Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (August 30th 2016)
Paperback: 416 pages
Source: ARC from PenguinTeens
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
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..
Furthermore left me with mixed feelings after finishing the book. It wasn’t bad per se, but I think the many description just made it hard to get through the novel itself. As a kid I think I would be in savoring it, but as an adult I really don’t have the patience for descriptions sometimes. It was hard to imagine Alice and Oliver and the world they lived in for me. While I don’t read middle school novels much these days I think I would’ve loved this book back in fifth or sixth grade. Furthermore was an adventurous, charming little story that reminded me of a cross between Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Tollbooth. It had its bizarre moments but there were times that I couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters. I did feel bad for Alice’s current predicament at times especially seeing how her mother neglects her because of her father’s disappearance. I liked that Alice is determined to repair her relationship with her mother if it means going on a dangerous mission to find her father and bring him home. It’s clear that she loves him and her family and is willing to do anything for them no matter how badly she is being treated.
Then, there’s Oliver. I wish we got more background information about how he and Alice grew up and why he left her. Everything about him was kind of vague. I enjoyed seeing Alice’s and Oliver’s relationship unfold. There’s no romance between them (I mean it’s a middle school grade novel so what can you expect? Though the hopeless romantic in me is lamenting over the ship that hopefully will set sail in the future). They’re just good platonic friends and I like that. Or well at the beginning Alice was ready to write him off as soon as he came back into her life, but on their journey to Furthermore they start to become good friends again.
I was a bit surprised to see how huge this book was despite that it is a middle school grade novel. And equally surprised to see how long it took me to read it. Overall, Furthermore was an okay book. I wish there was more character development because I feel like I hardly got to know the characters by the end of the novel.