JUNIPER LEMON’S HAPPINESS INDEX is a funny, heartbreaking, emotional story that we couldn’t help but imagine casting!

Julie Israel‘s debut novel, Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index, about a girl trying to grapple with returning to high school for her Junior year after the summer her sister was killed, was just released May 30th, and though you may have yet to read it, we assure you it’s worth the read.

In fact, we recommend it so much, that we listed off some young talented actors that we think would be great to play some of the major characters in the book. The book hasn’t been optioned for film, but if it were, we’d love the following to be at least considered for the role.

Check them out!

Auli’i Cravalho as Juniper Lemon

Auli’i Cravalho | Photo by Frazer Harrison – © 2016 Getty Images

The vocally talented Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana for Disney’s animated Polynesian of the same name just looks like she could tone down her smile for those bittersweet and emotional moments of the story, but still have magnetic appeal for those of us watching her. Take for example her performance at the 89th Annual Academy Awards.

Zendaya as Camille Lemon

Zendaya | Photo by George Pimentel – © 2016 George Pimentel

The character Camille “Cami” Lemon has a bit of a feistier side, but the character all-around likable and knows exactly what to say when the situation needs a quick wit. Zendaya, who’ll already be giving off some attitude in Spider-Man: Homecoming, pretty much has that about her already and it wouldn’t be hard for her to portray Juniper’s older and lovable sister.

Aramis Knight as Brand Sayers

Aramis Knight | Photo by James Minchin III/AMC – © 2015 AMC Film Holdings LLC.

Although Brand Sayers could be your token “bad boy,” the character has more to himself than just a broody attitude. Aramis Knight, who’s been busying himself starring in AMC’s Into the Badlands, could certainly pull off broody, with maybe a softer side to him.

Tye Sheridan as Nate Savage

Tye Sheridan | Photo by Jerod Harris – © 2015 Jerod Harris

Tye Sheridan, who just finished filming for Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated Ready Player One, might be a surprise casting for his role as Nate Savage, but then again, not really. He can play serious as he does in X-Men: Apocalypse as Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, but there’s a vulnerability that he can easily pull off.

Willow Shields as Kody

She might be overlooked more often than she should, but we still remember her ability to play the sensitive and carding Primrose from The Hunger Games movies. This role would be a great one for her to sink her teeth into as the vulnerable Kody.

Yara Shahidi as Angela Waters

Yara Shahidi | Photo by Chris Delmas/AFP/Getty Images

We love Yara in Black-ish, and we think it would fantastic for her to play someone like Angela Waters, a girl who’s into classical literature and art and is befriended by Juniper.

Cameron Boyce as Sponge

Cameron Boyce | Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Cameron has such a unique face and one of the growing young growing actors to take notice of. He’s recognized for his roles on a couple of Disney. We think he would be a perfect Sponge, someone who can keep secrets and knows more then anyone in his school, a great asset for Juniper Lemon.

Lana Condor as Lauren

Lana Condor | Photo by Jason Merritt – © 2015 Getty Images

Like Tye Sheridan, Lana Condor was also in the movie X-Men: Apocalypse. Unfortunately, her role in the movie was quite underwhelming through no fault of her own. It would be great to see her take on the role of BFF to Juniper Lemon.

Ariel Winter as Morgan Malloy

Getty Images

As sweet as Ariel Winter is in ABC’s Modern Family, to cast Ariel Winter as somewhat the “villain”-type character seems like a great against-type challenge for her. Winter could likely pull it off with ease she’s so talented.

Well, that’s it! We hope you get a chance to read Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index and laugh, cry, rage, and love with it.

Enter for your chance to win a copy of the book…

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Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 29, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 5, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 7, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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.

This is a smart, funny, poignant book guaranteed to make you laugh and cry – and maybe even take notes.

 Julie Israel lives in Portland, Oregon, and holds a BA in Creative Writing. After a stint teaching English in Japan, she returned to her native state to write fiction full-time. When not writing, she is likely reading, making art, or learning one of too many languages to keep straight. Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index is her debut novel.
You can also order your copy of the book on Amazon.

By Nat, the Geek Girl

Southern California native who likes movies, books (Shadowhunter Chronicles, NA, YA fantasy, Red Rising series), TV shows (The Sandman), and San Diego Comic-Con. I also like to write, but don't get to do much of that aside from on here. I fell into the BTS rabbit hole, and I refuse to leave.

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