It’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.
This book did two things really well: 1/ It completely took me back to high school life. I can't put my finger on it, but something about this made me so incredibly nostalgic about my high school days.. the lockers, the hallways, the feeling! 2/ It had wonderful representation of friendships. The main character is going through serious grief and she is able to make a support system around her that I really loved to be a part of.
Missed potential: The family impact. I love reading about families, about their dynamics and quirks, and in this story we have a family dealing (or not dealing) with grief. There were glimmers of interesting character development, but I would have loved more time with the parents!
I enjoyed this story. It showed hope and pain and friendship and took me right back to my time in school!
Content warning: one character has a physically abusive parent, one character has thoughts of suicide.
Actual rating: 3.5 stars = Liked more than I disliked.
Hmmm. This was a bit unfulfilling to me, but I did enjoy it more than I expected.
I think you'd enjoy it if you like stories about processing the loss of a loved one. That isn't a theme I tend to gravitate toward because I lost my mom at a young age and I don't enjoy reliving that feeling, and books about grief can be VERY hit or miss for me. I did enjoy the portrayal of grief in this book though. I think that's where the book shines.
I also really enjoyed the friendships, all their ups and downs included.
What I was less than enthusiastic about was the romance. I just did not ship it. It was a trope I do not enjoy (bad boy with tragic backstory). And the mystery left a lot to be desired from me. That mystery element did give an added layer of investment and I think this story would have been pretty bland without it, but it just didn't work for me in the end.
Debut wise, the writing was pretty solid. I think some things could have used more development, and some tropes could have been toned down, but I would read more by this author.
I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Abigail Revasch, and she did a PHENOMENAL job with the narration. Her acting and emotion was some of the BEST I've heard all year. She really gave the story a ton of personality and I want to hear more narrated by her!
The story follows Juniper who recently lost her sister, so we can see her trying to cope with the pain of having lost a loved one. and how it has impacted on her daily life. One day Juniper finds a letter addressed to a mysterious "YOU", a letter of rupture written by her sister but which has never been sent, reason why Juniper decides to begin to look for this person to discover who he/she is , but it's also a quest that Juniper hopes will help her close the hole she's been feeling since her sister left
I've really enjoyed the characters, I think everyone has given something special and unique to the plot, although we found some characters that may seem cliché , I think they all play a very important role in the Juniper's life and from the beginning they help with her search in some way or another, besides it's always good to have a great variety of personalities to analyze and to be able to observe different points of view
One of the things I liked the most is the strength that Juniper has during her journey, I think even though she's shattered and deep down she knows she'll never get over what happened, she really tries and every time she falls she gets up again , I admire this character a lot, I can't imagine having such a loss and how he behaved during the book is understandable, in the end I feel that she had a great learning
As I said before the story focuses on the Juniper's search for this person who is totally unknown and mysterious for her, and has been Great, is a very good idea, also make you stay very expectant and make you want to discover what happens next. It has a very deep side that is how to deal with the loss, the suffering, how going forward, the feeling of guilt and many things that have really touched me. In spite of them the book doesn't become too overwhelming or heavy at all, it's fun, light and has given me all those beautiful feelings that I was looking for in a book, I would surely re-read this one
I'm not totally sure about the end, I feel it should have been a bit more closed, but this is of course only my point of view, maybe you feel right about it , I still have enjoyed it, but I feel it had the potential to continue a little bit more
I recommend that you take this book if you're looking for a light reading but full of emotions and with a super important topic as it's how to deal with the loss and to go ahead after it. It has made me spend very beautiful moments, so I would love you to decide to read it to make you feel the same way
Trigger Warning: Abusive parent, drug addiction, mention of death, graphic mention of car accident, suicide attempt, physical violence, bullying, grief, mention of attempted rape, and neglectant parent (got better at the end).
A few months prior to Juniper and her sister Camilla were in a car accident. Juniper survived with some injuries. Whereas Camilla died. Juniper is still recovering from the loss. Summer has passed and school is going to began soon. After losing Camilla, Juniper also lost her best friend. There's been a rift between them since the accident. And now Juniper will be attending school without her sister and the support of her best friend Lauren.
Upon arriving home after registration Juniper finds a mysterious letter. It's written by her sister addressed to 'You'. Juniper is shocked. Juniper told everything to Camilla. Here was proof that Camilla didn't. Thus begins Juniper's hunt for 'You'.
Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index had been circling GR for a few weeks last year. I dismissed it at first, as the cover lead me to believe it was a memoir. After seeing it for so many days I read the synopsis. Was surprised to find out that it was a YA book. Out of sheer curiosity I read a sample. I was blown away! And didn't hesitate to get myself a copy! I am happy to say that I really enjoyed it!
The story is written in first person following Juniper's point of view. There are a table of contents titled 'Days Without Her'. Juniper's index card numbers served as the chapter numbers. There are text message's, emails, essay papers, index cards, diary like entries, and flashbacks.
What a refreshing read! I found this so different from you're typical contemporaries. In regards to the plot, the characters, and the romance. It really becomes clear once you finish it.
I really liked Juniper's character! Her grief regarding Camilla was so well written. It was easy follow her throughout the book. Israel really captured her emotions and thoughts from the very first page. I felt everything Juniper felt. That's how good it was written.
As a request from her sister Juniper has index cards in which she records something she's happy about each day. This becomes difficult after Camilla's death. But Juniper still does so. Juniper miss places one of her index cards and begins to worry. She decides to check the garbage at her school for the next few days.
Aside from finding typical garbage, Juniper finds some of her classmates secrets. The first thing she find's is a suicide note from Kody. After some thought Juniper decides to befriend Kody and stop her from committing suicide. She also befriend's Nate the new kid, Sponge (real name Lawrence) who seems to know everything, Brand the delinquent who is seemingly helping her, and Angela an art nerd.
The friendships were done so well! I really liked all off these characters. And they actually all got along. I do think that Juniper's friend making was questionable, but they were all good for each other. Kody and Juniper bonded over a book series. Angela and Nate were nice to everybody. Sponge was pretty good considering he didn't say much. Brand was surprisingly insight for Juniper's situation. They all supported each other and it was great. Now this is how you write good friendship's.
Juniper's relationship with her family was complicated. Her father was active in her life and supported her. On the other hand Juniper's mother was never there. As she was grieving she remained in her room and barely participated in family functions. She did get better and actually became a part of Juniper's life. But it was towards the end of the book.
Like most contemporaries there is a bully whose name is Morgan. Now Morgan takes a lot of joy off mentioning that Camilla is dead. The two didn't get along while Camilla was alive. I do find it kind of unnecessary for the insert bully. But at the same time I didn't care for Morgan's backstory. Some people are just mean and don't have a particular reason for it let alone a tragic backstory.
Please be aware that the two get into physical fights. With Morgan always provoking Juniper and Juniper in turn hitting her. I don't agree with Juniper hitting Morgan, but she seriously should've learned the first time not to mention Camilla in such a rude manner.
I liked Brand and Juniper's romance! They did start off as friends of sort. And he was really nice to her. The two made a good couple in the beginning. They also supported each other and called out one-another's faults.
I thoroughly enjoyed Juniper's character development! She start off annoyingly noisy. I really don't approve off a lot of her methods. But they were coming from a good place. It is implied from the flashbacks that Juniper has always been like this. Her need to 'fix' people. Through her relationships she really begins to grow and let go off bad habits. She decides that Camilla will always be apart of her and stops using the index cards. So that she can actually live her life.
I was also really happy about the end events! I liked that Juniper and Lauren were starting to make-up. That they still cared for each other. Lauren's collage board was brilliant and touching! Even Juniper's mom coming to her aid. It was sweet.
My only problem was that Juniper never found out who 'You' was. It really took away so much from the story. As that was Juniper's main goal and motivation. In a way it did make sense but I wanted a bit more closure.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I highly recommend it.
YA is not really my genre, so let me offer you an interloper's opinion: Juniper Lemon is a lemony fresh, fantastic read. It's smart, funny and poignant, and manages to tackle everything from first love to first loss without trivializing the trials of being a teenager. Juniper's anger and grief and shame are tangible, but Israel manages to give them the gravitas they need without weighing the story down. (My favorite device for walking that tightrope appears in a painful family dinner scene, where Juniper resorts to Monopoly metaphors to make sense of her grieving parents' belabored communication.) Israel's wit shines through in Juniper's narration, which is by turns sarcastic, self-effacing, and so insightful that I stopped more than once and said to myself, "I've had exactly that thought." Though some of the other characters are familiar, they're never cliché, and some stereotypes are turned refreshingly upside-down; Juniper's bad-boy-next-door has unexpected soft spots, her nice-boy-next-door unexpected secrets. But where Israel truly excels is in capturing the harrowing everyday drama of high school: throughout the story I found myself blushing with secondhand embarrassment and dreading familiar disasters I could see crouching just around the corners. But there's sweetness here, too: Israel writes the teenage agony of we-both-know-we're-going-to-make-out-but-we're-both-shy-about-it-and-therefore-awkward with such sympathy and tenderness that you can't help smiling, because it's all so familiar.
