“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.”
― Tahereh Mafi, Furthermore
I am definitely guilty of judging Furthermore by its beautiful cover, and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to read it. This was my first time reading anything by Mafi, and though it was ultimately a good story, I am not sure it convinced me to try her other books. The reason for this, despite my four star rating for the book, is that it took me a long time to care much about the protagonist. This feels harsh, since the character in question is a twelve-year-old, but until about half-way through, I didn't think she was a terribly likable figure. There was a mixture of precociousness, helplessness and childish arrogance (admittedly not inappropriate in a child), which just took some getting used to. I would actually have liked to read more about her mother or Oliver, or even her father. That being said, I did eventually warm to her, and liked the way Mafi illustrated the development of Alice's and Oliver's friendship. The world-building was fairly good from Alice's perspective, but it was not a world I really wanted to dip my toes into. There was no explanation of much of anything beyond the colorful surface, and I wanted to know more.
This book, for me, was not quite like, for example, Neil Gaiman's or Cornelia Funke's books, which are often geared towards children, but have a similar appeal for adults. Furthermore was a nice read, with a tidy, if rather hurried, ending. For adult readers, however, I think there was a lack in depth that would probably prevent me from returning, should this develop into a series. I don't want to end this review on a negative note, since it was most certainly not a bad book, just not quite as brilliantly colorful as the cover suggests.