Some Kind of Happiness

Some Kind of Happiness

Book - 2016
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Finley Hart is sent to her grandparents' house for the summer, but her anxiety and overwhelmingly sad days continue until she escapes into her writings which soon turn mysteriously real and she realizes she must save this magical world in order to save herself.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,, [2016]
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9781442466012
Branch Call Number: JUV FIC Leg
Characteristics: 374 pages: 21 cm

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JCLChrisK Mar 03, 2017

Equal parts lovely and enraging.

Lovely in the complexity of the character development, dynamic interpersonal relationships, ambiguity of conflicting emotions, and authenticity.

Enraging in the empathy readers feel for Finley's frustration, which is due to the realistically flawed characters in control of her circumstances realistically making mistakes; my need to resolve the mounting pressure had me rushing to the end, and the relief when the cork finally blew was profound.

This is a book about identity, family, and secrets. It is a book about bottling things up and denying life, including those we love. It is a book about denying ourselves. Not everything is perfect; not everything is happy. Can that be okay?

c
chelseasc
Jan 13, 2017

I've been a fan of Legrand since I read THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, a highly underrated gothic horror novel for middle graders. So I wasn't surprised to hear that SKAH was winning admiration for its writing. However, I admit I found it hard to motivate myself to pick up another realistic fiction read about heavy family issues. I'm glad I did.

Legrand's writing, as always, is exceptional, beautifully composed yet still capturing natural patterns of dialogue and an authentically child-like internal voice. While the themes are dark - family fissures, tragic secrets, mental illness, divorce - Legrand nicely balances the hopeful with the heavy. It's wonderful to see Finley developing close relationships with her extended family, and each of the child characters is a joy to read. The adult characters are fairly well fleshed-out as well, while maintaining a child's understanding of the adult world. The three aunts are the exception - it's difficult to keep the straight, but that seems to be part of the point. The integration of Finley's stories about Everwood provides an alternate, more poetic perspective on her struggles, and Legrand does a nice job of never letting those pieces get in the way. They remain short and succinct, adding depth without slowing down the narrative. In the end, there's an awful lot of drama. Still, young readers will enjoy the action and suspense, and the resolution feels realistic, letting many of the loose ends remain unresolved. A sensitive exploration of mental illness perfectly tuned to adolescent readers trying to bridge the gap between childhood and whatever comes next.

Finley spends a summer with her grandparents, and uncovers some pretty deep and dark family secrets, while trying to hide her own.

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JCLChrisK Mar 03, 2017

What am I?

A lump of heaviness. A stranger. A thing that does not fit.

I can't seem to stop the poison inside me from spreading.

(I mean, I've never been poisoned, so I am only speculating.)

(But I do feel something spreading inside me. Something heavy and dark.)

I can't let them see it.

They can't know my secret. Not these people in this clean, white palace. Not even Mom and Dad know. And they never will.

Nikita_Sasha Nov 29, 2016

parlor,

r
rosebud2112
Jul 10, 2016

"Each time I talk about this, each time I let out the words, I feel...lighter."

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