Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on November 14, 2017
Series: Furthermore #2
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy & Magic, Action & Adventure
Source: Finished Hardcover from Publisher
The bestselling author of the Shatter Me series takes readers beyond the limits of their imagination in this captivating new middle grade adventure where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.
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.
Whichwood is a middle grade fantasy novel by Taherah Mafi. Even though this book is technically middle grade, I think it will appeal to fans of young adult books. It is a very detailed and long novel, and rather dark in some parts, and it felt like upper middle grade/lower young adult to me. I read, and really loved Furthermore last year. (you can check out my review here) So, I was super excited when I saw that a companion novel set in the same world was going to be released. So, it should come as no surprise that I absolutely loved Whichwood as well. It is a delightful book.
Whichwood follows our main character, Laylee, who lives in the village of Whichwood. Whichwood is set in the same world as the village of Farenwood, but it is a totally different place. Farenwood is a town where colors come to life, and Whichwood is a town that is in stark contrast. Laylee finds herself becoming more and more colorless as her job takes its’ toll. Laylee is a mordeshoor, someone who prepares dead bodies and their souls for their afterlife. Laylee, much like Alice from Furthermore finds herself on an adventure. She meets Alice and Oliver from the first book and together they set off on an adventure which leads them to all kinds of whimsical and fantastical creatures and characters and colors. I want to see the Furthermore series brought to life on the big screen because I feel like it would be perfect in the style of Tim Burton and the new Alice in Wonderland (with Johnny Depp). I again read this book in one very long afternoon turned late night because I couldn’t put it down. Tahereh Mafi is a master story teller. I love her young adult Shatter Me series, and seeing her hand at middle grade was insta love for me. Fans of Whimsical writing will become enchanted with the Furthermore series.
I love that Alice and Oliver play such a prominaent role in Whichwood. I fell in love with them in Furthermore and I was super excited to see them take part in Laylee’s story. Now all we need is Oliver’s story!! (And I won’t take no for an answer to that one.) The books in the Furthermore series, can technically be read as standalones. However; I would suggest reading them in order because there is a lot of character overlap. Plus, the world is so fantastical that you will want to read all of the books set in it.
I can’t get over how beautifully done this book is. From the absolutely perfect cover, to the magnificent writing, the pictures that Tahereh Mafi is able to paint with her words are downright magical. I know what Ferenwood, and now the village of Whichwood look like, and if they have a movie they better pay as much attention to the details and descriptions of scenes as Tahereh does because she lays it all out in such a perfectly described and richly detailed way. As far as descriptive writing goes, she is one of my all time favorite authors. She is so talented it is scary.
Bottom line: If you enjoyed Futhermore, you will love Whichwood. It is perfect for fans of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and other childhood fantasy tales. I am pounding my fists on the table demanding more Alice, Oliver and everyone else! Get ready to go on a magical adventure with Whichwood. This is a book you do not want to miss.. @BookBriefs is discussing #Whichwood by @TaherehMafi @PenguinTeen and #TaherehMafi! #magic Click To Tweet
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
I liked a lot of things about this book, but I was distracted by the fact that I knew my 13-year-old daughter would HATE it because of the gory descriptions of things (she is not a fan of gross descriptions—and this book had lots of them!). It made me sad because she adored the first book so much and was looking forward to the sequel. I agree that Mafi’s writing is whimsical and fun, though!
Michelle @ Book Briefs
I agree. It was pretty gory! Much more so than the first book.
I also loved Furthermore, and am such a fan of companions, that I am very excited to read this one too. Time got away from me, and I am late to read this, but I will read it before the year ends. Great review!