#BlogTour The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

Today it is an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the sequel to The Bone Witch. Rin Chupeco does not disappoint, The Heart-Forger is absolutely a must read for YA Fantasy and Fantasy readers.

About the Author

Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She’s been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living.

Follow @RinChupeco @SourcebooksFire on Twitter or @rinchupeco on Instagram

Visit rinchupeco.com

About the book

In this dark, engrossing sequel to The Bone Witch, Tea has mastered resurrection—now it’s time for revenge.

Tea, a bone witch who can resurrect the dead, is done with her self-imposed exile. She now possesses all seven bezoars she needs to revive the powerful daeva. With the help of these terrible monsters, she can finally enact her revenge against the royals who wronged her and took the life of her one true love.

Alliances and allegiances are shifting, and danger lurks in and out of the kingdom. But Tea’s heart is set on vengeance, even if it turns her against her now-estranged brother, who supports her enemies. War is brewing, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

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Excerpt from The Heart Forger:

He does not look so formidable, I lied to myself, staring at the warped, decaying body before me. I can defeat his will. I will break him. It is a wonder what Mykkie had ever seen in him.
It was not the first time I had deceived myself in this manner. Neither was this the first time I had raised King Vanor from the grave. But if I repeated that mantra enough times, I thought I could finally believe my words.
The dead king refused to look at me, his eyes distant. The royal crypts were built to strike both fear and awe in those who visited, but I had grown accustomed to the stone faces looking down at me with quiet scrutiny from their high precipices. But King Vanor’s continued silence unnerved me every time—more than I cared to admit.
“A wise philosopher once said,” Fox drawled from the shadows, “that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is the mark of a fool.”
“Why do I bring you along?”
“Well, a wise philosopher once said—”
Read More here…

Review

In both The Bone Witch and The Heart Forger Tea has a so-called bard, who accompanies her on her path to personal justice. It is important to Tea that there is someone to hear the truth, her truth, and for that person to tell future generations what really happened. To an outsider she appears to be violent, irrational and capable of extreme actions, and that is why she needs the bard to see and experience beyond the lies of her enemies. Then again perhaps she has just been driven insane like all the other dark asha before her.

The bond between Fox and Tea started to unravel slowly but surely in The Bone Witch. The siblings, who once fought side by side are now on opposite sides. As far as Tea is concerned this is unforgivable, how can her brother support the very people who killed her true love. Fox on the other hand has always been concerned about the darkness inside his sister. Now she is on the warpath and is preparing for battle, it seems as if his instincts just might have been right.

The beauty of this series isn’t just the immaculate world-building, strong characters, the fascinating plot and the intricate descriptive writing, it is also the metamorphosis of Tea. The inquisitive young girl, who is filled with immense power and lives by a strong sense of wrong and right, morphs into a dark vengeful being driven by anger and a need to punish those she perceives to be the guilty.

Chupeco is an extremely talented writer. Her creativity knows no bounds, and her characters evoke empathy even when they are bent on destruction and revenge. I would like to see the author expand beyond the restrictions of YA, her thought processes are complex and her plots compelling. A true gem of the genre, and perhaps still a wee bit underrated. The Heart Forger is a fantastic read.

Buy The Heart Forger at Amazon Uk Goodreads Amazon com Barnes & Noble BooksaMillion Indigo IndieBound

Buy The Bone Witch at Amazon Uk  Goodreads Amazon com Barnes & Noble  BooksaMillion Indigo IndieBound

Buy The Suffering at Amazon Uk  Amazon com Barnes & Noble BooksaMillion Indigo IndieBound

Read my review of The Bone Witch

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Giveaway runs March 20 -March 31 (US & Canada only)

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Excerpt from the Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

Excerpt from The Heart Forger:

He does not look so formidable, I lied to myself, staring at the warped, decaying body before me. I can defeat his will. I will break him. It is a wonder what Mykkie had ever seen in him.

It was not the first time I had deceived myself in this manner. Neither was this the first time I had raised King Vanor from the grave. But if I repeated that mantra enough times, I thought I could finally believe my words.

The dead king refused to look at me, his eyes distant. The royal crypts were built to strike both fear and awe in those who visited, but I had grown accustomed to the stone faces looking down at me with quiet scrutiny from their high precipices. But King Vanor’s continued silence unnerved me every time—more than I cared to admit.

