Author: Claire Legrand
Age group: 8 - 12
Page count: 384 pages
Summary from the author's website:
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, for fans of Counting By 7s and Bridge to Terabithia.
The first thing I liked about Some Kind of Happiness was that Finley wrote stories. Many books have protagonists who write stories as well. These protagonists often come across to me as inconsiderate, because they always seem to be trying to envision the perfect world. A world where so-and-so didn't exist or nobody follows rules. Finley wrote stories because she wanted to find a way to be happy. She let there be problems in her stories because she recognized there were problems in her own life. I love the fact that Finley wrote stories, and I love her stories. They show Finley as a flawed girl who tries to do what's best.
I also love the character of Finley. Finley felt really sad: her parents were having problems, she was sent away for the summer to live with relatives she'd never met, and she has days where life feels so complicated. Finley tried to be happy and considerate. Her character is so understandable and relatable. She belongs in the Everwood and makes new friends there.
The friendship between Finley, her cousins and the Baileys was so strong. They did all they could to help one another. They wanted to prove themselves. They cared deeply for each other, and I felt really touched.
I expected the Everwood at Finley's grandparents' house to be imagined. But Finley turned an ordinary forest into something special - a place that contained friendship and happiness.
The writing was what really pulled everything off. The author clearly describes the situation. It is packed with so much emotion. Every single page pulled me in.
I loved this book. I highly recommend it. With a great protagonist, strong friendships and descriptive writing, this book will definitely be one you will enjoy. I give it a nine out of ten!
Her first novel is The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012. She is also the author of The Year of Shadows, a ghost story for middle grade readers; and Winterspell, a young adult re-telling of The Nutcracker. Some Kind of Happiness, her middle grade novel about mental illness, family secrets, and the power of storytelling, is a 2017 Edgar Award Nominee. Claire’s latest novel, Foxheart, is a classic fantasy-adventure and a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. She is one of the four authors behind The Cabinet of Curiosities, an anthology of dark middle grade short fiction that was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Bank Street Best Book, and among the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2014.
Taken from her website, click the button below to go to it!
Wrath of the Storm, the third book in the Mark of the Thief trilogy comes out this week! I'm so excited to read it!
Have a wonderful week!