First sentence: “Once there was a great, sprawling forest called the Everwood.”
Finley Hart’s summer is not what she expects it to be.
- Instead of spending it with her parents, she’s sent to her grandparents’ house, a place she had never been and is full of relatives she had never met before.
- She finds that her forest kingdom called Everwood lives right behind her grandparent’s house.
- Her cousins join Finley on her adventures in the forest.
- She has blue days, and has to try to keep them locked away from herself and her relatives.
- She finds mysteries and secrets that she wants to uncover.
That is just a taste of what you can expect from Some Kind of Happiness. Everything that Claire Legrand has written will transport you to this magical world that weaves in the real life with Finley’s fantasical stories. You won’t be able to tear your eyes away from it.
YOU NEED TO READ SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE…
- It’s written by Claire Legrand!
Claire Legrand and her writing will never disappoint. I 100% guarantee you.
After reading three of her Middle Grades, I can officially say that Claire is my favorite Middle Grade writer. She tells stories that push and pulls you in every direction and seep into your soul until you’re feel like you’re an eleven year old all over again. She can depict scenes and feelings as if you’ve possessed the main character and are in their shoes. Young readers will enjoy and relate to Legrand’s characters, and older readers will too! That’s the beauty of her writing.
- As a way to cope with her problems, Finley creates a forest kingdom called Everwood that she loses herself in.
Sometimes, when people encounter problems they don’t want to deal with, they channel it into something else like drawing or focusing on their work. For Finley, she channels those problems and feelings she is afraid to confront into her writing.
One of the things you learn about Finley is that she has a big imagination, and likes writing and words; it’s her safe haven.She can lose herself in her writing. She does not go far without the world she created: the beloved forest kingdom called Everwood, where an orphan girl, a knight, pirates, and plenty of other characters get together to save the forest. The things Finley writes about parallels her life. Her writing is a way to cope with and express her fears when she is too afraid to voice them out loud to her family and to herself. This is something that all people—young and old—can relate to.
- You will feel Finley’s sadness seep into your being.
Prepare for your emotions to fly all over the place! ‘Cause my dear friends, you’ll want to give Finley a big hug after what you find out about her.
Finley experiences “blue days,” where a heaviness presses down on her. Sometimes, she finds herself unable to get out of bed because the sadness weighs her down. She doesn’t know where it comes from, and she doesn’t feel like she has a right to get sad because there are people experiencing worst things than she is. She also often worries she’s not a true Hart. Her sadness is something she doesn’t want anybody to know, and she does her best to keep it away from her relatives. (My heart, you guys!)
Every situations, thoughts, and feelings that’s depicted about Finley’s depression and panic attacks are so well-done, and many readers will be able understand what Finley is going through. I was trying not to full on cry during these scenes. Her fear and anxiety spoke to me!
- Great friendships are made when you least expect it.
You know what they say, blood is thicker than water, and the friendship that develops between Finley and her cousins sent me over the moon in joy! Despite not having grown up with any of her cousins, Finley, a loner, finds herself surrounded by them for the Summer, and readers get to see Finley grow fiercely attached to them and vice versa. I loved that with Finley’s arrival into her cousins’ lives, Finley becomes the glue that connects them all.
Not only does she become close with her cousins, she develops a friendship with the Bailey boys, who live next door up in the hills. Finley’s cousins have been told all their lives by their grandmother that the Bailey boys are the worst people and Hart children should never interact with them. Finley ignores the warning when she is told. And by doing that, she makes some of the best friends she’ll ever have. She has found a group of people who love her and are excited to hang with her. (Totally got emotional during this too.)
- The mysteries start an adventure takes Finley, her cousins, and the Bailey boys on a road they can’t turn back.
What does an abandoned house in the woods, a child’s shoe, a rusty pocketknife, and a warped bicycle have in common? It sets Finley, her cousins, and the Bailey boys on an adventure!
They start to uncover things that make them ask questions and make the adults anxious. Once everything unravels, it’ll change everybody—for the better or worse? Who knows. Everything’s connected, just remember that. ;)
Pretending is the Hart way.
Okay, when characters ~pretend, it’s one of my favorite and somewhat frustrating thing to read. Not talking about certain things or withholding information is such a human thing to do. These characters in Some Kind of Happiness have their reasons for pretending like everything’s fine and dandy. Their reasons can be that they’re afraid, they’re trying to protect themselves or their loved ones, or they don’t want to acknowledge unpleasantness. Whatever their reasons, everybody does it, and I loved every bit of it. I liveeeeed for it!
Should you read Some Kind of Happiness? A BAZILLION YESSSSSSSS. YES, YES, YESSSSSSSS.
I’m gonna shout at you to read Some Kind of Happiness. You must read it! This Middle Grade discusses so many things that all readers—young and old—will enjoy and be able to relate to. You get a girl who experiences sadness (that’s depicted so perfectly!) and tries to express it through her writing; a magical forest kingdom called Everwood; friendships that make you trust and do things you never thought you’d do; a fantasy life that speaks so much about Finley’s fears; pirates and family secrets, and so much more! It’s a book I wished I had when I was younger.
Say yes to Some Kind of Happiness, to Finley Hart, to the Everwood, to Claire Legrand! Let it sweep you off your feet!