“A wise philosopher once said,” Fox drawled from the shadows, “that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is the mark of a fool.”

“Why do I bring you along?”

“Well, a wise philosopher once said—”

“Shut up.” My brother had no need to tell me my quest was hopeless. Numerous Dark asha, all more experienced than me, had made the attempt. But I had to do something.

“You’re in a worse mood than usual. Did Kalen chew you out at practice again?”

“If you don’t like it here, why not find some women in the city to flirt with instead?”

“Not in Oda—” He caught himself. “None of your business. Can we get this over with?”

I turned back to the corpse. “Where are you keeping Mykaela’s heartsglass?”

No answer. The colossi statues guarding the catacombs were likelier to respond than this infernal sod of a king.

“Answer me! What have you done to her heartsglass? Where did you keep it? Why do you hate her so much?” My headache worsened. Somewhere in the back of my head, I was aware of a shadow thrashing about, sensing my anger. I saw a vision of water, green and murky, before it faded out of view.

I took a deep breath and let it out carefully. The ache lightened and the shadow retreated as I recovered my calm.

“This is a waste of time.” Fox folded his arms across his chest. My brother looked to be in peak physical health, though he was no more alive than the royal noble standing before us.

Their similarities ended there; there was barely enough skin and sinew clinging to Vanor to pass for human. That was my doing. The first few times I resurrected him, I had been respectful, taking great pains to restore his body to how it appeared when he was alive.

Now I allowed him only enough muscle and flesh to move his jaw.

“He’s not going to talk, Tea. You know that, I know that, and he definitely knows that.”

“I will make him talk.” Many years ago, my sister-asha had fallen in love with this wretched excuse of a ruler. In exchange for her unwavering devotion, he had taken her heartsglass and hidden it so well that no one had been able to find it.

And now, more than a decade later, Mykaela was dying. She could no longer return to Kion. Her health had deteriorated to the point where she had to remain near her heartsglass, still hidden somewhere within Odalia, here in the city of Kneave. It was hard enough to be a bone witch; that she’d survived for this long was a miracle in itself.

I grabbed what was left of the king’s shoulders, pulling him toward me. He reeked of death and obstinacy. “Answer me!” My voice echoed off the columns. “Didn’t you love her even a little? Or are you so petty that you’d allow her to suffer for the rest of her years? She’s dying. What grudge do you harbor to hate her this much?”

“Tea.”

I froze. So did Fox.

I had told no one else about my weekly excursions to the royal crypts. Not my friend Polaire, who would have boxed my ears if she’d known, nor Mistress Parmina, who would doom me to a life cleaning outhouses. Only Fox was privy to my secret, which he had agreed to keep despite his own misgivings. And Mykaela was the last person I wanted to find out.

She had aged more rapidly during the last few years since she had taken me under her wing. There was more gray in her golden hair, more lines on her face. Her back stooped slightly, like she struggled under a heavy burden. She had taken to using a cane everywhere she went, unsure of her own feet.

“Mykaela,” I stammered, “you’re not supposed to be here.”

“I could say the same for you,” she answered, but her eyes were fixed on King Vanor, her pain obvious. He watched her gravely, without shame or guilt, and my anger rose again. How many raisings had my sister-asha endured, forced to watch while this king refused to speak?

I raised my finger to sketch out the rune that would send Vanor back to the world of the dead, but Mykaela lifted a hand. “Vanor,” she said quietly, “it’s been a while.”

The decaying figure said nothing. His eyes studied her, savage and hungry and ill suited for such an impassive face.

“I apologize for my wayward apprentice. She has been willful and intractable since her admission to my asha-ka and has shown little improvement since. Please return to your rest. Tea, let him go.”

Mykaela’s words were a steel knife through my heart. Stuttering apologies, I completed the spell and watched as King Vanor’s body crumbled back into dust in his open coffin. Even as his features dissolved, King Vanor never once looked away from Mykaela’s face.

“Close the lid and move the stone back in place,” she said. I could detect the anger behind her calm. “I would tell King Telemaine to seal his coffin, but even that might not stop you. Whatever possessed you to let her do this, Fox?”

Fox shrugged, grinning like an abashed schoolboy. “I’m her familiar. It comes with the territory.”

