the story, and that's what made me like her.

The story line isn't the best, and it's not really important it isn't, because I think this book is more about the characters than the plot, and that's totally fine with me. My only real issue is the end, which is too abrupt for me, but overall I enjoyed this story and its characters.
And yes, if there is a second book, I will read it.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,826 reviews2,186 followers
February 6, 2019
An odd little book, I neither hated it nor loved it so I am settling with 3 stars. This was a bit dark for a middle grade book, the writing style a bit repetitive. I think the adventure aspects of it are wonderful for middle grade readers, but it was also all over the place. Shame cause I normally adore Mafi's books.

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Profile Image for Hailee (haibooklovers).
495 reviews89 followers
October 9, 2016
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

This was delightfully weird.

Mafi's unique writing style, coupled with a fascinating world and memorable characters made this such a fun read for me.

The ending wrapped up a little bit fast for my taste, but I'm definitely looking forward to continuing the series!
November 24, 2017
“I don’t mean to be cruel. It’s just that my heart is so thoroughly broken I fear I am beyond repair”.

“No pretendo ser cruel. Es sólo que mi corazón está tan completamente roto, que temo que no me pueden reparar”.

Furthermore es un libro... raro. Con una clara inspiración en las locuras y excentricidades de Alicia en el País de las Maravillas, Tahereh Mafi nos cuenta la historia de Alice Alexis Queensmeadow, una chica que nació sin color en un mundo en el que el color lo es todo, así que siempre ha sido diferente. Cansada de la indiferencia de la gente y en especial de su madre, Alice empieza a pensar que debe ir a buscar a su padre perdido fuera de los confines de Ferenwood y justo ahí es cuando aparece Oliver, un viejo conocido de su infancia. Oliver, como todos los chicos de Ferenwood, debe pasar por un ritual y presentar su mejor talento para que los Ancianos le asignen una tarea. Así, cuando Oliver vuelve y le confiesa que su tarea es encontrar a su padre y que sólo puede hacerlo con ayuda de Alice y su talento secreto, la pone en un gran aprieto, pues ella misma quiere pasar por el ritual y ver qué le asignan. Sin embargo, y tras terribles circunstancias, Alice decide acompañar a Oliver en una peligrosa y loca búsqueda que los llevará a los confines más enrevesados de Furthermore, una tierra mágica de leyes absurdas y personajes impredecibles.

Furthermore fue un libro curioso de leer. Por un lado, me gustaban muchísimo las explicaciones locas sobre la magia, los dones y las leyes de las diferentes tierras y aldeas de Furthermore; pero, por otro, sentía que Tahereh había exagerado un poco su estilo y lo había convertido en frases y frases de descripciones y de sinsentidos que, si bien le pegaban un montón a la onda de Alicia en el País de las Maravillas, a mí me desesperaban un montón y hacían que la lectura fuera lenta.

No puedo decir que el libro no me gustara, pues una vez que mi cabeza se acostumbró a la lógica ilógica de Furthermore fue mucho más fácil seguirle la pista a la historia y a los personajes. Ahora, debo aclarar que tampoco pude identificarme mucho con ellos, pues Furthermore es un libro middle grade y, por ende, sus personajes tienen 12 o 13 años. Sin embargo, sí que disfruté de cómo, a pesar de ser tan pequeños, lograban solucionar situaciones de vida o muerte y, además, lidiar con emociones de pérdida, dolor y traición. El ver cómo dos chicos pequeños atraviesan un mundo tan fantásticamente letal es muy entretenido, pues las apariencias engañan, las reglas son raras y, además, Alice y Oliver tienen que aprender a confiar en el otro poco a poco.

Quizá lo más interesante de los personajes son todos los secretos que esconden, la naturaleza de sus verdaderos talentos y cómo estos han ido definiendo o destruyendo su vida. Sin duda alguna, Oliver es mi personaje favorito del libro. Lo amé por su perseverancia, su sonrisa ante los problemas, el corazón tan grande que tiene y todo el dolor que esconde en él. De Alice puedo decir que me sorprendió muchísimo la gran revelación sobre su don... ¡Tenía todo el sentido del mundo y nunca lo vi venir!

A pesar de que no adoré Furthermore, como sí lo hice con la serie Shatter Me, puedo decir que la creatividad de Tahereh Mafi no tiene igual tanto para crear historias y personajes, como para imprimirle a sus libros un estilo de escritura tremendamente original. Nunca había leído un libro con descripciones que rayaran en la sinestesia, con reglas tan particulares en las diferentes aldeas y con un sistema de magia y de rechazo tan bello como discriminador.

Tengo muchísima curiosidad acerca de cómo se podrá conectar Furthermore con Wichwood, su libro compañero que, por la sinopsis, no me da muchas pistas sobre qué tendrán que ver el uno con el otro.
Profile Image for Umut.
355 reviews164 followers
June 7, 2018
Before I wrote anything, I must say I'm not a frequent Middle Grade reader. But, I was seeing this book everywhere, and I wanted to give it a go and go out of my normal reading routine.
I'm really glad I did. Also, I'm very glad I met Tahereh Mafi. Actually, more than the book, I'm really impressed with the writer's style. Her ability to create this fantasy world, imagination and lyrical writing style. It was a real joy to read.
The book also gained some pace after half way through, so it got better as I moved.
Overall, I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading the second one. And I will read more of her YA genres as well.
If you like Middle Grade, I wouldn't miss this book.
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