Monday, 4 September 2017

Review: Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel

Juniper Lemon's Happiness IndexIt’s been sixty-five days since the accident that killed Juniper’s sister, and ripped Juniper’s world apart.

Then she finds the love letter: written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to “You,” but never sent. Desperate to learn You’s identity and deliver the message, Juniper starts to investigate.

Until she loses something. A card from her Happiness Index: a ritual started by sunny Camie for logging positives each day. It’s what’s been holding Juniper together since her death – but a lost card only widens the hole she left behind. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she can't let anyone else find out.

The search for You and her card take Juniper to even less expected places, and as she connects with those whose secrets she upturns in the effort, she may just find the means to make peace with her own.

This is a smart, funny, poignant book guaranteed to make you laugh and cry – and maybe even take notes.

Shona's review 5 of 5 stars

I knew before beginning this book that this was going to be an emotional read. What I wasn't expecting was how utterly it would affect me

This book opens with Juniper preparing to go back to school, but hiding from her best friend to avoid an awkward meeting with her since she has been avoiding Juniper since her sister Cammies death. Juniper is reeling from both losses, add to the fact that everyone at school is whispering about her, some not as discreet as others. Within the first few pages of the book Juniper writes her secret on an index card and tucks it away inside her book, only to realise later that she's lost it and cant find it anywhere. This leads to her looking in the school dumpster where she finds someone elses secret and vows to help them. When she uncovers more secrets she begins to build a group of people who she hopes to help, but who end up helping her instead.

I loved these friendships. She may have had ulterior motives when she sought out these friendships, but it came from a good place, from the heart. Not because she was trying to trick someone. So watching this secret being discovered and people misunderstanding her intentions made my heart ache, especially considering the other issues she had going on..

When Junipers index card is revealed this is pretty much where I lost control and the tears freely flowed from my eyes, there was no holding back, and the lump that had begun to form with the loss of her friend group had taken up permanent residence. Israel has done a fantastic job with this book, she has written this amazing story which is built on an awful thing, and she shows the characters living with their grief, she shows the ugly truth of it rather than trying to sweep it under the carpet.

This is the first time i have read anything from Julie Israel, but it wont be my last.

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