Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index is a thoughtful story with likable characters and a hopeful message. The suspense added a thread of bittersweet brilliance throughout the story.

Once there was a girl who made a wish in anger. She didn’t mean it, but that didn’t matter because at that very moment a star was falling and heard her and listened.

There were many elements that reminded me of one of my favourite books I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Ropes are snapping. My cool dangles by a thread.

Juniper and her sister Cammie’s story is revealed slowly, like a secret. This, combined with brilliant, unpredictable twists keeps the reader in suspense and adds tension to the story which I loved.

It’s hard to keep close a person everyone is telling you is gone.

YA authors are writing more and more about dealing with the loss of a parent, sibling or friend. These books are very necessary particularly because not only do we all handle grief in a different way, we are all going to be dealing with grief in our lives at some point.

A sister.
A lined card.
A lover in a letter.
A blank night, a blackout: the hours I can’t remember.

4 Star

 

 

 

Title: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness IndexJuniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

Author: Julie Israel

Publication Date: 1 June 2017

Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

Source: Review copy

 

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It’s been sixty-five days since the accident that killed Juniper’s sister, and ripped Juniper’s world apart.

Then she finds the love letter: written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to “You,” but never sent. Desperate to learn You’s identity and deliver the message, Juniper starts to investigate.

Until she loses something. A card from her Happiness Index: a ritual started by sunny Camie for logging positives each day. It’s what’s been holding Juniper together since her death – but a lost card only widens the hole she left behind. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she can’t let anyone else find out.

The search for You and her card take Juniper to even less expected 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.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

 Midnight at the Electric

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

“I think all my life my heart has been broken… and I didn’t even notice. And I don’t even know by what.”

Midnight at the Electric was added to my TBR (to-be-read list) simply for its haunting title, gorgeous cover and the possibility of magic these allude to. But the magic escaped me and I am now left with a burning question…

We are a house full of secrets. The main secret is we are afraid.

Actually, I had a lot of questions at first as story threads are not very clear (at least to me) and I spent a few hours scrolling back and forth to try and work out what I had missed and how the characters across time intertwine. I worked much it out in the end – who belongs to who and who ended up where. These answers lead to further questions… what happened to everyone? One of the family lines is rather flimsy having neither a history nor a present and I wonder why are they in the story?

…I am strange to myself and getting stranger all the time.

But, back to the question I’m still trying to answer.

Spoiler Alert!

Midnight at the Electric - The Title

The title has little to do with the story… Why give the book the title ‘Midnight at the Electric’ when the Electric hardly features in the story? Actually, it is in barely more than a chapter and that is mostly the build up to the midnight event. A couple of paragraphs about it in the beginning of the book and bam! it is never mentioned again. Not the Electric nor its consequences… What am I missing?

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“Apparently, people need closure,” she said. “It’s some kind of thing.

The characters are unique and interesting but it’s a strange story – so many loose ends… I think I also need closure.

I don’t think you can leave a person you love without leaving your skeleton behind.
crushingcinders.com

 

 

Title: Midnight at the Electric  

Author: Jodi Lynn AndersonMidnight at the Electric

Publication Date: 13 June 2017 

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

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Kansas, 2065 Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before Launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.

Oklahoma, 1934 Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called The Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire — and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life — Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919 In the recovery following World War One, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?
— Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Dividing Eden

 

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Dividing Eden has all the necessary political intrigue murder and espionage to make it work, but it lacks pace and world building.

Freedom was a myth

The positive

The twists were unexpected and left me confused – which twin was I rooting for? I started off rooting for one, only to change my alliance a few times during the story.

The world was safer when people believed justice was the same for the powerless and those in power.

The negative

Agonisingly slow (including the repetitive setting-the-scene) through much of the first half and far more political than I expected. This led me to compare it to Grave Mercy, a beautiful book with intense world building that Dividing Eden didn’t live up to.

Freedom was a mirage. It taunted and promised a great deal as it hung just out of reach.

The many unanswered questions and the ending left plenty of room for the sequel/s. I just hope that they are published fairly soon as I am not so sure I am going to be eager to pick up the next book unless this one is still fresh in my mind.

3 Star

 

 

Title: Dividing Eden

Dividing Eden
Series: Dividing Eden #1
Author:  Joelle Charbonneau
Publication Date: 6 June 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Review copy

 

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Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi has been one of my most anticipated 2017 read and it’s a sweet, feel-good, happy book. Although predictable and sporting a few small hiccups, I enjoyed the story.

His lines were confident and sure, the emerging picture comical and twisted and breathtakingly mesmerizing all at the same time.

 

What I liked:

The sweet, quirky characters, the brother bond, and the setting.

The easy friendship that Dimple and Rishi fell effortlessly into, skipping most of the drama that usually goes into insta-love stories.

Getting a glimpse into Hinduism and the traditional aspects, especially as the characters are so proud of their heritage.

This wasn’t just an arranged marriage to Rishi; this was the rich fabric of history, stretched through time and space.

 

What I didn’t like:

The insta-love.

The story is not unique and very similar to Nothing But The Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley.

You’ve made me braver. It’s like you have this paintbrush, dipped in brilliant mauves and teals and golds…3 star

 

 

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi  When Dimple Met Rishi

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publication Date: 30 May 2017

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Source: Review copy

 

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Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

Wait for me, set in Scotland during the last year before the end of WWII, is a sweet, easy-to-read story in a beautiful setting. I love books set during WWII and are automatically attracted to them so I was thrilled when I received a review copy from Jonathan Ball Publishers.

The wail of the air-raid siren in the village rose above the shrieking engine.

While I enjoyed the book, the story had some very typical cliché moments which made it predictable and although the content is not, the writing style is quite juvenile which I found frustrating.

“But they’re Germans,” she said. “The enemy! You can’t be bringing enemy soldiers onto our farm, Dad. No!”

My biggest bugbear of the book was the…

Spoiler Alert

I didn’t like the way rape was handled in the book which implies that it is something to ashamed of and to keep quiet about.

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3 star

 

 

Title: Wait for Me 

Author: Caroline Leech

Publication Date: 31 January 2017Wait for Me

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

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It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.  Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free review copy of this book from  Jonathan Ball Publishers does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

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