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.
I wish I could go back to when I was a little girl and have someone (possibly Tahereh herself) read this book to me. The incredibly beautiful, colorful and vibrant writing style had me falling completely in love.
She stopped too many times, wandering off the main path, catching deep breaths and holding them, too selfish to let them go. She spun until her skirts circled around her, smiling so wide she thought her face would break and blossom. She hopped around on tiptoe, and only when she could stand it no longer would she exhale what wasn’t hers to keep.
Since the narrator directly talks to the reader often it actually felt like Tahereh was sitting at the edge of my bed and was telling me a wonderful story; and then we followed Alice’s journey together. Because, guys, the world building. The amazing world building! I don’t know how she did it, how she even imagined it, but it was enchanting. Tahereh creates a world completely magical, full of color and life. Despite being irrational, since for example you can fall into the sky or things like that, it felt so damn real. And that’s all to the writing.
The characters were just as lovely. Alice is just a girl, a girl who’s different from everyone else in her village since they’re all full of colors and she has none, but she’s so fierce! She’s stubborn, and brave, she loves wholly, and she feels deeply. She wants to find her father and when the occasion comes she takes it, even if it’s with the boy who’s always been rude and mean to her, Oliver. As the journey into Furthermore, a dangerous place you’re not really supposed to understand, where visitors aren’t exactly well accepted, they discover new things about each other and about themselves. They also risk their lives on a daily basis. They have to make a lot of decisions, and being both so young, they’re sometimes impulsive, or naive and so they make mistakes. I didn’t find it to be annoying at all, though. As long as you remember that it’s a middle grade book.
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.
The moral is the purpose of this book in my opinion, and the ending was perfectly clear on that front. I think this is a beautiful tale that can bewitch both old and young.