“Being her familiar is no excuse for being an imbecile! And you! What possessed you to summon dead royalty in the middle of the night?”

“I wanted to help.” The excuse sounded weaker when made to Mykaela than to Fox. “I thought that I could control daeva now! You said no Dark asha’s ever done that before! That’s why…why I…”

Mykaela sighed. “And so by that logic, you think you are different from Dark asha of the past? What you have in ability, Tea, you lack in wisdom. You cannot compel the dead if they are not willing. Wasn’t that the first lesson I taught you after you raised Fox from his grave? Arrogance is not a virtue, sister.”

I looked down, blinking back tears. Was I arrogant to want to save her? Unlike Fox, Dark asha and all those with a silver heartsglass cannot be raised from the dead, and that permanence frightened me. “I’m sorry. I want to help. But I feel so powerless.”

I heard her move closer, felt her hand on my head, stroking my hair.

“It’s not such a bad thing, to feel powerless sometimes. It teaches us that some situations are inevitable and that we should spend what little time we have in the company of the people that matter most. Do you understand me, Tea?”

“Yes.” I wept.

“Tea, I’m not dead yet.” A finger nudged at my chin. “I would appreciate it if you stopped acting like I was. I do not give up so easily, but we must adopt other means.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It is only an apology if you mean it. This is the last time you will be summoning anyone in the royal crypts, no matter how noble you think your actions are. Promise me.”

“I promise,” I mumbled.

“The same is true for you too, Fox.”

“I promise, milady.”

“Good. Now help me up the stairs. My legs aren’t what they used to be.”

Fox reached down and scooped Mykaela into his arms. “It’s the fastest way,” he explained. “You’ve expended enough energy yelling at us.”

The older asha chuckled. “Yes, that’s always been rather tiresome now that I think about it. Perhaps you should direct your energies toward more productive tasks so I can tire less.”

“How did you know we were here?” I asked.

“I’ve taken to wandering at night. I looked in on Tea, but her room was empty. I detected a shifting of runes nearby and merely followed it to its source.”

“I didn’t mean to make you worry.” The staircase led back to the Odalian palace gardens. For the past two months, Fox and I had been King Telemaine’s guests, traveling the kingdom and tending to the sickly. Most of the people here fear and dislike bone witches, though with lesser fervor than before. It is not easy to hold a grudge against someone who has nursed you back to health.

At the king’s invitation, Mykaela had taken up residence in the castle indefinitely. But every day finds her weaker, and I feared the palace would serve as her hospice.

“There are many other concerns, Tea. Likh has a new case pending, hasn’t he?”

The asha association had rejected Likh’s appeal to join, but Polaire had dredged up an obscure law that permitted Deathseekers to train in the Willows until they turned fifteen, which was Likh’s current age.

Mykaela glanced over Fox’s shoulder, back at the catacombs, then turned away.

She still loves him, I thought, and fury burned through me like a fever. “I’m really sorry, Mykkie.”

She smiled. “As I said, only if you mean it, Tea. Get some rest. We’ve got a busy day ahead.”

* * *

I listened until my brother’s footsteps faded before sneaking out of my room a second time. I opened the doors of my mind to welcome the hidden shadows; they wrapped around my core, creating a barrier that had for many months prevented Fox from discovering the other sentience I hoarded away, like a sweet vintage I had no intentions of sharing. I couldn’t. Not yet.

Chief waited for me at the stables. A lone woman on a horse caused no outcry, and we rode undisturbed out of the city, into a copse of trees that hid us further from view. I climbed off my stallion, told him to await my return, and moved deeper into the forest, into a small clearing that served as a rendezvous point.

I reached out once more to the moving darkness. The scar on my right thigh was hot to the touch. It burned in the cold air, but I felt no pain.

Despite its size, the beast was made of stealth and shadows. Where there was once nothing, it now stood beside me, as if summoned from the air. Three pairs of hooded eyes gazed down at me, forked tongues dancing. Its wings extended, and twilight rolled over me, soothing and pleasant.

Master? It was a voice but not in the manner we think of voices. Our bond gave us an understanding that went beyond language.

I reached out. Its scaly hide was a combination of coarse bark and rough sandpaper.

Play? It sat, unmoving, as I climbed up its back.

Yes.