But my favorite thing about this whole story is the ending, because it simultaneously defies and satisfies expectations. The little mysteries kept me entranced until the very last page, and Israel ties it all up in the best unexpected way.
All in all, well worth a read, for strangers to YA and genre experts alike.
Buddy read this with Maddie last night! We had a great time and absolutely sped through it! IT wasn't quite the story I was expecting because I wrote something similar (younger sister finds letters of deceased older sister DUN DUN DUN) for a creative writing project at the beginning of the year. So, I guess I was hoping Julie Israel had just finished the story for me! haha!
But no, 'Juniper Lemon...' is less a coming-of-age story and more of a mystery mixed with building your perfect friendship group! I thought it built well, though I was disappointed to never actually find out the identity of 'You' as I thought that was going to be the climax!
And I didn't hate the romance, which is obviously a plus, and something that hasn't happened in a while!
I really loved the friendship aspect of this story and how Juniper was collecting friends as the book went on. With the number she got, she could have started a magical girl group. Sadly, that's not the route the story took, but I liked it anyway!
For a book about a girl trying to move through the grief of losing a sister (which would usually have made me cry) this isn't a sad story. There's hardly a sad moment, which was refreshing, really. Instead of focusing on the past, Juniper Lemon was much more oriented around finding happier new beginnings...and trying to find out who her sister was dating before she died. (Not too satisfied with the way that mystery thread turned out, but still.)
I will admit to wondering why I requested this when it came time to read it. I normally shy away from angsty books, but I am beyond thrilled that I read it.
I loooooved this group of characters. Juniper is struggling and yet she's still sassy and wants to work through things. The grief was palpable, but not overwhelming. I truly loved being in her head. As for the other characters, I don't even want to say anything that could spoil it.
Plot wise, I was engaged right from the start. I enjoyed the scavenger hunt-like mystery and how it played out. There were a couple of bits at the end that I wasn't thrilled about, but it really worked for the story.
Overall, it was a heartfelt story with a roller coaster of emotions and characters I could really root for. I'll definitely be reading it again.
**Huge thanks to Kathy Dawson Books for providing the arc free of charge**
3.5 stars. Good read about coming to terms with one’s self and with the death of a loved one. I think making a “Happiness Index” box could be very therapeutic to someone living with a tragedy. *I read this a few days after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. When I checked it out from my library, it just looked like an interesting book. As I read it, this story about living through grief took on a deeper meaning, as I read the news of those parents mourning their little ones.* Red Flags: Definitely intended for young adult readers and older. Frequent f-bombs; underage drinking is mentioned; an intended suicide is hinted at, (but not followed through with); child abuse occurs, but is dealt with. Memorable Quotes: (Pg.85)-“The table falls back into silence-or rather, to the sounds of knives and forks hitting plates. The absence on Camilla’s side of the table is so strong, it’s like a vacuum, slowly sucking even the memories from the room.” (Pg.123)-“Sranded-when the death of a loved one slams a door between you and the world without her, shutting out reality. You can close your eyes to the changes-to the falling leaves and new t.v. shows and rising gas prices- But not to the cobwebs of time.”
Can we please talk about this book???? I enjoyed it so much, the characters were smart, their dialogues oh-so-witty, I liked the theme of finding secrets through notes, letters. I loved the romance, I loved how grief was portrayed and though this book has some "young adult cliches", I still adored it so much. While this book doesn't score very-very high on originality, the characters will steal your heart and will pretty much make you ignore the book's flaws.
Ahhhh. My love/obsession wavered a smidge at the end (especially with how some things "wrapped up") but I still loooooooved this. I read it in one day because I just couldn't stop. There's no better feeling than when a book you super hyped up for yourself ends up meeting (probably exceeding tbh) your expectations. I loved the premise and cover the moment I saw them - anything with lists or letters or secret identities will make it onto my TBR. I loved how Juniper pulled together her own little friend group, tried to figure out her sister's mysteries, and started to find herself again. All of the intricacies in the plot points and characters were perfect.
