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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.

374 pages, Hardcover

First published May 17, 2016

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About the author

Claire Legrand

25 books4,118 followers
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a New York Times bestselling author of darkly magical books.

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 middle grade novel, FOXHEART, is a classic fantasy-adventure and a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. The companion novel, THORNLIGHT, was a Kids' Indie Next Pick in 2021. 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.

Her bestselling Empirium Trilogy consists of epic fantasy novels FURYBORN, KINGSBANE, and LIGHTBRINGER.

Her young adult horror novel SAWKILL GIRLS received five starred reviews. It was also a 2018 Bram Stoker Award finalist and a 2019 Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her latest novel, EXTASIA, is a young adult horror novel described as "The Handmaid's Tale meets The Craft" and was a Kids' Indie Next Pick.

Her adult debut, book 1 of THE MIDDLEMIST TRILOGY, releases in spring 2023.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 979 reviews
February 2, 2020
“I feel like we are playing the Quiet Game. When you're tired of playing and want to shout out all the words you've been keeping inside you, but you absolutely cannot lose. So instead you sit, and bite down on everything screaming inside you, and wait.”



This is a beautiful and heartbreaking story about a child who suffers from depression, anxiety and panic attacks and struggles to communicate her feelings to others, so instead she finds refuge in an imaginary word of which she writes in her beloved notebook. It's an encouraging tale of love, friendship and family; of a person's journey to accept and learn to love themselves and their own loved ones, still accepting that they are not - and nobody is, really - perfect.



Every family has one; some - like mine - have more than one: the silent child, the sensitive child, the artistic child; the one who doesn't speak much but listens to every word - even the ones which are not spoken. The one you can never lie to, or hide anything from, because they will find out and it will break their heart knowing that you were hiding from them. Why? Is it because they can't be trusted? Is it because there's something wrong with them? And what are they supposed to do with this information that they struggled so much to uncover, but that no one is willing to explain to them because "they will understand it when they get older"? Sometimes those kids grow up and slowly heal, fighting their own battle alone, and when they are adults they stop resenting their parents for the mistakes they made; others don't heal, some don't survive. That is why books like this one are so important: because, once and for all, adults have to understand this simple truth: mental illness is a thing, kids have it too, and there is nothing wrong with it. There is nothing to hide, to be ashamed of, to be scared of. There is, instead, much to talk about together, to make a kid feel safe, creating an environment in which he/she can open up and feel free to share his/her emotions.



That is why I think everybody should read this book: kids, because they will so understand that they are not alone, and adults so that they will understand that their children's struggle is real, and it has a name and that name is not a taboo, it's an illness and, like every other illness, has a cure and a doctor who can help. That is my favourite thing about this book: that the author specified how much of Finley's healing process came from talking to a professional. I wish everybody who was struggling with any kind of mental illness would have the possibility/will to seek professional help.



This story is beautiful, but even more beautiful is the message behind it. You are not alone. ❤ There is a way out. ❤ Be strong. ❤ Ask for help. ❤ Trust your loved ones. ❤ Be yourself. ❤ Live for today, because tomorrow is never known.❤
Profile Image for Dream.M.
422 reviews91 followers
November 7, 2020
حالا امشب که نفس سنگین شده و دلم خودش رو به در و دیوار قفس سینه میکوبه باید این آهنگ رو از گوشی پخش کنی؟

می‌خونه:
قسم به دلهای خسته‌ی خسته دلان
قسم به قلب شکسته‌ی خسته دلان
به آه برلب نشسته‌ی خسته دلان
که من در این سینه جزغمی آشنا به دل، هم‌زبان ندارم
از او جدا مانده‌ام در این رهگذر ز یارم نشان ندارم...
چه کنم چه کنم چه کنم...

کاش به جای پنبه، توام داس داشتی پدر!
Profile Image for Jay.
114 reviews56 followers
May 24, 2017
This book made me cry. This book made me smile. This book made me hurt... this book... is not only incredibly powerful, but wonderfully written. Who even cares if it's "middle grade"
Pfft
It's so good.
I definitely don't agree with the a lot of the reasoning in this book... and I kept thinking "oh, oh, if you knew Jesus...!" But it's still such a lovely book. Go read it.
Profile Image for mary liz.
212 reviews18 followers
January 3, 2017
I knew this was going to be a very feelsy book, but I had no idea that it was going to be one of the most emotionally touching stories I've ever read. PLEASE EXCUSE ME WHILE I CRY IN A CORNER FOR 1,382 YEARS.

Okay, first off, THE CHARACTERS. This is one of the most important factors of a book for me, and gosh, did this author outdo herself with these charries. I just want to hug Finley forever and let her know it's okay. (And Jack...don't even get me started on Jack.)

Another thing that absolutely blew me out of the water was the writing. SERIOUSLY. It's absolutely brilliant, and I may or may not be in shock from it all. I never thought it would be possible for me to actually like first person present tense...but this book proved me wrong, and I love it for that.

Then there were the themes. Deep, powerful themes that punch you in the gut. The main character Finley struggles with anxiety and depression, and I felt so connected to her, even though I don't personally have either one. But this book's themes resonated in my heart. It tells you that it's okay to feel sad. And it's okay to ask people for help. Sometimes it's just easier to shove our problems under the door and pretend they don't exist. It's less painful that way. Less vulnerable. But hiding our problems doesn't make them go away. We have to realize that it's okay to experience sadness, and it's okay to not be the "perfect person."

