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Book Review – Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index


Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel (Penguin Books) ISBN: 978-0-141-37642-4

Juniper’s sister dies and her world collapses, but life is calling and she must go back to school.

Juniper always wrote a Happiness Index that she used to keep track of the good things that happened. Now, she uses it to keep track of the number of days since she lost her sister. When she finds an undelivered letter her sister wrote to an unknown boyfriend she knows she must find out who he is.

Juniper loses old friends and makes new ones. She tries to coax her sad mom back to the real world and tries to help her father cope, but under it all she is still just a teenager who falls in love with bad boys, makes mistakes and has to write tests.

This is a sweet, sad YA novel that made me smile and cry.

Mia Botha
4/5

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel (Penguin Books) ISBN: 9780141376424

I loved this book so much, it made me laugh, cry and recall my angst-ridden teenage years.

When Juniper returns to school after summer break, her entire world is in tatters. The death of her older sister Camilla in an accident over the holidays has devastated her family. At home Juni’s mother is highly medicated and doesn’t venture out of her room while her dad is barely keeping things together. At school, Juni is greeted with stare and whispers. To make things worse, her former best friend Lauren completely ignores her. The only thing that keeps Juniper sane is a rating system devised by Camilla, where Juniper rates her day on index cards.

On day 65, Juniper loses a card that holds a secret she doesn’t want anyone to discover, a secret wish she wishes she could undo. With time running out, Juniper has to track down her missing index card across the entire school campus. Along her quest, she makes new friends, trashes an art class, gets detention, falls in love and tries to uncover who Camilla was secretly dating.

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index is a heart-warming, story of loss, pain, recovery and love.

Merissa Himraj
5/5
@MerissaBHimraj