Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Whichwood
Author: Tahereh Mafi 
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers   
Source: ALA Annual   
Format: ARC
Age Group: Teens
Genre: Fantasy

A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.
Our story begins on a frosty night… Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear. But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship. 

I don't know how else to really put it but the fact that while reading this book I felt I was being told a bed time story sums up the book. And for me it, that is perfect. Bed time stories were always a huge part for me while growing up and I could picture my dad tucking me in and rack his brain for another fantastical adventure to lull me to sleep.

One of the best parts of this book is that you could read this as a stand-alone, but it does help familiarize you with the characters by reading Furthermore first though. In the village of Whichwood, we set out on an adventure with the village's last remaining mordeshoor, Laylee, and her journey in finding the color and the many things her world brings. 

The story was so great and so original that it pained me a little when it ended. Tahereh is a master at storytelling and she doesn't disappoint with this story. We are reunited with familiar faces but we are also introduced to new friends that will stay with you till the end. 

Laylee is such a strong girl. The amount of work, pressure, and among other things she deals with on a daily basis makes me question the days I come home from work and whine. She goes through so much in this novel that all you want to do is cheer her on or offer a supporting hand. I am not surprised by her reaction to when Alice and Oliver suddenly appear but as the novel moves forward, the three develops a friendship that is live saving. 

There will be some tears (if you are emotional like me) and if not, there will at least be some emotional tugs. Tahereh is brilliant in everything she writes and brings that in Whichwood. A magical adventure where you have look past the obvious and search for the light in friends, Whichwood brings the magic we all look for. This is a novel that shouldn't be passed. 

I give this novel 5 souls!

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