I don’t want to be mean, but I regretted reading this book. So much.
• Plot promised more than it delivered. You know that feeling of crippling disappointment when you search desperately for something SO BADLY, and you scavenge for it for hours and hours but you feel increasingly more hopeless and miserable as you reach towards the end? That was me reading this book. The worst part is I didn’t even find what I needed at the end.
• Writing was honestly nothing special and nothing new. It was really dull, took me a whole lot of willpower just to make it through and I swear I almost DNFed it.
• Characters were nothing special either. I mean they were pretty decent, but that’s literally it. All of them were lacking individuality to me. Decent human beings? Yes, yes they were. But memorable? Amazing? Interesting personalities? Unique? No, no, no and no.
• There was a certain twist in this book though that I’m glad exists and was genuinely a little surprised by. This is a + side. That at least earned the book a higher rating on the scale. 👍👍
Overall, I still think this book could have been done much better. It had a lot of potential and if it wasn’t for the mediocrity of its portrayal, I would have enjoyed it more.
”Grief is like that: One minute you think you know the rules and it's one card, one emotion at a time, the next, the deck explodes all around you.”
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.
This coming-of-age, contemporary, novel resembles the writing style of a cross between John Green and Sarah Dessen. As I was making my way through this novel, I came to the conclusion that this book entails several key elements of a Young-Adult novel. I can truly say this book made me fangirl and "feel all the feels"
A slightly weak four, mostly for maintaining the "You" as the name to which Juniper's sister addressed letters. His, or maybe her, identity had to remain a mystery in order to drive the plot, but it was annoying rather than mysterious, given that she was a present-day high school senior instead of a young Victorian woman. There was a lot that worked well, though, and it's a good portrait of someone finding ways to celebrate the person they loved as well as mourning their loss.
A beautifully written contemporary, Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index is the perfect book for readers who enjoy moving stories about grief, romance against the odds, strong friendships, and the daily rituals that get us through all of the above.
Juniper Lemon writes down everything she liked or disliked about her day in her happiness index. It's something her older sister Camilla suggested and she can't let the habit go, especially now that there are already so many holes in her life left void after Camilla's sudden death. So, trying to think of a few things that made her happy gets Juniper through the day. But when she loses one of her index cards, her journey to find it will have her encounter (in no particular order): a whole lot of smelly garbage, a secret letter from her sister, three amazing new friends, a variety of secret notes and letters discarded by her classmates, a boy who is definitely hiding something, and memories of her sister in the most unexpected of places.
This truly was a beautiful story, so easy to read and enjoy. Juniper is a reliable narrator and it was easy to join in her journey of grief, love, acceptance, and new-found friendships. The chapters are all written from Juniper's perspective, with a few additional entries from her happiness index or her notes. Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index, touches on many important issues, particular the grieving process. As Juniper comments, it sometimes doesn't feel like a step-by-step, neatly ordered process, instead a wildly revolving serious of emotions. Friendship also plays a large role in this book and demonstrates how strong and caring friendships can offer so much support. The secondary characters in this book are well-developed and introduce their own variety of issues and themes, just as important as the grief with which Juniper is dealing, encouraging Juniper (and the reader) to look past first impressions and search beneath the surface.
Despite the topics of grief and Juniper's focus on the recent death of her sister, this is an uplifting book, more conducive to happy tears than sad tears.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
If we are being honest here, I only picked this up because of it's gorgeous cover. I am not a YA/Contemporary type of girl. There are a few gems I have fallen in love with, but usually I am just left bored. Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index kind of sits in the middle of these two feelings. I enjoyed it, and read it 2 days, but I don't love it and don't feel I would ever read it again. It is just ... okay.
Lets start with with the positives. I liked the majority of the Characters (especially Brand and Kody), even if they were your typical YA bunch; a nerd, a shy kid, a troublemaker etc... But the friendship they formed as a group and as individuals was adorable and I loved watching it blossom. The scenes at the Mall with Kody were some of the cutest ever. And did I mention, I loved Brand?
The writing was good too. Nothing special, but I read it in two days and it had a good flow to it.
The plot? Well, I liked the mystery and suspense of the identity of You, and the way people deal with grief. It was good! But I needed answers at the end, and they weren't there!! I guess that was the point, Juniper didn't need to know. BUT I DID! I loved the twist at the end with Nate though, so a (+) there.