As far as content is concerned, I was a bit surprised that there was actually a curse word used, as well as multiple uses of God's name in vain. It's labeled as a middle-grade book so I guess I wasn't expecting anything like that? (Though I guess most people think taking God's name in vain is acceptable in today's society. I personally don't believe that. *shrugs*) I have a really low tolerance for language, and I don't condone it all. Buuuuut I can't help loving this book anyway. So yes, there's a little bit of stuff that I could do without, but this book is absolutely amazing besides that. <3

Some Kind of Happiness made me sob. It touched me more than a book has in I-don't-know-how-long. And I'm so glad that it started off my year, reminding me that life is a beautiful thing: a blended painting of sadness and happiness.
Profile Image for Susana.
985 reviews240 followers
August 8, 2016



I've been undecided between giving this book three stars or just two: for one side, giving it two stars doesn't feel right, on the other, I don't think I'll ever read it again. But I think this was mostly a case of "it's not you book, it is me".
The main character is a precocious child of eleven, who is suffering from depression and anxiety among other things. But she doesn't have a name for that, and she doesn't know how to deal with it, so she creates this magical place to which she escapes.
I've suffered from anxiety all my life and my way of dealing with it, was just to ignore it, so having to "listen" to Finley go over and over about what she was feeling started to stress me out. There were moments in which I just I didn't want to pick this book any more... but as you can see, that's my problem.
Do I think this will help kids who are going through what Finley is?
Yeah, maybe. For some, it probably won't work, but for the majority it will probably help them, and for that alone this book deserves all the stars.
Myself, I had some trouble going from "real life" moments to the moments in which Finley would enter her magical world. But I am 37 and cranky.
Even so, there were moments in which this book got me in tears, like . The same happened with my maternal grandmother, and I still can't deal with it.
Then there was the dynamics surrounding Finley's family who mostly felt too Dysneylike.
Profile Image for Sandra.
770 reviews98 followers
February 21, 2020
Mild spoilers ahead...

It makes me sad the way this story, with so much potential, was wasted. I liked many things about it: a main character who is a 10 years old girl who suffers from anxiety, depression and panic attacks (I loved the idea of introducing kids to this topic!); the fantastic stories she writes about the Everwood, and how these stories mix with reality; what means to be part of a family and how we fit or do not fit in it; Finley's struggles to accept her parents' divorce; honesty, responsibility and integrity.
I liked the beginning of the book, and I really enjoyed the end, but I felt it dragged, and dragged, and dragged, and dragged in the middle. In my opinion this book shouldn't have close to 400 pages. One hundred of them are unnecessary, which makes it repetitive and boring. Finley "inside" feelings are described over and over again, in nearly the same words. Same thing with her thoughts about her parents' divorce. I get the importance of putting these feelings in words to "reach" the reader, but there's no need of repeat everything 5 or 6 times.
I thought in rating it 3 stars, but keeping in mind the age range this book is addressed to, I think 2 stars is fair. I would say that many kids would feel like giving up the book when it becomes repetitive and the plot stagnant.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jazzy.
202 reviews62 followers
September 28, 2018
WHY WAS THAT SO AMAZING???? MY HEART AND MIND CANT COMPREHEND THE FEELS HOLY GUAC
Profile Image for Lata.
3,434 reviews180 followers
February 15, 2022
Finley Hart is dropped off by her parents at her grandparents for the summer. This is the first she's ever met these people, and Finley is worried and anxious about this. She's also deeply worried and anxious because her parents are having difficulties, and want the summer to talk.
Finley meets not only her grandparents, but a slew of cousins and aunts. Finley isn't used to such a crowd of people, but soon finds herself making friends with first Gretchen, one of the cousins, and quickly the others. The kids are soon spending their time playing what they see as a game, but what Finley has created over years as a story about a fantastical forest kingdom called Everwood. Finley uses the woods near the house, dubbing it Everwood. Meanwhile, Finley discovers that there are a number of things that Harts do not speak about, such as the 'bad' neighbour, certain parts of the Hart family history, such as why Finley's dad and her grandmother no longer speak together, and what's currently going on with Finley's grandmother. The secrets keep piling up, with Finley's anxiety and depression growing over the summer.
I enjoyed this story. The love within the Hart family comes through clearly, and at the same time, I found Finley's reactions of depression and anxiety to the secrets and her parents' situation believably written. I particularly liked how each chapter in the real world alternates with a chapter from Finley's Everwood story, which she continues to write as the summer progresses, cleverly incorporating events and her reactions into her narrative. Claire Legrand also carefully builds the tension to a dramatic conclusion as Finley investigates the various conflicting and partial statements surrounding her.
Profile Image for Carina Olsen.
778 reviews144 followers
April 2, 2019
This book is beyond precious. I cannot believe it have already been three years since I first read it. And I am so happy I finally decided to read it a second time. Because this book was exactly what I needed right now. It's heartbreaking and fun and beyond adorable. I loved it to pieces, once more. It is simply perfection.

There is so much about this book that I love. I will try my best to share most of it, but not too much. If you have not read this one yet, you are truly missing out. As everything about it is incredible. The writing is stunning. The setting is great. The characters are all the most adorable. I loved every second of this beautiful story.

And I am beyond happy with that. I'm so thrilled with how good this book is and how much I love it. But my gosh, how it ruined my heart too. Because it is all kinds of sad and real and honest. And I felt so connected to everything. It's a depressing story. But full of hope, sweet moments and the most stunning relationships. This book tells the story of eleven year old Finley. And she is the most adorable character. I love her the very most. Finley is a little broken. But so brave and kind and loving. Getting to know her more ruined my heart, as I wanted the best for this girl. Finley have depression. And anxiety. And it's affecting her life so much. She is trying to ignore it all at times. Trying to be happy, to pretend that everything is okay. But it's not. She is not okay. Not truly.

And I loved this girl so much. Because of how sad she is. Because of the blue days she have. Because she is still so brave and sweet and I just wanted to be there for her. She have not yet told her parents or anyone else about what she is going through. The darkness she feels inside of her. And it hurt my heart that she did not have anyone to help her with it. That she had to deal with these feelings alone. But my gosh, how well written it all was. I loved that. So very much. Finley was truly amazing and I adored her.

