Review: Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand

Middle Grade Reads

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand

Published: May 17, 2016 by Simon & Schuster

some kind of happinessTHINGS 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.

December of last year, I found that blurb on Goodreads while looking through upcoming middle grade titles and I knew I needed to preorder this book. I’ve been dealing with discovering and tackling my own mental health over the past two years especially, and I found myself trying to capture that state of unease in my own writing. Also, the fact that Claire Legrand herself has had depression and anxiety since a young age (read her story here) suggested insight that might not be present from the outside. And I was not disappointed.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Some Kind of Happiness by Clare Legrand

Waiting on Wednesday

some kind of happinessThis might not be a feature I’ll do every week, but there are a lot of books I’m excited about that haven’t been released yet.

Today’s pick is Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand, which comes out on Tuesday! I’ve got it preordered and I can’t wait to dive into it when it arrives.

This is one of the many 2016 releases that I became interested in based off its synopsis rather than hype (though it has gotten good reviews so far), so here is that blurb:

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.

A middle grade book about mental health and escaping through imagination and fiction?

amy big yes

This book was made for me, basically. It’s especially relevant as I have been working on a middle grade book that discusses anxiety, and it’s difficult to strike the balance between character and plot, and light and darkness.