However, I never really connected with Juniper, the main character. She bugged me in an indescribable manner, and her actions frustrated me. She was to interfering for her own good, and you just wanted her to stop it.
The other thing that bugged me lots about Juniper is that there is the wonderful scene with her and the pottery, in which she is triggered and you can see the emotion pouring out of her. It is great. But then whenever she is in her sister's room, or her sister is being discussed, she seems to show very little emotion at all? She was so ... 2D! Ugh. Also her family (and people like Lauren and Shawn) were basically absent the entire time, and showed no emotions of any kind. They were just blank objects that stood in the background.
Juniper, and the lack of emotion (a great book title...?) was what spoiled this slightly for me. The main character just needed to be more rounded, less 2D and show some development. But she didn't, and that is what less this book down, I think.
But, I did enjoy it all the same. This is cute little contemporary, with mostly good characters and a nice plot, but not anything exceptional that made me fall in love with it. Sorry.
This was beautiful, why did I wait so long to read this?
I did cry a little towards the end because how can you not? A family dealing with the devastating outcome of losing a daughter in a car accident. Parents who are lost, a daughter who has lost her sister and is trying to cope and a family who in simpler terms are learning how to cope and live again.
I couldn't imagine going through something as hard as this, but what a beautifully written story of tragedy, family, love and hope. This gave me so many feels and I just really loved Juniper and Brand and the friends that she managed to make towards the end.
I was extremely glad that she realised herself that nothing could change the love she had with her sister, even though they were not on good terms when she passed away. That she couldn't try to fix everything because she couldn't fix the outcome of what happened to Camie.
This book was great and I am so glad I finally got the chance to read it.
Super adorable Y A contemporary, that also did a good job with some tough subject matter...
Juniper was so likable, your heart just broke that the girl was going through such a tough time after losing her sister.... this book was very well done, there was a little hint of mystery to it, who was YOU? The quest to figure this out lead juniper to some fabulous new friends and a discovery of an art media that she was particularly good at... liked all the friend dynamics in this book, they weren't always perfect, but I felt as though they were always real... junipers parents on the other hand were very frustrating throughout most of the book, fortunately there was some realization at the end.... I definitely read another book from this author, I think she did a good job keeping this book both light and yet deep, if that even makes any sense?
Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel is a wonderful story all about love and secrets, family and friendship, grief and guilt, art and music, the lost and the found.
Two months after her older sister, Camilla, dies in a car crash, Juniper finds a letter Camilla wrote to a secret boyfriend - a boyfriend only called 'You' - dated the day she died. Feeling guilty over how they had fallen out just before she died, Juniper wants to deliver the letter to the mysterious 'You', to do this one final thing for her sister. At the same time, Juniper loses card 65 from her Happiness Index - a ritual encouraged by Camie to think about the positives in each day and write them down. But card 65 has a secret Juniper can't bear for anyone to discover. In the search for ' You' and card 65, Juniper starts to find other secrets written by her fellow classmates. Juniper can't fix things with her sister, but maybe she can help those whose secrets she's found.
Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index was such a lovely, moving, heartbreaking read. Juniper is a complex characters, still grieving fro her sister, and feeling guilty about her death. Because of this, she wants to do some good - for Camie and for others. Through people and object lost, other objects and then people are found. Juniper is so set on trying to make up for the past that she doesn't quite see when helping someone becomes meddling, despite the several warnings she's given by Brand Sayers. And then there's the mystery of who 'You' is, plus the secret Juniper wrote on card 65 - though that part was pretty predictable. Over the course of the book, Juniper comes up with several theories of who 'You' could be as more clues come to light. The mystery element was so intriguing! I could see why Juniper suspected each person she thought of, but I also had my own theory, which was strengthen a little as more clues were discovered. I really want to talk about this in more detail, but there will be spoilers, so don't look if you don't want the book spoilt for you.
I loved all of the characters in this book! I loved how sweet Nate was. I loved Sponge's quirkiness and his awesome memory. I loved Angela and how she was a huge fan of old school geniuses and classic literature. I loved Kody and just how nice she was - and I loved how things worked out for her, even if they started off not so great. And Brand! Oh, how I loved Brand! I loved how his bad boy reputation was simply that - a reputation - and that he was such a good guy underneath it all. I loved how complicated he was, how he could be so clever and intuitive when it came to other people, but stupid, if understandably so, when it came to himself. I loved how his and Juniper's relationship developed as they got to know each other - I just with a whole month after their first date wasn't left out, I would have liked to have seen their romantic relationship develop.