This book is the story of her having to spend the summer with her grandparents. Whom she have never met before. She has to stay with them for the summer, as her parents need to work through some things. They have not been okay for a while now, which has been affecting Finley too, and that hurt my heart so. This girl deserved more. And the fact that she often thought about how others have it worse than her, that she has no reason to be sad, made me so upset. It is so real, and so sad, and so honest. My poor heart.

But this book is not all about being sad. It is about the weeks Finley spend with her grandparents. And her cousins, whom she have never seen before either. Gretchen is her age, Kennedy a year older, Avery a teenager. And the eight year old twins. All of them ends up becoming so important to Finley. And I loved that so much. They become friends, family. They spend the summer together, having fun, and just getting to know each other. I adored Gretchen, and how she treated Finley. I loved their friendship so very much.

There is so much going on with this story. I will not write much about it. Only sharing a little bit about how much I adored this book. I loved reading about Finley. How she has good days and bad days. How she is trying to deal with everything alone. And how that is not possible as well. I loved that she wrote stories in her notebook all the time. There are parts of this story included, about the Everwood. Which was all kinds of cute. Finley was the best. I loved how she grew to care for her grandparents, despite being so nervous.

What I loved the very most, though, was her growing friendship with a boy living across the river from her grandparents. Jack. He was too cute. And I loved their almost romance. I loved how he made her laugh. How they spent time together. Finley and her cousins and Jack and his brothers. They were beyond cute together. But they were not allowed to spend any time together by the grandparents. It was forbidden. As this book had a secret. A family secret. And a pretty big one. And a mystery too, which I liked very much.

This book is about Finley. And her learning more about herself. Her finding new friends, new family. And it is also about her solving a mystery. About why her dad left his family behind all those years ago. About a mysterious burned house in the woods. About why they are not allowed to spend any time with the boys across the river. This secret was all kinds of big. And beyond heartbreaking. But interesting and exciting and so good too. And written very well. I loved figuring it all out again. Sigh. It is such an incredible book.

Every part of this book ruined me a little. I am so glad that I decided to read it again, finally. Because this book is so precious to me. It is so good and rude and heartbreaking and I love it the very most. This is a book that I feel everyone must read. Especially if you have ever been sad or worried. I feel like this book will help. I love that Claire wrote it. It is honest and real. Sad, but hopeful. Some Kind of Happiness is a perfect book. And I love it more than I can say. As I do with every book written by Claire. She is the best.

---

I first read this book on February 4th 2016. See my review here: http://carinabooks.blogspot.no/2016/0...

I read this book for the second time on April 1st 2019. See my review here: https://carinabooks.blogspot.com/2019...
Profile Image for Mission Blue.
100 reviews88 followers
February 17, 2019
If you are afraid, sad, tired, or lonely if you feel lost or strange if you crave stories and adventure, and the magic possibility of a forest path-this book is for you


That is probably the best way to sum up this book. Mental health issues mentioned in the book and its integration with the magical land of Everwood was probably one of my purely magical experiences in a fictional world.
Profile Image for SARAH.
220 reviews257 followers
August 13, 2021
صحبت از ادبیات خوب و جذاب برای نوجوان که می شود مجموعه هری پاتر توی ذهن ها، پر رنگ نقش می گیرد... کتابی که خواندم در دسته ادبیات نوجوان بود .بن مایه کتاب، ساختن جان پناه های شخصی بود برای کودک و نوجوان و یا بزرگسالی که با حقیقت هایی مواجه می شوند، حقایقی خارج از کنترل شان... نوجوان داستان بخاطر متارکه پدر و مادر افسرده و مضطرب است او یک داستان خیالی میسازد توی داستان اش قهرمان یتیمی است که قرار است جایی را(جنگل خیالی) از سیاهی نجات دهد... سیاهی همان نا امیدی رونده ای است که در دل اش جا گرفته ... ان جا که واقعیت و خیال را در هم می امیزد....اوج داستان است ،جان پناه او واقعیت ها را اشکار می کند حقیقت را از پس ابر انکار های بزرگ تر ها بیرون میزند ....می خواهم بگویم همه ما از این جان پناه ها داشتیم؛ از این دنیای های خیالی از این افکار... کتاب متنی روان و ساده داره مثل یک گرداب سیاه واژه ها تو را در بر می گیرد.... نقطه ضعف داستان عدم پردازش کافی به شخصیت هاست... داستان حول محور شخصیت اول و کودک خلاق نویسنده می گردد شخصیت های دیگر می ایند سلامی می کنند و توی غبار قصه و ماجرا گم می شوند.....با تمام این اوصاف،اارزشش را دارد که نگاهی هم به این اثر داشته باشیم.....در این فقر قصه برای نوجوانان که اشکارا به عنوان مخاطبان جدی ادبیات نا دیده گرفته شده اند ،همین اثر با تمام ضعف هایش بسیار قبال توجه است....خودم در دوارن نوجوانی به سمت اثار جدی میرفتم در 14 سالگی نخل های وحشی فاکنر را خواندم و در 13 سالگی بار هستی را با خودم فکر می کنم اگر خوراک دیگری بود اگر نویسنده ای بود که با شناخت کافی از ذهن نوجوان اثری خلق می کرد ،توجه کافی به این قشر که اتفاقا مخاطب هایی جدیی هستند می بود؛چگونه روزگارم می گذشت...؟؟
Profile Image for Karla Mae (Reads and Thoughts).
696 reviews143 followers
August 7, 2017
*ARC kindly provided by Claire Legrand - Author for review*

Some Kind of Happiness is my first experience on a Middle Grade (MG) book and I am happily surprised by how much this book made an impact on me. I love how the story was told - simple yet deep. The main topic was a direct shot to the heart. I love how refreshing it is to read a story told in the POV of a 10-year old girl.