In the blink of an eye, we were soaring across the sky, rolling meadows and fields of green passing below us. Turn, I thought, testing the limits of my control, as I have over the last several months. The azi complied, wings curving toward the horizon. I laughed, the sound joyous and free against the wind, and one head dipped briefly to nuzzle at my cheek, purring.

This is not selfishness, I told myself, but a responsibility. Mykaela was partly right; I was arrogant and overconfident, but I was not like other Dark asha. No other Dark asha had been able to tame the azi. And riding with it on quiet nights meant it was not rampaging through cities.

But I also knew I had to keep my companion a secret. Raising a dead king was a far lesser sin than taking a daeva as a familiar. I shall conquer this, I thought and, in doing so, sealed my fate.

Why are we at Daanoris?” I asked again when she paused. “Why won’t you tell me?”

“Because I need you as a witness as well as a storyteller, Bard. You will not remain unbiased for long if I supply you with foresight.”

“You summoned me. I travel with you. My opinions will make little difference.”

“You have a reputation for impartiality, Bard. I trust your judgment and my prudence. And here in Santiang, there is someone I would like you to meet.”

“Who?”

“They call him the Heartforger.” She flashed me a quick mischievous grin. “I find it difficult to believe you will be so eager to rule in my favor after the endless stretch of corpses I summoned in my wake. Or after informing you of my intentions to take Daanoris. It is not easy to mask your repugnance. Why have I come to Daanoris? Perhaps simply because I can. Has that not crossed your mind?”

“Tea,” Kalen admonished, his voice low and amused.

She laughed. “Let me continue my story while we still have the luxury.”

The shadows grew across the trees. The daeva melted slowly into the forest, moving silently despite their sizes. No other sound passed through the woods—no chirping of birds nor chatter of squirrels. There was only the wind whispering through the leaves, the crackling of fire, and the sound of the asha’s voice.

Return to the #BlogTour The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco to read my review…

Buy The Heart Forger at Amazon UK

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Later today it is my turn on the BlogTour for The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco, the second part in The Bone Witch series. I absolutely adored the first part, The Bone Witch, which is why I decided to feature a pre-taste of Chupeco’s talent.

About the book

When Tea accidentally resurrects her dead brother, she learns she is a different from the other witches in her family.  Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in her community.  But she finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. There Tea learns to wield her magic in the face of dark forces and the deceit of those who would plot against her, including the ruling royals, who are waging their own war for control of the land.

Told from Tea’s perspective while she waits in exile, collecting the strength and force to combat those who killed her one true love, and a visiting Bard’s perspective, this is another magical tale woven by The Girl from the Well author.

Review

I loved the writing and the descriptive style, it fits well with the flow of the story. Chupeco takes the reader to the past, the present and also Tea in the future. The future speaks of darkness and vengeance, the past of pain and death, and the present of uncertainty and discovery.

The parallels between the asha and Geisha’s are an interesting element of the story. Women are considered entertainment for the men, and yet the asha are also revered at the same time. Tea finds it difficult to reconcile her inner turbulence with the dainty and effeminate skills her peers excel at.

She finds a home thanks to Lady Mykaela, who intends to train her as a dark asha, but first she is asked to follow all orders blindly and instead of exciting learning opportunities she becomes nothing more than a skivvy.

The ability to read a person via their heartglass is such an interesting concept. It leaves doors open for discrimination, judgements and exclusions. Mykaela can see the potential in Tea, but has no idea just how much power she has, and neither does Tea. Unfortunately the power also escapes on occasion, which is code for loss of control.

One of Tea’s lighter dark moments is raising her beloved brother from the dead, which binds them in a way they both find it hard to cope with, especially when he starts to defy the strange connection they have.

Throughout the story the reader is given a glimpse of what Tea becomes and is heading towards, and it isn’t pretty. Which event or betrayal turns her into the powerful bone witch with an axe to grind? The dark being intent on destroying those who have wronged her.

This was hands down one of my favourite reads of 2017. Chupeco is incredibly talented, has masses of potential, and deserves to be right up there with the big names in the Fantasy genre. This is YA, so I would really like to see the author let loose beyond the borders and restrictions of young adult.

Buy The Bone Witch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @RinChupeco @SourcebooksFire

Visit RinChupeco.com

Come back a little later for the BlogTour for The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2), the sequel to The Bone Witch!