I also really loved all the appreciation for art, in all it's forms. Brand is in a band, Juniper used to be in the choir and had a solo in a musical, and Camie played guitar. Angela, as mentioned, is really into classic literature, Kody is really into the hue YA bestselling series that has been made into a movie. And Juniper really gets into her art class and creates thematic multi-media collages with the things she finds, plus the 'Camie was here' prints she makes and pins up around town. I really loved it all. It just gave the book this extra level, it made the characters feel more real, and it gives us readers something more to relate to. You could just feel Israel's love of creativity and art, and it was just wonderful.
Israel tackles some big issues in Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index, as well as grief and bereavement. She covers bullying, suicidal thoughts, and abuse, and I think they're all dealt with brilliantly - and, despite how heavy some of those issues are, she manages to writes about them in a way that doesn't take away from the general enjoyment of the book. The book itself isn't overly heavy - it balances the dark with the light.
Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index is such a great book, a wonderful debut, and I'm really looking forward to what Israel writes in the future.
Thank you to Penguin via NetGalley for the eProof.
Trigger warnings: death of a sibling (in the past), car accident (in the past), mentions of suicide, depression, domestic violence, bullying.
If it weren't for the fact that this was November's book club pick, I wouldn't have read this book. There's just nothing about it that really appeals to me. Still, I don't think I've not read a book club book in the two and a half years I've been going to book club.
Really, there wasn't anything BAD about this. But there wasn't anything special or memorable about it either. The portrayal of grief and how it changes over time was good. I didn't mind the friendships that develop (although I didn't like how Juniper went about forming those friendships...). I personally thought the romance was sort of average, but I can see why others liked it.
But I...meh. I really hated the whole
So on the whole, this was just a little bit generic for me. Sigh.
I absolutely adored Juniper's story. There was so much depth of emotion here. JUNIPER LEMON'S HAPPINESS INDEX includes some incredibly tough topics, including grief, abuse, and loneliness, but the way in which the story unfolds leaves the reader filled with this unexpected sense of hope and positivity.
Juniper herself is just an inherently good person. She has her moments of darkness due to the loss of her sister, her dedication to healing her own pain by trying to improve the lives of others around her is really quite beautiful.
I adored the Happiness Index that Juniper's sister created when she was alive, and which Juniper continues on with after her death. While it is intended to be a log of positives that she experiences each day, Juniper uses it to express the full range of the emotions she's experiencing, and on one particular index card, to share her darkest secret.
When Juniper loses that card, the search for it propels her on a journey toward self-discovery and unexpected friendships that was absolutely heart-warming. Despite some of the serious subject matter here, this book certainly has its moments of sweetness and joy, and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to experience it.
This book was AMAZING! The characters were all so different and each relation was natural and not forced like a few recent books I’ve read.
What I loved most about this book was the unpredictable ending. We all thought we going to find out something, but we didn’t.
Juniper was ridden with grief and struggling to recover from her sister’s tragic death in a car accident. The way she writes index cards to help her reflect on her day is so clever, it just makes me think how one tiny action can result in so much more.
I honestly was SERIOUSLY shipping her and Nate hit I was so, so off point. Was it just me?!
The plot was so good, each little piece slotted together and the character development of the protagonist was just invigorating to read.
Please go read it, had to be one of my favourite reads.
Forse è un libro che non dovrebbe prendere cinque stelle, ma questa volta ho deciso di dare il punteggio spinta dalle emozioni che mi stanno accompagnando proprio ora che ho concluso il libro, anziché passare qualche giorno a riflettere o pensare a tutti i pro e i contro. Sono rimasta così coinvolta dalla storia e dalle vicende di Juniper da non poter fare altro che assegnare le cinque stelline e, anche se ho bisogno di tempo per raccogliere i pensieri, so già che la recensione che pubblicherò sul blog racchiuderà gran parte delle sensazioni che ho provato leggendo. Però non riuscirò mai a raccogliere quel quid in più che ha permesso alla storia di colpirmi così tanto.
It may be because I was reading this during Booktube-a-thon, and was on a high from all the fun and the great other books I'd read, but I liked this. It wasn't perfect, but it was an enjoyable book. A sweet lesson on friendships and relationships and loss.