The topic of depression and anxiety has been used by several books already. I have read my fair share of books dealing with the said topic. But what’s new about it here in Some Kind of Happiness is that it was dealt by the 10-year old girl. It actually opened my eyes that not only teenagers and adults suffer depression and anxiety. These can also make a huge impact on the life of the child affected by it.

“Everything looks like a painting: blue sky, white house, bright flowers. How can the world look so perfect when I feel so broken?”



10-year old Finley struggles about a lot of things – her parent’s divorce, her anxiety, depression and panic attacks and the upcoming summer vacation that she’s going to spend of her grandparent’s house whom she has not met yet. There, she finds herself surrounded by strangers that are her grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.

“Most people were afraid to enter the Everwood, but some brave souls made the journey anyway adventurers, witches, explorers. They never returned.”



Finley’s outlet whenever she has her “blue days” is writing on her notebook. She writes a story about a fantasy world called Everwood. Together with her cousins, they explore the woods and built their own Everwood. I really liked how the story of Everwood intertwined with the present time – with Finley and her cousins whom I must say are adorable and lovely bunch of kids.

The setting of the story also made a huge impact. I love how I get the gloomy feels as I read the book. I can really imagine the suburbs feels and the woods and the air.

“They like to pretend I don’t notice things. I think it makes them feel better, to lie to themselves and to me.”



For such a young age, Finley seems to know a lot about of things. She’s open minded and intelligent. I really liked how her character was made – well rounded and very well done. She’s complex, full of depth, intriguing yet she never lost the child in her.

Another thing this story focused on is familial relationship. The Harts are their town’s heroes but behind closed doors they have their own secrets and lies. At first, I was hesitant about Finley’s grandparents. I feel the coldness that they seem to give wherever Finley is concerned but I love how this thawed out at the end of the story. I love the interaction of the whole aunts, uncles and cousins. They have played a huge part in making the story’s world more built. Despite the secrets and all that, one thing that is evident on the Hart family is that their love and support for one another is there.

Finley’s parents are the one I won’t hide my unlikeness to. They didn’t seem to redeem themselves to me at the end of the story and even on the story itself; I cannot really feel the love of a parent being given to Finley by them. They were eaten by their own personal miseries that they forgot they have a child between them. I do understand that as adults they need to find their own self or something like that, but when there’s a child in the middle of it they should make him/her a priority.

“Only fools try to run away from fear. What you must do is learn to walk alongside it.”



This has been a great introduction in reading MG books to me. Finley’s story is simply heart tugging. I’m hoping this book would open the eyes of the adults especially the parents that kids can also suffer anxiety and depression.

An incredible story about family, friends and acceptance.

*For more reviews, please feel free to visit Reads and  Thoughts*
Profile Image for E.C..
Author 1 book70 followers
June 12, 2021
Wow.

Wow.

I just finished it not too long ago, and I have no words.

(okay, apparently I do have words, from the looks of the review below XD)

This book is stunning. Written in simplistic prose, SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS is woven of the brokenness of the world and hope, glimmering like golden threads, shines through all the way to the end.

It didn’t make me cry, but goodness… I came very, very close. Especially near the end. Okay, okay, since I just read this, let me take the opportunity to fangirl over that ending. It was so timely to me and hit straight to my heart. I love how realistic it was—not everything ended up all right. And that was okay. It was perfect, actually.

There is so much brokenness in this book, portrayed in such an honest way. Lies, secrets, broken relationships, divorce, depression, anxiety, division—it’s all here. And poor Finley had to deal with it all. But in spite of it, she learns so much about herself. About others. About life.

And those interwoven bits from her stories were beautifully written. So whimsical without being too heavy, but also not sacrificing its mysteriousness.

The only thing I didn’t like was the use of God’s name in vain. It was really unnecessary and honestly annoying to me. But it was mainly done by younger characters, so yeah. :P

There’s not really much more I can say. This book is gorgeous. Even if you’re not a fan of middle-grade, you should read this book. I’m a YA author and this book is probably my favorite middle-grade read, so if I enjoyed it, you probably will too. ;)

~

EXPECTATION CHECK

- Foresty creatures ✅
- Prose ✅
- Understanding family members//forming close bonds ✅
- Magic—kings and queens and forests (Maybe? There was magic in her stories, but not in real life :P)
- This book MIGHT make me tear up? Maybe? ( Not yet, maybe when I give it a re-read ;) )
Profile Image for N.F. Afrina.
Author 2 books647 followers
March 7, 2022
There is absolutely no reason you shouldn't get this book and read it. You'll be doing yourself a huge favour.

When I first picked up this book, I thought: "Fine, it's another book about an unhappy girl being sent away to her grandparents' house."

On second thought: "Oh, she writes in her notebook and calls the world in her head Everwood."

Then, I thought it would be a chill read.

*buzzer goes off* I was wrong.

The story is so genuine and refreshing. I have never felt so seen because I had my own Everwood when I was small. Not in the literal sense but in a way that I used to be sad for no reason and my head thinks half in fiction in a very first-nature sort of way. The messy way Finley thinks- that's exactly how I think.

The parallels of the Hart family and the woods to Everwood was just simply mindblowing. Everything just wraps up over each other. Things don't have to be epic to steal your breath.

Also, the "details-in-the-bracket" and listing writing style of the book works so well in the book. I always skim through those things in other books but instead, I find myself tabbing them.

There was this part where Finley hugged her aunt and then in the brackets it was like:

(You, pounded her heart.)
(You, answered mine)


I will definitely be shoving this book to everyone's face.
Profile Image for aída.
72 reviews2 followers
May 7, 2021
did this book completely break me because i couldn’t have chosen a worse time to pick it up or did i precisely read this when i needed it the most? i guess we’ll never know for sure
Profile Image for Lucille.
994 reviews198 followers
August 17, 2017
This book. THIS BOOK. I wasn’t expecting to gain a new favourite when I started reading this. Of course when I buy a book I’m always hoping to love it, but this book moved me deeply and I found I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So here I am, writing a review on here so that more poeple can learn about it!
I had been meaning to read this book ever since it was published last year, mostly because the cover looks amazing, but what gave me the final push to buy a copy when it was released as a paperback was knowing Laura loved the book (her review) and the beautiful book aesthetic she made for it on twitter.

