Whichwood – Tahereh Mafi

31563982Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: November 14th, 2017
Publisher: Dutton BFYR
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Friendship, Ghosts


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.


This was slightly more interesting than Furthermore. I find it peculiar that it is marketed as a companion to its predecessor, because to me it feels like a sequel, though one whose main character is Laylee instead of Alice.

Laylee and Alice have something in common: both of their fathers have disappeared. They also both have magical abilities, but Laylee’s are much darker. Her job is to prepare dead bodies to the afterlife, a consuming task that gnaws at her lifeline.

Indeed, Laylee is going to die. Perhaps this is why Alice and Oliver were sent to Whichwood? Perhaps they will be successful in their task to relieve her from the pressure she is feeling every day? Perhaps they will save her? Maybe, but then again maybe not.

I found this so-called companion novel better than Furthermore because I was very captivated by Laylee’s special abilities. Have I not mentioned that she can see the dead? Well, she can and does… Quite often, as you can imagine. And obviously I cared about her wellbeing, so I hoped she would be alright in the end.

Still, I think this author shines at writing YA novels. This was dark and cute – sometimes *too* cute – however what I like most about this author is the way she writes about emotions… raw, incontrollable, scary and passionate… which, understandably, are not very present in middle grade reads.


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One thought on “Whichwood – Tahereh Mafi

  1. ooh, I’m excited to pick this one up now. I just finished Furthermore a few days ago so good to hear this is more a sequel than a companion novel… it gives me more motivation to read it straight away. Lovely review!


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