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The Week I Read Five Books

You read that correctly. A couple of weeks ago, I managed to tackle a feat that I've never managed before. I didn't have much going on and had a pile of books to read, so I did what I apparently have been doing best this summer, and binge read them. The fifth book was Lauren Graham's newest book, but I already talked about that in another blog post.

Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel 

I'd be completely lying if I said that I wasn't originally drawn to this book because of its cover. The confetti is just enticing, what can I say? The book begins 65 days after the tragic accident that Juniper was in with her sister Camilla, one that was fatal for her sister. Juniper discovers a letter addressed to "You" written by Camilla on the day of the accident that was never sent out or given to the mystery person she was seeing. This sets Juniper back, causing her to wonder who her sister was seeing and why she was keeping it a secret from everyone. She sets out to find who was dating her sister, enlisting the help of her sister's friends and some new pals along the way. 

For a book that, to put it simply, is about death, this book isn't overwhelmingly sad. The grief in this book isn't melancholic. It's there, sure, but it's laced in with Juniper's budding friendships and mission to find whoever "You" was to Camilla. I will say, the ending of this book was kind of a letdown. I love where Juniper ended up with her friends, but there was a lack of closure that fell flat for me. Also, if you're a fan of romance, the romance in this book was not one of my favorites. Overall, I genuinely did like this book and I thought Israel's writing was really clean and sharp! 

(Trigger warnings: death, mentions of suicide, and parental abuse)

Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno

This book was one of those books where you're reading and you think that something could happen but then you soon convince yourself that that would be preposterous and that it could never happen. And then, you know, THE THING HAPPENS. Lottie Reeves' is the niece of the famous author of the Alvin Hatter series. When Aunt Helen passes away from cancer, amongst the belongings she left for her beloved family members, she also leaves a stack of letters for Lottie, each containing some sort of dare. She reads the letters over the course of three weeks, leaving 24 dares for her to complete. It was Aunt Helen's last attempt to help her niece with her anxiety, something that she dealt with herself.

Over the course of this book, you're dragged along with Lottie through the ups and downs of grief and trying to manage her anxiety (she has a constant fear of dying, not only just herself but everyone she loves too). Let's just say that this is not your typical YA book. For a while, it seems to be, but just you wait until the end...that's all I'm going to say!

(Trigger warnings: death)

The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone

I talked about this book in a past post, so I'm not going to spend ages rambling about it. Sadie goes when a video of her being assaulted by a drunk man who had abducted his child from the mother's house became a heroic sensation on the internet and locally. When she attends an event that honors five teens who have done things for their community, she connects with the other four–Gordie, Val, Jean, and Alice–over their common "do-gooder acts."

They end up dedicating their summer to doing nice things for other people, whether it's boosting them up online or letting the bullies know that they're being seen and that they should reconsider what they're doing. It's an anti Mean Girls, like when Cady starts trying to make everything better after she royally messes everything up. You know, besides the Burn Book and all that jazz. While the group of five–aplty nicknaming themselves The Unlikielies–weren't mean kids themselves, they decided to put their good energy and positivity into a movement that took to the internet and also became viral.

This was just all around a really uplifting book and was really pleasant to read. It took me a little bit to get into it, but once I found my groove with this book, it was smooth sailing and put a smile on my face!

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

I just talked about this in detail in a blog post last week so even though I said this for The Unlikelies, I'm just going to direct you to that blog post because I think I've said everything there is to say about this one. Take my word for it though, this is one of those books that you're going to want to read in one sitting. It's not a slow burn romance so if you like your lovey-dovey early on in the story, this one will be a winner for you. Scout's honor, this book was worth the read in one sitting. Now I'm sad that I finished it so fast though...


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