From the description of the novel, I thought it was going to be a novel with some mild fantasy elements, but it is not. It was not a disappointment to me thankfully, but I thought it was important to say right ahead.
Finley is a 10/11 years old girl who loves words and to write stories about the Everwoods in her precious notebook. As readers of the novel, we get a glimpse of her stories at the start of each chapters, sometimes as long a a page or three. Her stories echo her life and her struggle, and she often finds logic in them and explains the world around her through those, where unknown mean-looking boys are transformed into pirates and her cousin into a brave lady knight.

The fourth image in Laura’s aesthetic is actually very representative of this aspect of the story, when Finley and her cousins go into the forest behind their grandparents house to play and explore. It is a very atmospheric read at times, the woods feel almost alive.

Some kind of Happiness is a story about family, what it is to belong to one, to find one’s place and to be accepted. It is also about family’s secrets, about a troubled past that does not only haunts the grown-ups, but the younger ones as well. Where unsaid things hurt more than actual harsh words.

“I start to worry that I should be saying something. Most of the time I think I could be perfectly content without saying a single word, but no one else seems to function that way. There is so much talking in the world, and so much expectation to talk, even if you do not feel like talking. I find it overwhelming.”

I loved Finley as a character. She is always trying to be a good person, listening to others but also giving a chance to people who don’t always have a say in things. She’s also a young girl struggling with a great burden. While the words aren’t said for the most part of the story, I find it important to talk about it here: this book is about a little girl struggling with depression and anxiety. She does not understand, she does not know there are words for the “blue days” and dark thoughts that plague her, but poeple around her will help her figure things out. Not without difficulties.

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

Another thing I was glad regarding her mental illness is that there is no past trauma to explain it, there is no magical explanation nor magical cure. While mental illnesses can be caused by something, it also often isn’t and I more often than not find novels who use a mental illness to create a plot around a troubled past or event when it is not needed. So, another good point for this book! There is also a good portrayal of a therapist, which I appreciated. It is important to show people that those professionals are here to help. While Finley doesn’t react well to this encounter, it is still a good element of the novel in my opinion.

This is a very sad story, but also a very nice one. The way Finley grows closer to her family helps during the sad parts. While it moved me to tears more than once, it is also a story I’m so very glad exists, especially since it is aimed at younger readers. The back of the book says “8-12”, but I can tell you that this is one of those books that anyone can love.

(Review also posted on my blog)
Profile Image for Maureen.
484 reviews4,219 followers
December 31, 2019
This book is such a beautiful story of friendship, mental health, and how stories impact people. I loved Finley and especially her family and how they welcomed her with open arms my HEART.
Profile Image for Abigayle Claire.
Author 8 books217 followers
September 27, 2020
4.5 stars

This book blew my mind. Finley was an amazing main character, and her entire "family life" dynamic was very, very real. From her parents who love her but not each other to her grandparents and cousins who are basically everyone's grandparents and cousins. SO well done!

I've never seen a book handle imagination and "darkness" so well, either. Cause Finley had both. Her stories are what keep her going when she curls up inside of herself and wants to hide from all the concerned adults. Everyone can relate to that to some degree, even if they're not an introvert and don't suffer from depression. Anxiety happens. While I was a little disappointed there was no Jesus in this story (because that was really what every character in this story called for!!), I still appreciated the book as a whole.

I'm going to be one of those people makes lists in their book reviews for this one, because (1) the book was full of lists so it fits, and (2) I have to find a way to organize my thoughts other than the paragraph or I will forget something epic!!

THINGS I LOVED
//the family relationships like I already said
//the entire mystery thread! It was creepy and really incredible
//all the cousin adventures. Every kid adores adventures and (most of the time) adores cousins their age
//the imagination and that Finley was a writer <3
//the very name of Everwood and how all Finley's stories mirrored her life
//the honesty about life's hard problems
//the lists in the book! What a happy, orderly way to try and make sense of the world
//everything about the Bailey boys. They were such fun characters and of course Jack was the best ... although I am basically Cole hehe.
//the coming-of-age feel because it's a darkness-meets-childhood story
//
//it rained while I read this book. Can the book help that? No. But it fit REALLY well

THINGS I DISLIKED
//no Jesus, like I said. Hello, everyone's struggling with forgiveness and accepting darkness. What do they need?? God's forgiveness and Jesus's light. *sigh* Oh well.
//curse words. Why?! Not overly offensive to me, but I can't force it into my little brothers' hands now, and it made the book overall much less middle-grade friendly
//the overall perfection of this book. How -_-

Overall, while I'd love to recommend this for little kids, I'll have to recommend it for 13+ because of the language factor, a creepy mystery (not complaining!), and issues like divorce, illness, depression, and some behavior not to be condoned. But it's a very epic, engaging, and thrilling story. My entire childhood can be summed up by saying I was a Finley wannabe: twin cousins, writing, neighbor boys ... I just never found an abandoned house. But hey, I had different struggles and I got the redemption she missed out on, so I wouldn't trade. ;)
Profile Image for Fatemeh Bahrami.
100 reviews51 followers
October 4, 2021
اگر می‌ترسی
اگر غمگینی
اگر خسته‌ای یا تنها
اگر گاه گم می‌شوی و اگر گاه احساس می‌کنی موجودی غریب هستی میان آدم‌ها
اگر قصه‌ها را دوست داری و ماجراجویی میان جنگلی خیالی را
این کتاب برای توست :)

(نوشتهٔ اول کتاب)

″یک جور خوشبختی″ یه داستان معمایی_روانشناسی برای ردهٔ سنی نوجوانه، قصه‌ای که خواننده رو توی تخیلات شخصیت اصلی می‌کشونه و به همین خاطر شاید بشه گفت چاشنی فانتزی داره، البته این چاشنی توی صفحات اول ممکنه باعث گیجی بشه ولی کم‌کم جاشو پیدا می‌کنه و زیبایی داستان رو چند برابر!

