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Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index Hardcover – May 30, 2017
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"Heartwarming . . . A well-told story of teen struggles and grief that will resonate with readers."—School Library Journal, starred review
"Israel handles the long, painful process of negotiating grief gently and realistically while cleverly interweaving the light mystery of 'you's' identity throughout, keeping readers guessing as Juni steps closer to finding closure."—Publishers Weekly
"Genuine and satisfying. An earnest debut about coping with loss and trauma."—Booklist
"A poignant slice-of-life story. Readers watch Juniper deal with her grief and learn positive ways to cope with difficult situations. This moving, debut novel will appeal to fans of realistic fiction."—VOYA
"Things that will make you fall in love with Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index:
– The most excellent Bicycle Race sing off the world has ever seen (++)
– A beautifully woven story of grief and friendship and secrets (+++)
– Characters that you can't stop thinking about for moments and days and weeks after you close the book (+++) x ∞"—Rachael Allen, author of A Taxonomy of Love and The Revenge Playbook
About the Author
Julie Israel lives in Portland, Oregon, and holds a BA in creative writing. After a stint teaching English in Japan, she returned to her native state to write fiction full-time. When not writing, she is likely reading, making art, or learning one of too many languages to keep straight. Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index is her debut novel.
Top customer reviews
transition. I was impressed with the maturity with which she worked Juniper through her grief. I even see some sequel possibilities here....
Since her sister Camille's death, Juniper Lemon is keeping track of her happiness by writing daily on note cards. After losing one card, she hunts all over school, including the trash bins. While dumpster diving with the school's bad boy she finds secrets others have discarded and sets out to help. At home she finds Camille's last letter, addressed only to You, an apparent secret boyfriend (or girlfriend) with whom she wants to break up. Juniper decides this is the last favor she can do to her sister.
Juniper Lemon, aside from having one of the wackiest names in literature, is a character filled with personality and flaws. Her heart is most always in the right place, even when she makes questionable choices. As sad and depressed as she often felt, JUNIPER LEMON'S HAPPINESS INDEX is an optimistic, hopeful story. Juniper's impact on others, which she seems not to notice, is positive and uplifting.
I enjoyed the first 3/4 of the story more than the ending, although saying why would be spoilerish. The conclusion let me down.
JUNIPER LEMON'S HAPPINESS INDEX was an enjoyable reading experience, though the story lacked the depth that would make me want to reread.
I enjoyed every aspect of the story. The characters all felt well rounded and independent. Not once did I feel like I was reading about cardboard cutouts. The way they interacted felt natural and their friendships felt authentic. The plot kept me engrossed and the way that Israel wrapped it up was surprising. **Spoiler Alert** I admit at first I was mad, I needed the answer, but after sitting with it I understand why she made that choice. I just needed a little more time than Juniper did to understand why it wasn't really what mattered.
The way it dealt with grief is possibly my favorite part of the whole book. "[The stages of grief] don't present themselves in any order. They are not chronological like the days of the week; they cannot be quantified and arranged like teaspoons from smallest to largest." As someone who has lost someone close to them at a young age it was.... a relief.. to see it laid out in a way I recognize; to see someone else work through it in a way I can identify with is always a pleasant surprise. It wasn't just the way Juniper dealt with the grief but also the portrayals found through the parents, Nate, and Lauren. I don't know how she did it, but Israel managed to give us a true, gritty story about working through grief while still maintaining a light atmosphere to the whole book.
I plan to recommend it to all my friends, especially the ones who have dealt with grief before.
Most recent customer reviews
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