Sunday, 18 June 2017

Book Review: Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness IndexTitle: Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index
Author: Julie Israel
Series:  n/a
Pages:  308
Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: 1st June 2017
Source: For review from publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: It's hard to keep close a person everyone keeps telling you is gone.

It's been sixty-five painful days since the death of Juniper's big sister, Camilla. On her first day back at school, bracing herself for the stares and whispers, Juniper borrows Camie's handbag for luck - and discovers an unsent break-up letter inside. It's mysteriously addressed to 'You' and dated July 4th - the day of Camie's accident. Desperate to learn the identity of Camie's secret love, Juniper starts to investigate.

But then she loses something herself. A card from her daily ritual, The Happiness Index: little notecards on which she rates the day. The Index has been holding Juniper together since Camie's death - but without this card, there's a hole. And this particular card contains Juniper's own secret: a memory that she can't let anyone else find out.


My Thoughts:
I was very excited to find this waiting for me when I got back from uni, and I took it on holiday with me to read straight away. The writing is very easy to read and I found that even though I've never experienced anything like Juniper's experience before, it was easy to get lost in her story and really feel for her. Despite the dark subject matter it manages not to be overwhelming and it is a truly great read.

I got stuck in quickly and the novel as a whole didn't take me long at all. I loved the plot line and how it unfolded, with Juniper and her friends searching for and finding lost things - first her missing index card, and then other things that push the story onwards (I won't spoil the mystery with what they are!). Throughout Juniper is also searching for someone she doesn't know who was dear to her sister, and this mystery propels the story forward and keeps you wanting more in just the right way.

The way that Julie Israel deals with Juniper's grief is expertly done. The heaviness of the topic could be difficult to wade through, and although at times it does get slightly darker when it seems that everyday life is too difficult, on the whole Israel keeps it honest and real and lightens it with Juniper's wit and sassiness in a perfect balance.

Overall it's a really great read, and even though with a grief and loss theme you might not think it would be great for your summer TBRs, it really is worth the read. I cannot recommend it enough, and at only 300ish pages it's perfect for a day on the beach or by the pool. Also isn't the cover gorgeous? Go buy it!


*Huge thanks to Penguin for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 
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