توی این کتاب شاهد چند ماه از زندگی یه دختر درونگرا هستیم. فینلی هارت ۱۱ ساله که پدری اهل ادبیات داره و خودش هم در دنیای کلمات غرقه. اون احساساتش رو به جای بیان کردن می‌نویسه و اینطوری خودش رو تسلا می‌ده. مهم‌ترین و عزیزترین داستان فینلی، داستان اوروود (ever_wood)ه. جنگلی خیالی و اسرار آمیز که هر شخصیتش، نمادی از اطرافیان فینلی هستن. کهن‌محافظ‌ها، دخترک یتیم، بانوی شوالیه یا...
پدر و مادر فینلی تصمیم به طلاق گرفتن. اونا برای اینکه مدتی تنها باشن، فینلی رو به شهری جنگلی و خونهٔ بزرگ هارت (محل زندگی پدربزرگ و مادربزرگ پدری فینلی) می‌فرستن. فینلی که تا به حال هیچ ملاقاتی با خانوادهٔ پدریش نداشته، غرق میشه در اندوه، سیاهی، احساس پس‌زدگی و تنهایی... و به علاوهٔ این‌ها، متوجه راز بزرگی میشه که والدین پدرش سعی دارن ازش پنهان کنن و اون، دلیل طرد شدن پدرش و احساس گناه اطرافیانشه!


شخصیت فینلی، به علاوهٔ گرچن و جک، شخصیت‌های مورد علاقه‌م بودن. فینلی یه درونگرای خیال‌پردازه (و بله، درست مثل من:) ) گرچن بهترین دوستیه که فینلی می‌تونست پیدا کنه و جک... پسری قوی، با روحیه و خوش‌بین!

به نظرم این داستان به‌طور غیر مستقیم نشون می‌داد که چقدر بچه‌ها توی حل مسائل از بزرگ‌ترها بهترن، ارزش دوستی رو بهتر می‌دونن و همه چیز براشون زیباتره. دنیای آدم بزرگ‌ها حتی از سیاهی‌های قلب فینلی هم تیره‌تر بود! شبیه یه نفرین که حتی می‌تونست درخت‌های اوروود (جهانی رویایی در ذهن فینلی_نمادی از زیبایی) رو تبدیل به خاکستر کنه! و دختر ۱۱ سالهٔ داستان، یک تنه می‌خواست این نفرین و تاریکی رو پس بزنه! همین خواننده رو دنبالش می‌کشوند تا بخواد سرانجام این مبارزهٔ نابرا��ر رو بفهمه...

خلاصه که اگه به داستان نوجوان علاقه دارین، اگه درونگرا و رویا پردازین، اگه به نمادسازی در دل داستان علاقه‌دارین، ″یک جور خوشبختی″ رو توی لیست بذارین√

•~•~•~•~•

چند خط از کتاب که دوست داشتم:

_ کم کم نگران می‌شوم و فکر می‌کنم باید چیزی بگویم. برای من حرف نزدن آسان است چون بیشتر وقت‌ها همین طوری هستم اما فکر نمی‌کنم بقیه‌ی مردم این‌طور باشند.
دنیا پر است از آدم‌هایی که حرف می‌زنند و انتظار دارند تو هم حرف بزنی حتی اگر آدم پرحرفی نباشی!
به نظرم فضا زیاد سنگین می‌آید...



_ مار غلت زد و در میان تاریکی رفت. دختر یتیم پشت سر مار فریاد زد:
«نمی‌توانم جلوی ترسم را بگیرم!»
بعد، آرام با خودش گفت: «این ترس مدت‌هاست با من است.»
مار فریاد زد: «فقط نادان‌ها از ترس فرار می‌کنند. چیزی که باید یاد بگیری این است که چطور در کنارش زندگی کنی.»

•~•~•~

پ‌ن۱: ترجمه ایراد داشت. مخصوصاً اوایل داستان و یکم توی ذوق می‌زد.

پ‌ن۲: اگه کتاب (ماه بر فراز مالیفیسنت) رو خوندین و دوست داشتین، یک جور خوشبختی رو هم بخونین. چون داستان واقعا مشابهی دارن.
Profile Image for Beth.
1,133 reviews109 followers
January 25, 2022
Wow. I finally have a book to get behind for this year's Newbery, and (considering Navigating Early) maybe even for this year's Printz. This is fantastic.

I've got two overarching reactions to this. The first is that this is throwback children's lit: it's a what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation book. (That we have Enright and Lai and DeCamillo and now Legrand is testament to how much there is to be mined in these stories; this certainly isn't a denigration.) This is a family story, and it's warm and welcoming and loyal - and secretive and complicated. There are new friendships to be made and a wood to explore and make believe games to play. There are people more sincere than others, and people more open than others, and kids who are unique and simultaneously recognizable. (Side note: there are also a lot of artists.)

The vocabulary means that Finley reads as older than eleven, which made me think of the Printz first; I was pretty surprised to realize that this is shelved as J FIC - not because of any content, this book is great for juvenile readers - but because of the language, and frankly, because of the length. This might be three times the length of Raymie Nightingale.

The second reaction, almost inseparable from the story, is - to my mind, anyway - the inevitable comparison to We Were Liars. Massive spoilers:

Part of me does wonder, cynically, if that makes this novel derivative. But it's so much better done that I don't care. This isn't just good stuff. It's the stuff librarians' dreams are made on. I'm almost upset this wasn't around when I was a kid.

