Book Reviews · Books · Favorites · Fiction · Middle Grade

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrande

13260524My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It’s going to be a weird summer for Finley Hart. First, she has to figure out how to deal with the fact that her parents might be getting a divorce. Second, she has to spend the summer at her grandparents’ house. She’s never even met her grandparents. Third, she’s having “blue days.” Days where she’s sad for no reason and she can’t snap out of it. Days where she can’t get out of bed and feels hopeless and scared. Nobody else knows about her blue days. 

On her blue days, Finley retreats to the imaginary Everwood. In the Everwood she can be herself. Over the summer, Finley (with the help of her cousins) brings the Everwood to life. There she discovers that she may not be the only one in the family who has been keeping secrets. 

“The Dark Ones latched on to her, digging their shadowed claws into her shoulders, wrapping their arms around her  throat. 

When the queen opened her eyes, she saw the world through a cloudy black veil.” 

Some Kind of Happiness completely blew me away. As someone who has struggled with depression for the majority of their life, I want to hug Claire Legrande for writing this book. Finley’s experience was one of the most accurate depictions of depression that I have ever encountered before. The fact that it was told through the eyes of an eleven year old made it feel more realistic to me. There was no sugar-coating, no scientific explanations, no playing the martyr. Finely didn’t really understand why she was constantly feeling sad and afraid, but she just trudged along, dealing with it as best as she could.

“How can the world look so perfect when I feel so broken?”

Finley escaped into her notebook and her stories of the Everwood as a coping mechanism for dealing with her sadness and her parents’ divorce. The world she created and the way her stories paralleled what was happening in her own life was brilliantly done.

“Still my sadness remains. It comes and goes in waves, like a never-ending ocean.” 

This was an incredible story, not only about mental health, but also the bonds of family and friendship that help pull us through the hard times. I highly recommend it. 

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