A Summer of Witches by M. Ganendran

About the Author

M. Ganendran is the author of three books; The Song of the Mermaid, The Guardians of Rainbow Tower and A Summer of Witches. She enjoys writing stories that are suitable for children and young adults, yet which could captivate anyone.

Work is in progress for a new novel to be released in 2018. Sim’s Magic Windmill will tell the story of a twelve year old girl who finds herself a reluctant heroine in a quest to save Scotland from evil forces intent on destruction. Throughout her journey, Sim must contend with her own personal struggles with Crohn’s Disease, and comes to terms with her condition.

Follow @m_ganendran

Buy A Summer of Witches

About the book

Wartime witches, ghosts and smugglers abound in this dual-time supernatural mystery story.

In the summer of 1940, twelve year olds Lawrence and Rachel are evacuated to the village of Burley in the New Forest. One night, they witness a group of people dressed in strange clothing creeping into the woods. Before long, they find themselves drawn into an adventure while the very future of their country is at stake.

In 1990, teenagers Nick and Molly uncover a diary in the attic which belonged to Molly’s grandmother who was evacuated to Burley 50 years before. The diary hints at extraordinary events but creates more questions than answers before coming to an abrupt end. As they are drawn further into danger, can Nick and Molly find out what really happened in 1940?

Review

The story is split into past and present, the reader follows Lawrence and Rachel in the 1940’s, as war refugees evacuated to the countryside, and Nick and Molly in 1990 in the same village. Nick and Molly discover her grandmother’s diary she wrote as a child evacuee. It hints at a mystery, so the two them start snooping around to discover the truth.

Lawrence and Rachel experience the trauma of being separated from their parents, friends and family members. They are thrown together due to a mix-up, but eventually learn to support and depend on each other. The constant fear of being left an orphan is balanced out by the almost mundane problems they experience in their new home and school. The village children and the evacuees are at odds with each other, and not everyone is happy about having to take strangers into their homes. The children not only have to deal with the difficulties of dealing with their peers, growing up and family secrets, they also discover their own hidden potential.

The four children find themselves drawn into a world of vengeance and witchcraft. A world of supernatural power that has been hiding in the depths of the forests waiting to make a move. A secret coven is the only thing standing between the lurking evil and a viable threat against the country. What can they do to curtail the evil that is waiting to pounce and destroy anyone in its path?

This is suitable for middle-grade, YA and of course older readers. The author wants readers of all ages to be able to read and enjoy her work. What seems like an emotional read turns into a wild adventure, the kind of exciting adventure that will thrill young minds. Wild powers, secret gatherings, mysterious forests and the fact two twelve-year-old children have to try and save the world, are what make A Summer of Witches an entertaining read.

Buy A Summer of Witches  (Kindle- also available on Kindle Unlimited) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Buy A Summer of Witches (Paperback)

Buy The Guardians of Rainbow Tower

Buy The Song of the Mermaid

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

thirteenDespite what people may have heard or read this book doesn’t encourage teenage suicide nor does it romanticise the idea of suicide. I can’t speak for the popular Netflix series inspired by this book, simply because I haven’t watched it.

It’s important to bear in mind that teenage brains aren’t fully developed until they reach a certain age in adulthood. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the rational part of the brain, which isn’t fully developed until the age of 25. This is why a teen is more likely to make rash, illogical, dangerous and impulsive decisions. Everything is overly dramatic and every slight is the end of the world as we know it.

In the mind of  teenager every insult, imagined or real, is a reason to make a decision you can’t just undo.

The reader meets Hannah after she has made the decision to end her life. After she has convinced herself that there is no other way out of her situation other than killing herself.

Ultimately in the midst of all the drama and overhyped teenage interactions Asher is trying to deliver an important message. When someone reaches the end of their tether, and leans towards jumping off the nearest cliff, they will send out subconscious signals. The signals are there for us to see, hear and read, we just need to acknowledge them. Instead of ignoring the changes in behaviour, appearance or the almost indiscernible cries for help, we need to open our eyes and try to help.

The story starts with Clay Jensen receiving a box full of tapes, a spoken testimonial from a dead girl. A girl he knew, a girl he kissed, and a young girl who somehow thinks he belongs on a list of people who pushed her towards suicide. He has to deal with the emotional upheaval caused by this unexpected accusation and the experiences Hannah has been through. Clay also has to deal with the fact he will eventually come face to face with the other people on the list. The people who ignored her, turned her away, ridiculed and assaulted her.

