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Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon
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Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,471 Ratings  ·  193 Reviews
A micro-preemie fights for survival in this extraordinary and gorgeously told memoir by her parents, both award-winning journalists.

Juniper French was born four months early, at 23 weeks' gestation. She weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces, and her twiggy body was the length of a Barbie doll. Her head was smaller than a tennis ball, her skin was nearly translucent, and through her ch
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company
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Diane Yannick
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could not quit reading this book. I honestly didn't do anything I was supposed to do for an entire day. I was 100% enthralled with the journey of this family's experiences with their precious micro-premie, Junebug. Once she started grabbing on to her parents' pinkies, I just knew she was going to have the necessary spunk to survive. At least I hoped she would. Her survival instinct and her parents' proactive stances sure did help. Yet for me, the hours Tom spent reading Harry Potter to her wer ...more
Sep 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I found it difficult to rate this book. There were some parts that were 5 star touching and there were some parts that were so bothersome that I wanted throw the book across the room. Let's start with the touching and positive. This book for the most part was about Juniper's struggle to live and the journey her parents had to take along with her. That part of the book was beautiful, touching and raw open emotions. To hear about all the diffi
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I despised these parents. I hated their love story, which I think they think was deep and profound. It wasn't. It was a relationship rooted in cheating and lying. I can see so clearly why Tom was divorced. He clearly is a narcissist that can't co-exist with someone else. Then when he realized "oh sh*t, I am old and this is the only young chick that's going to want me" he quickly gets on board with the relationship and marriage. Even the way the baby was conceived I felt ick about. It just ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Un omagiu adus vietii, universului si lui Dumnezeu! La prima vedere e totul doar despre fetita Juniper, despre ghinionul de a se naste prematur si despre tenacitatea cu care s-a luptat pentru a supravietui. In final, e despre parinti, despre dragostea neconditionata cu care-si iubesc copiii,
despre sacrificiile pe care le fac si despre alegerile aparent mici care fac diferenta dintre viata si moarte. Nimic nu ar fi posibil fara cunoasterea si informatiile pe care stiinta le-a adus in medicina si,
Tamara Lush
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There will be a lot said about this book in journalism circles and medical ethics circles. But at its core, this is a book about love. About the love a wife has for her husband. About the love a mother, and father, have for their daughter.

In one way, it was an easy read because the prose was impeccable. But we all know that easy reading is difficult writing and I commend the authors for their style and voice. In another way, it was difficult and unflinching, a draining read. It's a story of peo
Jeannette Mazur
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So. Very. Wonderful. I am currently pregnant with a baby that I know will have problems when it's born. Reading about a baby born so premature that they jumped from one complication to another made me SO thankful that our baby will (most likely) be born full term, and only have 1 problem. I can deal with one problem. This book helped me come to terms with the struggles of being a mom to a special baby, and all of the struggles and joys encompased in that. Solid 10/10. Would recommend to fans of ...more
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh...this book is so heart wrenching, and yet so heart warming! I couldn't believe the things I read about what preemies go through. I loved the severe and blunt way the authors wrote, after all they are also the parents of dear little Juniper. So many great and horrible things in this book...oh, and Harry Potter!!
Jovi Ene
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Juniper s-a născut la 23 de săptămâni și 6 zile de sarcină. Pentru majoritatea medicilor, un astfel de copil este considerat neviabil și nu se încearcă mijloace specifice de asigurare a supraviețuirii.
Nu și pentru medicii de la Spitalul de Pediatrie All Children din Florida, nu și pentru părinții lui Juniper, Kelley și Thomas care și-au dorit cu disperare o fetiță. Împreună, ei o salvează pe ”fetița născută prea devreme” atât prin mijloace medicale, cât și prin dragostea, afecțiunea și sacrifici
Irina Subredu
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Iubirea este miracolul, a spus el. Miracolul este simplul fapt că suntem în stare să ne iubim unii pe alții."
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
It's hard to rate a book with a personal description of such a harrowing experience. They told the story of their micro-preemie's survival (gosh! 24 weeks! I can't imagine--even with my own 30-weeker NICU experience). It is hard to capture trauma accurately and I applaud their attempt. This being said, I didn't particularly like them as people and I am positive we would not be friends. Much of their story grated on my nerves and it is difficult for me to believe there was no emotional fallout (o ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Sadly, I read a beautiful essay by Kelley about this event and thought I'd like to read the book. I was wrong. I couldn't get over the cheating and selfishness that took place at the beginning. I didn't have an empathy for Tom at all. This book just wasn't for me.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The way Kelley and Tom shared their raw emotions touched my heart. And Juniper's strength was amazing! I couldn't wait to see how this part of her story ended. Thank you Kelley and Tom for sharing your story, I'll admit I looked Kelley up on Facebook and Juniper's beautiful pictures brought me to tears.
Ruxandra Razi
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O calatorie plina de durere! O lupta grea, o implicare desavarsita! Un final fericit! Miracolul vietii lor! Miracolul tuturor!
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story. Miracles really do happen ❤ Felt connected as we had our oldest in the NICU, thankfully only 3 weeks, but forever grateful for all the NICU doctors and nurses. Special people. ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much, I couldn't put it down and finished it in 3 days. It was so good and perfect, and I'm curious for someone else who didn't have a micro preemie to read it and see if they like it as much because so much of my own experience was in here. I wonder if you would like it Alison or if it'd be too close too home right now? Becky you should read this!! Anyway, some of my favorite or most interesting parts:

