Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi Review

Title: Whichwood

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Format: Audiobook

Narrator:  Bronson Pinchot

Publication Date: November 14, 2017

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Audible

Synopsis:
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.

 

Whichwood gets 4 stars from me!! This is a great Middle Grade read. It is fascinating and fun without talking down to it’s readers. I find that it’s so rare that I love books of this age range that I feel like Tahereh Mafi deserves all the handclaps for this.
Laylee was such a great character. She was mean and hateful and cynical. In contrast to Alice it was absolutely fascinating to watch them interact. I felt Laylee’s bitterness on a visceral level. I’ve talked before about how hard it is for me as a mother to now read about terrible parents. It hurts my heart and makes me cry. This one was even harder because neither of her parents set out to be terrible. For the first eleven years of her life Laylee was loved by her mother and father. Then her mother died and her father’s mind broke. It was so hard to read about that becuase Laylee should have had support. But no worries, Alice and Oliver show up. They do what they do best, and try to help Laylee. There are mishaps, mistakes and miscommunications but it all ends up working out. I love that the narrator talks directly to the reader, it feels so intimate and that’s often missing in middle grade fiction.

The loss of a star is directly related to the fact that the build did feel long because there were at least 3 times it felt like the climax of the book had been reached. It was just a little odd and left me feeling like I didn’t know where I was at in the book. Still it was great and I would absolutely recommend to people of all ages.

4/5 – An Enjoyable Read, Well Written

**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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“It is, after all, a simple and tragic thing that on occasion our unkindness to others is actually a desperate effort to be kind to ourselves.”
― Tahereh Mafi, Whichwood