And I'd like a YA novel about Avery now.
Profile Image for Holly .
1,348 reviews292 followers
February 14, 2017
*eARC kindly provided by Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing via NetGalley*


My Review!
I’m not a fan of the middle grade genre. The few MG novels I’ve read in the last few years or so didn’t go that well. I mean, I liked the stories and all, but beyond that… nothing. I can’t even really explain why, but I do think the age is a big reason that they don’t work for me. I either find them completely unbelievable, or I can’t stand the voice, or I feel like I’m reading a children’s book (which I AM, technically). So I’m wary of reading any of them. But when I first heard of Some Kind of Happiness, and saw that cover, I knew I had to have it. I’d heard it dealt with mental health, and also had a bit of magical realism spread throughout, and it sounded super unique. And it WAS so unique, and wonderful, and good, and it made me want to give the MG genre a second chance.

I loved this story so much. And I loved the main character, Finley, for all her faults and preciousness. This is a girl after my own heart. She is brave, and she is quiet, and she is stubborn. She is also imaginative and uses her words and her writing as an escape from the world. Whenever she needs it, the Everwood is there. Present, mysterious, and even a little dangerous. But that doesn’t stop Finley from loving it, or going into it at her grandparents’ house. But the Everwood is also her crux, the thing that she uses so she doesn’t have to think or feel or be honest. During Finley’s time at her grandparents’ this summer, she learns so much about herself and her family. Some of it, good. Some of it, not so good. But through it all, she stayed resilient, even though all she wanted to do was escape to the Everwood. The way that the author wrote Finley’s depression and anxiety was so refreshing and honest. And so, so genuine. Though I’m clearly not a preteen anymore, I could relate so well to Finley and what she was going through. I could understand her hesitation, her fear in opening up, her desire to make this darkness inside of her something that she can handle on her own. But she couldn’t, and I appreciated that TALKING about it and therapy was represented here. Not as much as I wish, but that’s okay, because by the end of this book, Finley was ready to try. To fight the darkness, to take care of herself physically AND mentally. But she’s not alone in this battle. She’ll never be alone again.

This story brought back memories for me, of my grandparents, my cousins, the way we played together when we were all in one place. Finley’s relationships with her family members warmed my heart right up and gave me all the feels. The fights, the arguments, the secrets, the need to be in each other’s business all of the time. None of it felt unimportant or irrelevant. It felt super realistic, for me. Because this is what families do. They may not understand you completely, and they may fight with you, but they’ll be there for you no matter what. (If you’re lucky like Finley and I, that is). And that’s something that Finley has always had with her mom and dad, but not so keenly as it she had it when she stayed with her grandparents for the summer. While she’s never known them before this summer, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love them or they her. As if Finley had been a part of them from birth, they welcomed her in and made her feel at home. They accepted her as she was. And I just absolutely loved the scenes between Fin and her cousins. Their make-believe stories, their quests into the Everwood, their desire to be together for days. It brought me back, to summers when I was a child, and the only care in the world was what my cousins and I wanted to do that day. And her mini road trips with her grandfather completely reminded me of the walks my grandpa and I used to take to the woods and back. So many moments in this book were very nostalgic and poignant for me, and I LOVED that. And I loved this family, even when I wanted to shake them for their secrets and lies and half-truths.

There was a component to this story that revolved around the mystery of this old, broken down house in the Everwood (aka the woods behind her grandparents’ house). Though I wasn’t AS thrilled with it as I wanted to be, I could understand why it was there and needed. It seemed to sort of ground Finley when she felt like she was drifting and apart from the others, when she was stuck in her very blue days. Her desire to understand what had happened to the family inside of that house pulled me in, and I just wanted to know what everyone was hiding. I was also intrigued by the Bailey boys, the ruffians that Finley is told to stay away from, but whose infectious and adventurous spirits lead her to disobeying her grandparents. They were a mystery too, and one that I gladly wanted to unravel. Jack and his brothers befriended the Hart kids, and they became a close-knit group that dared to run wild in the heat of the summer. It was a carefree and innocent game that turned into so much more, for all of them. And for Finley, it was a summer of discovery, honesty, and acceptance. Of being able to ask for help and say, “I need you.” Of putting her needs above those of others, because her mental health was more important than staying quiet. Of finding in herself a strength that she didn’t know she had. Her growth throughout this book made it that much more incredible. She was a brave young girl who just wanted to save her Everwood, and herself. And by the end, my heart was full to bursting with love for her as a character, and for this story.

I’m like ridiculously excited for this book to be out in the world. I think it’s an important read, and one that I would recommend to everyone, even those who aren’t generally fans of the MG genre. The positive mental health rep in this, and the careful and serious way in which it was brought about made me so happy. It showed such an honest (though not universal because everyone deals with MI in different ways) depiction of depression and anxiety, and how the two can intertwine. But it also said that it’s okay to have those blue days. That it’s okay to want to keep it locked inside. That it’s okay to not feel brave or strong. But it wants you to understand how important your health is, and how asking for help is not a sign of weakness. I seriously can’t wait for this book to find its way into people’s hands, especially those who will be able to relate to the main character. I hope this book reaches those who don't know, those who do and don't know what to do, and those who just need help talking about their mental health. Some Kind of Happiness was just INCREDIBLE.

Rating: 5 Paw Prints!
Profile Image for Mim_farahani.
346 reviews19 followers
November 8, 2022
یک رمان نوجوان تمام عیار برای من این شکلی است.

رمان حرفی برای گفتن دارد
بلد است خیلی خوب قصه بگوید
قلم نویسنده مستحکم و روان است
شخصیت‌پردازی‌ها عالی است
جملات قشنگ کم ندارد.
با یک فضاسازی خیلی خوب طرفیم. فضاسازی‌ای که نقش مهمی را در پیشبرد داستان ایفا می‌کند.


