Katie Reads: Some Kind of Happiness

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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.

Some Kind of Happiness has a stunning cover. Not that you should read books based on their covers, but it is what initially made me pick it up. I decided to buy it based on the description because young writer discovers that her fantasy world is real sounds amazing.

But that wasn’t what this book was about. Now, I’ll start by saying I really enjoyed the book, but the description is very misleading. This description makes it sound like Finley uncovers a magical world in the forest outside her grandparent’s house vaguely ala Wonderland/ Narnia/ etc. She doesn’t. Finley is just a girl with a very vivid imagination, and it may all be “real” to her, but it’s not a literal fantasy world in her grandparents’ backyard. Just to mini rant about that description not being an accurate representation of what happens.

Like I said though, I really enjoyed this book despite it not being what I expected. Instead of a fantasy, this is a touching story about a young girl facing depression and not realizing what her “blue days” really are nor how she should handle them and resorting to her own imagination. Legrand did a really good job describing what having depression and anxiety feels like to someone who doesn’t realize that that’s the problem they’re suffering from. Finley’s struggle to make sure no one finds out about the dark emotions she has was also extremely poignant. I think it’s really important to have children’s and young adult books that deal with mental health issues because not only are not all young people aware of what struggling with these problems looks like, but books like these also help normalize the emotions that someone struggling may be feeling and stresses that it’s okay and important to ask for help.

In conclusion: miffed that I didn’t get the writer finds out that the fantasy world she has been writing about is real, but also really liked the book I did get because realistic depictions of depression/ anxiety and mental health awareness in a great story!

Stay magical readers!

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