Skip to main content

Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel Review.

Hey ForeverBookers,

I've just read a great contemporary book! 

4 Stars! 

Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index follows Juniper Lemon as she deals with the grief of losing her sister, Camilla in a car accident that she was a part off too, as well as trying to follow the clues that lead to Camie's secret.  

The Happiness Index becomes like a way to live on after Camilla. It's like Juniper is reporting to her in some way. 

Spoilers below...

We join Juniper when she's going back to school, for a new year without Camilla. This is strange for her. 

"My throat is tight with all the changes I carry"

shows just how different life has become without her sister. She is trying not let it affect her but without any friends and her being on her own she's struggling with doing that.

"I can't escape the holes. My life is braided through with my sister, and now that she's gone, everything is coming apart" 

details how Juniper is struggling without Camilla. As this is a contemporary novel, the author would have tried to make the grief realistic, I think. This shows that struggle. 

We see Juniper fall in love gradually throughout the story with Brand. 

"But I no longer feel I'm leaving empty handed" 

is what Juniper says when she and Brand start to be more than just acquaintances. This happens over half way through the story so there certainly isn't any instant love. This made the story quite realistic too. 

Juniper and the friends that she makes throughout the novel try to work out who was writing to Camilla. The anonymous writer and Camilla referred to themselves as "Me" and "You". This was the only thing that I didn't see resolved anywhere in the story. We might be just meant to draw our own conclusions as to who "You" is but this isn't made clear and kind of leaves the story without any real substance, I feel. That's the only reason this wasn't a 5 Star read for me. 

"I really didn't know my sister" 

is what Juniper thinks when she's depressed about not being able to tell just who "You" is. Not much is going right for her at this point in the story so I think that plays a part in her depression too. Also she finds out lots of things that she never knew about Camilla when she was alive. 

Brand has a drunk/abusive father, although no abuse is ever actually shown happening. 

"He used to hit my mom. Now he's started hitting me"

is evidence of Brand's dad's violence. 

"You probably spent it on booze already, you drunk"

is Brand's response to a question about money from his father, proving that he's an alcoholic.

Both of the quotes above show that not everybody has a good upbringing but with the right support, they can still be good. Brand quite clearly, won't be like his father.   

Parents show up a lot throughout Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index, which is something I feel we don't see too much of in YA contemporary. Juniper's parents ground her at a couple of points throughout the story. One time it's for going in her sisters' room to find clues for "You". 

"No effort has been made to continue that conversation—probably cause mom doesn't want to and dad doesn't know how"

shows just how much they're all struggling with Camie's death. 

Juniper's parents play a role in getting her to see that not everyone copes with grief in the same way. 

 "Oh. I'm, uh kind of grounded right now. I don't know if..." 

This shows that Juniper wants to go out but is trying to be mindful of her parents' wishes. 

"My parents and I aren't on great terms right now"

denotes how Juniper can admit to friends that her and her parents don't get on.

I've read this for the "friendship" part of the Summer Flings Reading Challenge on Facebook because friendship is a big element within the story. Juniper doesn't really have any friends until she starts trying to work out who "You" is. She knows by the end of the story but we don't.

There is a gay character in the story too, although it's not expanded any more than just a character saying this character is gay.

In Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index, I loved the camaraderie between Juniper and the friends that she makes. At first it is just because of her sister, but by the end of the book she realises that they like her for being her. Friendship is really what this book is based on so I'm glad that I read it for this challenge. If I was rating the theme of friendship, I would give Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index book 5 stars but because we didn't actually get the answer of who "You" was anywhere, it's getting 4 stars from me. 

Juniper starts out as depressed and wanting answers for why her sister was killed. By the end of the story she knows all that she wants to and feels she no longer needs her crux of index cards because her friends are there instead. 

I think I'm going to buy Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index if I see it in my local bookshop so if this sounds like you're sort of read then you'd probably enjoy it too! 

Stand by for my next review, coming soon...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Solstice at Stonewylde (Stonewylde Book 3) by Kit Berry Review

Hi ForeverBookers, 
I’ve just finished “Solstice at Stonewylde” by Kit Berry and I really liked it! It’s the third book in the Stonewylde series, the finale of the original trilogy. This was a reread as the first and second book were, as well. I don’t think I necessarily had as much fun as I did reading the previous two books because I didn’t think quite as much happened in it. Reading is subjective, though, so we all experience different thoughts and feelings as we read. That’s part of what I love about it. Anyway, there are 5 books in the Stonewylde series in total. The last 2 focus on a different storyline to the others, however, with the lead characters from the first three books as adults. 
4 Stars!
In “Solstice at Stonewylde” we’re still following Yul and Sylvie and their relationship where they’re trying to be together no matter what. Living in a society run by a tyrannical leader makes that hard, however. Magus, the leader of Stonewylde won’t let Yul and Sylvie be together and he…

Scythe (The Arc Of The Scythe Book 1) by Neil Shusterman Review

Hey ForeverBookers, 
I’ve just finished “Scythe” by Neil Shusterman. I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it because it’s written by a male author. If you know me then you know that I generally don’t reach for books written by men. It had an exciting plot as well as great characters who were always surprising me. 

5 Stars!!!!!!!!!!!!
Citra and Rowan are our two main characters. They become apprentice Scythes at the beginning of “Scythe”. Michael Faraday (he’s known as Faraday in the novel), their mentor is a mysterious character, who I don’t think we’re ever meant to be sure of until the end. The first part of the plot surrounds these three characters as they get to know each other and Citra and Rowan learn what they’re going to have to do to actually become scythes. 
A scythe is a weapon. Scythes in this world are the people who control the population. “Scythe” is set in the future. “2042. It’s a year that every schoolchild knows.” This is significant because 2042 is only 24 year…

The Hate U Give (THUG) by Angie Thomas Review

Hey ForeverBookers, 
I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and that you will have a great New Year as well! I’m writing this review at just gone 17:00 on 31st December 2018. 

NOTE: It’s come to my attention that some people might think this review of “The Hate You Give” is slightly in favour of white people. I had absolutely no idea about the torment that people of colour go through in America or indeed anywhere else in the world. Where I live it’s mainly a white population. The inner cities have some POC rep, where I’ve never been for more than a shopping trip, but apart from that it’s mainly white. Although I’m not going to edit this review now when I reread THUG, I will keep this in mind and might edit some aspects. I’m sorry if any aspect of this review caused/causes anyone to feel negative. That really wasn’t/isn’t my intention. 
I’ve just finished “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. It wasn’t what I thought it would be, unfortunately. It was far too political for me to enjoy. It’…