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review 2017-05-12 17:49
Foxheart (Foxheart #1) by Claire Legrand
Foxheart - Claire Legrand,Jaime Zollars

I will start off by saying I did not finish this book. I read up to page 139 and decided this book was not for me. I was not enjoying it one bit and I don't believe you should continue reading a book if you're not fully immersed in the story. That being said, you might like this book so if you're interested in reading Foxheart then go ahead and read it! I truly hope you enjoy it. 

 

Foxheart is about a girl who is shunned by everyone around her because of how different she looks. She decides that the only way to survive this world is to make it her own. That's when she becomes a thief... until she witnesses the Wolf King destroying the convent where she is staying. When she escapes and realizes that she has powers of her own, she must learn to control them and collect the bones of the ancient race of witches so that she might one day destroy the Wolf King and bring peace to her land.

 

From the beginning of the book, I did not like the writing style. It's extremely juvenile. Whilst I understand this is a middle-grade novel, I don't feel you should ever write in a way where you're talking down to your readers no matter how young they are. Children are intelligent individuals and will be able to sense when they are being treated as if they are dumb. The way Legrand approaches a subject, explaining to death, as if the reader couldn't figure out what was happening in the scene is demeaning. 

 

Also, the characters acted foolishly every single time. Yes, they're children, but a few of the actions taken were just stupid because "they're children." For example, one of the characters, Anastazia, warns both children, Quicksilver and Sly Boots, that they mustn't tell other witches what they are up to because witches like to hurt and kill one another. Then the boy, Sly Boots, runs off and tells the first pack of witches he see, putting his group in danger. Now that was stupid enough. And it could be explained "Oh, he's a child. He didn't know any better." Fair enough. But what about the scene immediately following that? Where Quicksilver cloaks them to hide from the witches and then Anastazia, an old woman, laughs at a comment one of the other witches make, alerting the witches that they were indeed in the area hiding. And that's not the only time she messes up either! Later, when talking with the witches, she nearly let slip that she can travel through time which is a type of forbidden magic! She's the oldest of the group and she was making stupid decisions left and right! I was never one to fall in love with stories where the characters made dumb decisions in order to "further" the plot. It's lazy writing.

 

In fact, throughout reading these 139 pages, I was just bored. I was bored with the writing. I was bored with the plot. I was bored with the characters. I was not enjoying it at all. Every aspect of this book was mediocre to me. And it's a shame because I saw the potential. I was looking forward to seeing how these characters were going to stop the villain, The Wolf King... until I saw how much of a caricature he was and how dumb the "heroes" acted. It was just a disappointment.

 

That being said, if you're still intrigued by the premise then, by all means, read this book. Just because I didn't like it doesn't mean you won't. I do think it's a very easy read so you could read it in one sitting despite its size. So give it a try. As for me, I was not a fan and will not be reading the rest of this series.

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review 2016-08-13 16:55
Some Kind of Happiness
Some Kind of Happiness - Claire Legrand

Some Kind of Happiness is bizarre. It's nearly 400 pages and feels long. The main character, Finley talks about her feelings a lot in the middle of the book and I fear this may bore some kids. 

 

Finley is being shipped off to her grandparents house, people doesn't even know, because her parents need some time for themselves. Dreams haunt her and she writes in her book about Everwood. But then she realizes Everwood might actually be real and soon she has trouble mixing reality to fantasy. 

 

I actually think I may have enjoyed this more if the fantasy elements weren't added to the story. There's almost too much in one book. I liked the elements where Finley is struggling in a new place and mad at her parents for leaving her there. But the constant voice of her feelings mixed in with the fantasy realm made this a little too strange for me to thoroughly enjoy. 

 

 

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review 2016-07-25 19:16
bysinginglight.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/june-2016-round-up
Some Kind of Happiness - Claire Legrand

I loved, loved, loved this book. I wanted to talk about it in more detail, but ran out of time. It’s a wonderful mix of families, secrets, the stories we tell ourselves, and magical forests. It’s also a great way to show the realistic experience of a child with anxiety, who also gets to be the hero. More, please.

Source: bysinginglight.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/june-2016-round-up
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review 2016-07-13 20:04
Some Kind of Happiness - Claire Legrand

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

when we find out that the grandmother has cancer

(spoiler show)

The same happened with my maternal grandmother, and I still can't deal with it.

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review 2016-06-15 20:20
Some kind of happiness
Some Kind of Happiness - Claire Legrand

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 introduced kids to this topic!); the fantastic stories she writes about the Everwood, and how these stories mixed with reality; what means to be part of a family and how we fit or do not fit in it; Finley 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 put 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.

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