Title: Some Kind of Happiness
Author: Claire Legrand
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
‘THINGS FINLEY HART DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT• Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)• Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.• Never having met said grandparents.• Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real–and holds more mysteries than she’d ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.Reality and fantasy collide in this powerful, heartfelt novel about family, depression, and the power of imagination.’
My rating: ★★★★★/5 stars
Some Kind of Happiness is about a 10-year-old girl named Finley who has to spend her summer at her grandparent’s house because her parents are having problems. She has never met her grandparents, or anyone from her dad’s side of the family, before.
Finley has blue days she wants no one to know about. Days on which she can’t physically get out of bed, and when life feels overwhelming. Her only escape is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that she often writes about in her notebook, until she discovers that the Everwood is real, and that it’s right behind her grandparent’s house. And it holds more mysteries and secrets than she could’ve imagined.
I am struggling to find words to describe how much I loved Some Kind of Happiness. Finley’s struggles are heartbreaking, but as someone who deals with them herself, they felt so so real. I felt so much happiness when I realized that I finally found a book that describes what I feel, too. Even though it was hard to read at times.
I also loved the aspect of the Everwood, and found it a brilliant way to describe what was going on in Finely’s mind. I also loved the dark magical-realism vibes it gave to the book, which made this so much more than ‘just’ a mental-health book.
The family aspect was amazing as well. While Finley found it hard to get along with her oh-so-perfect family at first, it warmed my heart to see her become such great friends with her cousins, seeing their adventures in the Everwood, and seeing the whole family grow closer when their secrets are finally out in the open. I especially adored Finley’s relationship with her older cousin, because they really helped and supported each other.
Some Kind of Happiness is a book that really had an impact on me, and is going to have a big impact on a lot of it’s readers. It is a story that won’t easily be forgotten, and holds lessons that are going to help the people who need them.
All in all, I basically want to buy everyone copies of this book for Christmas so everyone can read it. It was amazing.