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Whichwood

Review

Whichwood

I was thrilled when I learned that FURTHERMORE was getting a sequel. I have been a fan of Tahereh Mafi's since her Shatter Me series, so I was really excited to learn that she was trying her hand at middle grade. The Furthermore books are books that give the reader an amazing adventure, while stretching the mind, and teaching important lessons along the way.

WHICHWOOD is a story about a girl who washes the dead and the discovery of new friends and a wonderful moral for any age to learn. Although the book is very dark at times, it is definitely more beautiful than scary and includes lots of great lessons about friendship and identity.

"WHICHWOOD is a magical journey that will have your readers minds spinning with fantastical stories and will introduce them to friendships that go beyond looks, education, race and beliefs."

I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book. Laylee has had a hard life --- she's basically on her own at the age of 13 and has a weight on her shoulders that no child should ever have to bear. I loved her strength and determination, as well as her compassion for people who have not been compassionate to her in return. I loved her grace and beauty, outside and in.

I also adored Benjamin and am hopeful that we will get more from him in future books. His story makes me a bit squeamish but he is much like Laylee and I am curious to see more of him in the future.

As for Oliver...well, Oliver is a bit of a special case. I can say that in the beginning I thought he was a careless, thoughtless, self-absorbed boy, but in the end I fell head over heels for him and I want to see him in the future. His heart is bigger and more compassionate than I ever could have expected and out of all the characters he moved me the most, maybe it is my romantic heart and maybe it was an ending line in the story that did me in, but he is the guy. He in this story is my Warner. He may be your middle grade reader's first book boyfriend!

I loved the way that Tahereh Mafi wrote WHICHWOOD, and especially loved that she took the time to explain a little back story or to answer questions that weren't clear within the character dialogue. I could talk about her writing style and world building for days; every little detail was beautiful and poignant.

This is a wonderful read, with beautiful characters. WHICHWOOD is a magical journey that will have your readers minds spinning with fantastical stories and will introduce them to friendships that go beyond looks, education, race and beliefs. It will remind them that it is not what is outside of the person but what is inside them that is the most important when finding new friends. I really loved this book even with all of its faults. Tahereh has made me fall in love with another world and I just want more!

Reviewed by Dana Cuadrado on November 28, 2017

Whichwood
by Tahereh Mafi