Book Review: “Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index” by Julie Israel

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index (JLHI) tells a heart-warming tale of Juniper – who’s world has fallen apart after her sister’s death. Juniper finds a love letter written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to ‘You’. The letter was never delivered.

Juniper loses something else, a card from her Happiness Index in which she logs positives of each day. That particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she doesn’t want anyone else to find out.

Juniper’s search for mysterious ‘You’ and her card takes her to unexpected 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.


I have a feeling I enjoyed JLHI more than I should have. It is an enjoyable read that portrays a teenager, but also others, dealing with a loss, each in their own individual way. The book not only focused on Juniper but also her parents and every person’s experience was different, which I found to be very realistic.

The story had a good balance between grieving and light-hearted moments, it didn’t feel to heavy but it also didn’t feel like it skimmed over the important parts.


I think this book deserves praises when it comes to human relations. Whether it was seeing how Juniper developed friendships or how her and her parents interacted with each other, I think they were portrayed very well. All of them very progressing and developing at a suitable pace and complexity was being added to each character, they didn’t feel stagnant. It felt as if those relations were actually changing characters as they do to people in real life and their significance in the story line was clearly visible – they had an impact.

 There is one aspect of the novel that I don’t know how I feel about. There is a number of ‘mysteries’ that remain unsolved. Because the story and characters felt so real, I don’t mind not getting to know everything and fill in the gaps, after all that is more what the life is like, you don’t always end up getting all the answers. On the other hand, some of those mysteries were so insignificant in my opinion, that I don’t know what the big deal is about keeping them unresolved.


Overall, it was a very adorable read that tells a story about a very delicate and private matter. The characters, all of the main ones, were very relatable and I was happy to see some depth to them. It deserves 4 stars.

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