What It Is About: Finley is eleven years old and lives her parents who are struggling in their marriage. She also has her own struggles with a "deep" feeling she can't quite figure out. Finley keeps these feelings to herself and instead channels these feelings into her notebook where she has created an imaginary world called "Everwood". Because of their issues, Finley's parents decide she should spend the summer with her grandparents at their home while they figure out some big life "issues". Finley isn't happy about this decision because she doesn't know her grandparents, her three aunts, and a handful of cousins. Her father has made it a point to stay away from his family for years. When Finley finds a forest behind her grandparent's home, she believes it is her "Everwood" world that she writes about in her notebook. She and her cousins create a "game" where the pages of her notebook come to life. They also meet the Bailey boys who live on the other side of the woods. Finley's grandparents and her dad have told her and the cousins to stay away from these boys because they are nothing but bad news. The kids don't take this advice and include them in on their imaginary world. As these young people get to know each other and become close, their two families' histories and secrets come to the surface and collide.
What I Thought Of It: I have read so many wonderful novels this summer and this one certainly is at the top of the list. It is so exciting when I fall upon a book that I don't know much about and end up absolutely loving it. This is quite a special story and I know will be in my heart for quite some time. The plot was completely unique and beautiful. I loved how Finley's notebook and her own experiences were told throughout the pages of the book. Each character leaped off the pages and into my mind and heart. I appreciate how the author handled all the different issues, themes, and conflicts with ease, grace, and sensitivity. There were so many elements woven together to create a deep and meaningful story. As you can see, I really loved everything about this story.
Who Should Read It: I already know that I will be spreading the love for this book via Twitter, Facebook, and conversations. I think this story crosses all age groups and could be read by a middle-grade reader, a young-adult reader, and an adult reader. The reading level is probably suited toward readers in grades four, five, and six. It would also make for a terrific read aloud in those grades. Please put this book on your TBR list because it is a top-notch and wonderful experience. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5+ STARS out of 5 Stars