قصه درباره دختر نوجوانی‌ست که پدر و مادرش می‌خواهند برای ادامه دادن زندگی‌شان در کنار هم تصمیم بگیرند، برای همین دختر را چند ماهی به خانه مادربزرگ و پدربزرگش می‌فرستند. پدربزرگ و مادربزرگی که اولین بار است آن‌ها را می‌بیند. چرا این ۱۳ سال همدیگر را ندیده‌اند؟ این سوال و کلی سوال دیگر معماهایی هستند که مدام در طول داستان به وجود می‌آیند. دخترک قصه ما، عاشق نوشتن و قصه پردازی‌ست. ما همزمان قصه زندگی او در خانه مادربزرگ و پدربزرگ و قصه‌ای که می‌نویسند را می‌خوانیم. قصه‌ها به هم پیوند می‌خورند و ما را به شگفتی وا می‌دارند. نویسنده مهارت خیلی خوبی در روایت این قصه‌ها دارد. استعاره‌های خوبی در قصه‌‌ای که فینلی مینویسد به کار برده شده که بازتابی از مسائلی‌است که در قصه زندگی‌اش وجود دارد. این کتاب برای نوجوانان بالای ۱۵ سال که اهل کتاب خواندن هستند مناسب است. برای سنین پایین‌تر ممکن است سنگین و سخت باشد.

خیلی خوشحالم که یک‌جور خوشبختی را خواندم. هزار تا قلب سبز برای ملکه‌ی اوروود. 💚

پ.ن: نشر پیدایش چرا رمان‌هایش را در این قطع چاپ می‌کند، واقعا خواندنشان سخت می‌شود. مخصوصا رمان‌های قطورش. دست آدم می‌شکند تا تمام شوم از بس باید فشار وارد کنی تا صفحات را باز نگه داری. عنوان این مجموعه کتاب‌ها را گذاشته "رمان‌هایی که باید خواند"، باید بگذارد "رمان‌هایی که نمی‌شود خواند".

کلیدواژه‌هایی برای خودم: طلاق، افسردگی،مادربزرگ و پدربزرگ، فامیل، دوستی، دوستی با پسر، عشق، معمایی، صداقت، کنترل گری، پنهان‌کاری، استعاره
Profile Image for Kristína Hana.
86 reviews15 followers
September 25, 2019
Aj creepy, aj roztomilé, aj som občas nosom poťahovala – také dojemné to bolo. Claire Legrand v prvom rade fakt vie, ako fungujú malí temní introverti, ktorí nedokážu zapadnúť do sveta ľudí a ich jedinou kotvou k zdravému rozumu je kreativita. V The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls to bola hudba. V The Year of Shadows, kresby.

Some Kind of Happiness je príbeh 11-ročného dievčatka, ktoré sa z divnosti svojho života proste potrebuje vypísať, vytvorí lesné kráľovstvo Everwood a prežíva v ňom imaginárne dobrodružstvá. Áno. Trochu ako Most do krajiny Terabithia, ale na steroidoch a s prímesou Koralíny. Trvalo mi cca 90 strán, kým mi došlo, že toto nie je fantasy kniha a v žiadnom bode sa na fantasy knihu nezmení.
Chvíľku som smutne pozerala na horizont, ale retrospektívne uznávam, že to tak bolo lepšie. Keby Finley prenikla do nejakého magického sveta a stala sa tam hrdinom, nikam by sa neposunula. Takto musela hľadať úctu, priateľstvo a porozumenie v reálnom svete. A hľadali ste už niekedy priateľstvo a porozumenie v reálnom svete? Oh, boy – to je vždy výzva.

V knihe sa striedajú pasáže z reality s úryvkami z knihy o Everwoode, až na posledné kapitoly, kedy sa začnú zlievať, akoby hranica medzi tým čo je skutočné a vymyslené začala miznúť.
Plus 3 mesiace strávené u starých rodičov, ktorých nikdy predtým nestretla, temné rodinné tajomstvá a nezmyselné pravidlá pevne zomknutého klanu, bratranci, sesternice, disfunkční dospeláci s divnou rodinnou dynamikou, dom v ktorom majú steny uši, podozrivé hroby v lese...
Jaj, a výborné opisy úzkosti, stresu a paniky. Za mňa celé dobre.

Profile Image for Neda.
134 reviews36 followers
September 24, 2020
The story was good but how it ends was not the type I liked to be (The fact that I am not a young-adult is effective certainly). Finely's adventure through the Everwood to make a relief for herself was a thoughtful one but I think it was more than enough to include all those sadness in it. Until the last two chapters, you find Finely with a consistent sadness and her challenge with her blue days without any clear reason and any clue. I mean even the clues that you can think of them are not satisfying. And I can't mention the lack you strongly feel for the fate of all those other characters who were important in the story. The book finishes with lots of question-marks above your head. What happened to The Bailey's? How about Kennedy and Gretchen and grandma? How about the relation of Finely's father with his family? Am I supposed to imagine the final fate of them by myself? If yes, that is not fair.
Profile Image for elena.
227 reviews3 followers
June 18, 2021
rr in june 2021
this still has the ability to destroy me.

first read may 2020
Ok, so I normally don't write reviews, but this book deserves one.
It is incredibly beautiful and compelling. Even though the style is simple, it draws you in like no other; Legrand's way of expressing Finley's feelings is exquisite.
Regarding characters and plot... everything is so endearing! I don't usually cry with books - I don't get that invested into them - but this one had me crying, shouting... just *chef's kiss* an emotional roallercoaster and I was here for it!
Definetely recommend.
Profile Image for Lyn *GLITTER VIKING*.
345 reviews99 followers
March 22, 2016
This is a powerful, raw look at what it feels and looks like to have depression and/or anxiety when you do not have the words to describe it, or the clout with adults to explain that difference between moody and mentally unstable.

There was a lot that brought up some horrible feels of young Lyn struggling with her own anxiety. I wish I had a book like this when I was a elementary school. The side story of growing out of your comfort zone was entertaining and beautiful as well.

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