Suicide brings an element of desperation with it, but also one of selfishness. Suicidal thoughts are all encompassing, especially when depression is part and parcel of the equation. There is no room for thoughts of what those left behind will have to deal with. The why, the who and the fact they didn’t see it coming and couldn’t stop it. Even when there is light at the end of the tunnel Hannah is already so enveloped by her own darkness that she chooses self destructive behaviour instead of choosing a path other than death.

I could go on and on about this book. It isn’t just a straightforward ‘everyone was mean to Hannah and that’s why she is dead’ scenario. Hannah isn’t exempt from criticism. She makes mistakes and some dodgy choices, especially in regards to Jessica and Bryce.

Hopefully this read will make someone reconsider their actions and behaviour towards their fellow humans. Teens really need to take on board that actions have consequences, rumours ruin lives, bullying is destructive and suicide is a one-way ticket with no return.

Buy Thirteen Reasons Why at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @jayasherguy @PenguinRHUK

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr

ella balckElla is confronted with an awful truth about her identity. It turns out she has been living a lie, a lie her parents have taken great lengths to keep going. One could argue that on a base level Ella is aware of the secret, which is why she struggles with a strong inner voice. A voice so strong it has become its own persona. A persona, who makes bad choices and likes to harm others and cause havoc.

Personally I think the question about Bella or rather the truth and explanation about Bella should have remained an element of the book the reader ponders on and decides for themselves. Instead Ella explains that aspect of her personality towards the end of the book.

I would rather wonder about the nurture vs nature argument or whether there is a genetic component to Bella and in particular Bella’s behaviour. Does Bella like to cause harm because of who she really is?

Adoption can be a controversial topic for those involved in it, especially when it comes to the truth about parentage. Quite often the adoptive parents think it is better to lie and/or keep the adopted child in the dark about their parentage. For the majority of adoptees the truth is the quintessential factor in the development of a healthy mind-set and personality. Regardless of whether they make contact with their bio family, it is important for them to know who they are biologically and genetically. A lot of people find this natural pull towards the truth quite difficult to understand. They don’t understand that it has nothing to do with how much they love their adopted parents and the family attachments they have made. It is merely about finding their tribe, and being able to get closure.

In a way Ella has to go through this process, albeit in a very dramatic and dangerous way. She has to work through the trauma of the truth in her own time and way.

Barr approaches a sensitive topic and gives the reader a ringside view of the emotional turmoil a young person might go through in this situation. For teens everything is highly emotional and over-dramatised. The Truth and Lies of Ella Black is a story about a young woman finding her truth and her path in life.

Buy The Truth and Lies of Ella Black at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @emily_barr Visit emilybarr.com

Follow @PenguinRHUK

Read The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel

juniper.jpgThe idea itself is lovely. Dealing with grief by tracking it daily via a happiness index. For each person the index would be different of course, because what makes one person smile or feel a moment of happiness isn’t always the same for another person.

Think about what kind of things make you happy each day. Even the smallest things count. A memory, an interaction, a piece of chocolate or perhaps just relaxing after a long day.

Since the death of her sister Camilla, Juniper has been desperately trying to find her happy. She is so grief stricken that she is trying to grasp what she can from life.

She is also trying to fulfil what she believes to be her sister’s last wish. A letter to her love. So Juniper takes it upon herself to find the mysterious recipient. She is also really invested in making the people around her happy. She does this by playing matchmaker, by saving those around her from possible negative thoughts and bad intentions.

In her quest to survive day by day and to not crumble under the weight of her personal loss, Juniper inadvertently finds herself building friendships, experiencing love and learning a few hard lessons along the way.

The focus is on the people left behind, as opposed to a lot of books that seem to make the dead the main characters. What’s done is done and those who are gone aren’t coming back, so let’s concentrate on the living.

The author tries not to delve too far into the teen drama or rather make the scenarios too candy floss sweet or unicorn eccentric. It is passionate without being soppy, witty without being ridiculous and is realistic in a down-to-earth way.

Definitely a read I would recommend.

Buy Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @thatjulieisrael visit julieisrael.com