Review: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi


Once upon a time, a girl was forgot…

In a world brimming with colour and magic, Alice’s pale skin and milk-white hair mark her as an outcast. For the people of Ferenwood, colour and magic are one and the same.

Alice is determined to prove her magical abilities and solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance. To do so she’ll have to travel into the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore. But nothing there is as it seems, and Alice may never find her way home…

Publisher: Puffin

Pages: 406

Rating: 5 Stars


This book was fantastic. The writing style and descriptions are out of this world. Tahereh Mafi has a way of weaving words that makes the page explode with life and color. Check this passage :

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. (…) 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. Bees were lounging, bread was baking, birds were chirping to the trees. Everything smelled like warm velvet tea and a freshly scrubbed face and something very, very sweet.

If that isn’t the most dreamy description of setting ever, I don’t know what is. Also, in other parts of the book, there were quite some puns, I love puns <333

The writing style reminded me of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, in the way that the narrator speaks to you as a reader and explains as if you’re right there with the writer as she writes a letter to you as a reader to tell you a fairy tale.

From the first chapter I could tell why so many people loved the book. It felt so light, so easy to go through. If you read Alice in Wonderland, you will recognize the same Alice in Furthermore, the silly girl who makes mistakes in judgement and has weird thoughts and gets easily confused. The world is just as complicated and fantastical, but in a new way that was delightful. You know how everything has its own logic in Alice in Wonderland ? The way you feel everything makes sense in a dream, but when you wake up you realize it’s actually incomprehensible ? That’s how this book starts, in the way a dream does.

Magic here is not just a tool, it is a necessity, a way of life. It was different and refreshing from regular fantasy. Plus, some moments in this book are just so cute. Take this for example:

He was fighting a losing battle with the butterfly, which had very obviously fallen in love with him. It was a silly thing to do, talking to butterflies. Falling in love was their favorite way to pass the time.

See what I mean ?

Ferenwood, Alice’s home, would be on my list of bookish places I would love spending my whole life in. While I was reading this book I thought it would make a smashing stopmotion movie !

Something else that was notable was how this book, in the way of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, celebrates childhood and the appreciation of small happy moments;

Laughter was silk that would soften even the roughest moments.

One tiny little detail was a mention of ‘Persian rugs’, when I was reading I wondered ‘do they even know Persia?’ But I don’t know, it was probably the narrator describing what the characters saw by what you would recognize and think if you were in their place. But it wasn’t what they thought exactly. After all, it was explained that the characters are in awe of maps because they’re rare and magical in that world, but to us they’re ordinary.

The ending made me feel happy and cozy, and for once made me want to calmly pick up the sequel when it comes. Usually, books either discourage me to pick up sequels or throw me in a dungeon of despair for a year or so until the next release. The change was refreshing !

Conclusion: I wanted to reread this book as soon as I finished it, and I will be rereading it before long. I honestly loved it so much, mostly for its writing style then worldbuilding, and would highly recommend it for those who miss reading Narnia, or want a cozy fantasy after reading/watching Alice in Wonderland or A Series of Unfortunate Events.

If you already read Furthermore, what did you think of it ? If you didn’t, was my review helpful ? Your opinion matters, and I’d love to hear all about it 💙!

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