Rating: 4.5 stars
“She would be strong and she would be weak, and both would be okay.”
In a land where colour equals magic, and where flowers are the preferred snack of many, Alice Queensmeadow stands out. With her lack of pigmentation to hair, eyes and skin, she distinctly feels like she does not fit in. Despite this, she is determined to prove that she is as magical as everyone else in Ferenwood, and what better time to do exactly that, than at the upcoming Surrender ceremony, where all 12 year olds must display their magical talent. However, for Alice, her father’s disappearance over 3 years ago tugs her away from the path every other 12 year old seems destined to take, and instead she embarks on an adventure to find her father, accompanied by Oliver, someone (irritatingly good at magic) from Alice’s past.
With Wonderland-esque confusion and oddities, Alice and Oliver’s quest takes them deep into Furthermore, a land where nothing is as it seems; a place where fully dimensional people can become simply 2D, and where if you loiter too long, you may be at risk of being…well…eaten.
Mafi cleverly uses second person writing (after all, who doesn’t love to be called a ‘dear reader’?) and with delightfully unusual chapter breaks, we get to follow Alice on her expedition into Futhermore. Travel with her as she meets possibly friendly/possibly hostile foxes, befriends Time, visits Left, and accepts her differences, becoming the hero she is searching for.
(Summary originally posted here)
I freaking loved this book. With the quirkiness of it all and the wonderful (and wonderfully flawed) Alice as the main character, this had to be one of my favourite releases and reads of 2016. My only reason for not giving this a full 5 stars is because part of the concluding chapters felt a little rushed for me – but saying that, I still highly recommend this, and it will remain a definite favourite.