Furthermore is a wonderful novel. Whimsy isn't my thing, or it wasn't, until I finished this tale in a flurry of turning pages, rapid heartbeats, and yes, even a salty tear or two. I'm even making a foolish attempt at imitating Mafi's prose style, I was so enamored with it. So go out and read this one right away. I'm telling you, it's awesome.
In particular, I loved Mafi's use of point of view, a first-person narrator looking back on the events of the story--in past tense. That said, 99% of the novel reads like third person omniscient because the narrator spends 99% of the time bouncing in and out of characters' heads. Mostly we're in close third with our heroin, Alice. But then we also spend a good amount of time occupying the brain of Oliver--her frenemy. And we even flit into the mind of some minor player a time or two. Often, though not always, chapter beginnings return the reader to the third omniscient and immerse them in a surreal setting that grows more layered throughout. It's like first, third limited, and third omniscient rolled into one.
This approach allows Mafi to shine in many ways. We get the lush, imaginative setting, incisive explications of her characters' emotional states, and her charming, conversational pronouncements to the reader. It provides an array of options for controlling pacing and the slow release of information crucial to enticing the reader forward. It's also key to guiding young readers through internal conflict as relationships change and the protagonists' quest increases in difficulty--we know what all the good guys are thinking, leaving our minds free to embrace the alluring entrapments of Furthermore. There are places where emotions are told in a violation of the "show-don't-tell" mantra, which just so happens to drive writers mad. (Okay, maybe it drives me mad; I hope you're okay with it.) But I think this is okay--it's freeing in fact. What narrator looking back on an adventure doesn't tell you how they felt?