Monday, 12 June 2017

Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 345
Publisher: Penguin
Released: 1st of June 2017 

This moving and uplifting debut follows Juniper Lemon, heartbroken after her older sister Camilla's unexpected death, as she navigates the holes that have been torn in her world, and the mysteries that Camilla left behind.

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.

What I Have to Say 

This is such a beautiful book about grief, guilt and friendship. It's about how people process and grieve differently. It was interesting to see the family dynamic and how each member of the family were trying to grieve for Camilla in different ways and how it meant that Juniper clashed so much with her mum and how she wasn't able to grieve because her mum got upset every time Camilla was mentioned. 

Though Juniper's motives for getting them together may not have been entirely good, I loved the friendship group that formed throughout the novel. It was obvious how close they were growing in such a short amount of time and it felt real. It felt like what you want in a friendship group.

I also really liked the arty stuff. I loved how the idea of the found collages and how Juniper started to express herself through her art. 

For friendship, realistic characters and Dala horses, Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index is the place to go. 

My thanks go to Netgally and Penguin for providing me with this copy for review. 

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