I loved this middle school fantasy novel! As you read along in this novel, you are awarded with a present day story intertwined with a fantasy adventure. Both story follow the same storyline only the fantasy adventure is more dramatic, its text more imaginary and its characters are from a world were goblins, castles and pirates are the norm. I looked forwarded to reading both sides of this story, the present day and the fantasy world for the author swept me away in both worlds and I could not put this novel down. I wish I had a small child to read this novel to, for I would love to see the look in their eyes as these worlds developed in front of them. I was transfixed and I am not a child as I loved the imagination of Finley and what she showed others around her.
Finley has been writing about Everwood Forest since she was seven. She has never been there but she knows this fantasy world. Her parents have dropped her off at her grandparents for the summer, grandparents whom she has never met. Her parents need time to work things out. It is there, just beyond her grandparent’s backyard that she find Everwood Forest. With tangled, towering trees among its dark paths, Finley has found the place where she belongs. As I read this, my arms rose with goose bumps. I am elated and excited for Finley. Since arriving at the Hart House, Finley has felt overwhelmed at the aunts, uncles and cousins who surround the place. Her grandparents, especially her grandmother is strict and there are procedures that Finley is not familiar with. Finley feels that she does not belong here and she is desperate to go home. Finley has now discovered a place where she can escape. Or so I thought. Gretchen, her cousin informs Finley that they are not allowed to enter the forest, another one of grandma’s rules. This does not stop Finley as she tells Gretchen about her stories and before long the two girls have made Everwood Forest, a game. Soon, most of the cousins are a part of this secret game, each of them assuming a role in this fantasy adventure. Finley imagination and her way to inspire her cousins, was amazing. She was deceiving, she was daring and she was fun. Yes, she did break the rules but the adventures that they had, were amazing! Reading the fantasy adventure story with the story of Finley and her cousins fueled their story. I wanted more; I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Finley comes to Hart House hiding a secret; she’s hoping that no one finds out what it is while she is there. Finley and her cousins are having the best summer of their lives until her grandparents get the way. It is then that Finley helps to uncover other secrets that individuals have been hiding away.
This is a wonderful story! I highly recommend this story as I loved it so much.
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.