Previously any baby born weighing less than 2 lbs. (Eddie was 1 lb 13 oz
Tami Ridenour
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As the mom of former 24 week twins, of course the book pulled right at my heartstrings. I knew all the terms, all the emotions and remembered the rollercoaster ride of the NICU. I know what it felt like to bring your preemie baby home after all those months and I know how it felt to be given the memory box instead of a baby as my sons twin sister did not make it. Unlike other reviewers I like the parents. I thought they were honest, real, had a sense of humor (a must in this crazy life) and were ...more
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as an advanced copy at BookExpo America after I recognized the story from Radiolab. I had liked the condense version of this story in podcast form, so I thought why not pick up a copy of the book. This is actually the first time I've had a chance to read a book before it has been officially released in stores.

I know (or knew) next to nothing about preemies or really babies for that matter, so this was sort of an unusual pick for me to read, but I do like nonfiction here and
Nov 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Ultimately it was well-written, but I was disappointed by the narrative they chose to tell.

There was no science whatsoever! This memoir is nicely done if you want a book that helps you understand that it is awful to have a severely premature baby in the NICU for 6 months. Spoiler alert - it really is awful. Otherwise, it does nothing to enlighten the reader.

I think this book would have been stronger had less backstory (there are too many details of the long, tortuous path that Thomas and Kelly t
Linda Baker
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank You for Telling Our Story

What a beautiful tribute to the force that is Juniper! We too have a child who was born too soon (27-weeks) and I can't begin to explain the parallels of our story and that of the French's. Makes me wonder if, in some ways, this is the story of everyone who survives the NICU? Thank you to the authors for making us feel less alone in this whirlwind. Your words have helped heal an immense struggle. To you and all the other parents of babies with rough starts, our hea
Rebecca McNutt
Juniper is a very inspirational story, one that doesn't sugarcoat anything but still carries a powerful message about a child whose life is on the line and her family supporting her.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have looked everywhere for writing--both fiction and non--that describes the singular experience of being in the NICU and have come up short. It is such a complex experience, it seems more folks would be inspired to write about it. I was thrilled to hear about the publication of this book, in which Tom and Kelley very openly share the details of Baby Juniper's struggle to survive. It was so comforting for me to read about another family's take on being in that completely unnatural state of hav ...more
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Could not put down saga of what can happen at the narrowest margin of viability in a premature infant. The parents alternate a very frank series of chapters of their relationship, fertility struggles, and approach to the tremendous upheaval of their harrowing experiences in the NICU. Memorable nurses and doctors abound, and serious questions of medical care at the very beginning of life are examined. Cried often. Tried not to judge throughout. As a would-be grandparent in just a week or two, per ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved. Emotional. Beautifully written.
William Gorman
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for new parents going through the struggles of parenthood. It helps put things into perspective.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I cried, I hoped, I worried, and I related to people spending a lot of time in the hospital watching someone glacially improve then struggle, rinse repeat.
10 Stars
Brooke Mulroy
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Eh. I'm not a big fan of autobiographical books. This story was definitely not for me. While this book definitely makes you care about how hard little Juniper had to fight, the parents themselves are unlikable and morally questionable people that it's hard sometimes to care about them. The backstory of their "romance" was gross. 4 years of a back and forth affair. By the time he decided to "commit" he was an old saggy 50 year old, she was 35. All of the IVR and the expense, just kind of boring. ...more
Gina Baldyga
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Miraculous story of a baby's fight for survival after being born at 24 weeks. The story is told by her parents, who are both journalists. This all sounds very promising for a riveting tale, but I found it dragged somewhat as the days ran into one another and the story, however frightening, felt repetitive. It probably made a better series of short articles (which the mother did write and won awards for) than a full book.
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