Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index – Julie Israel

Driving home from a July 4th party Juniper and her older sister get into a car accident and only one survives and the other is left trying to pick up the pieces and find ways to deal with the grief.
Since her sister Camille’s death, Juniper Lemon keeps track of her happiness by writing daily on note cards. (I am actually loving this idea and think I might start doing it as well) After losing card 65, she is determined to find it and hunts all over school, including the dustbins! While bin diving with the school’s “bad boy” who saved her from trouble in the art room she finds secrets discarded by others decides they need her help.

Juniper finds a letter that Camille wrote, and realises must have been her last letter, but it’s addressed only to You, which appears to be a secret boyfriend (or girlfriend) that Juniper was unaware of that she wanted to break up. Juniper decides that delivering this letter to You is the last favor she can do to her sister.

Her story deals beautifully with how people deal with grief and untold secrets in their own way. As sad and depressed as she often feels Juniper stays optimistic and her impact on others is positive and uplifting even though she doesn’t seem to notice it. Her adventures (and misadventures) keep you reading on even if you aren’t a huge fan of YA.

You can get your own copy from Penguin Random House