The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Release date: March 9, 2010
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Baileydies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in
town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.
This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.
The Sky is Everywhere was a beautiful, emotional, and life altering read. I've heard Ms. Nelson's writing compared to some of my all time favorite authors and I knew they would be a tough act to follow- but she did, and better! The Sky is Everywhere is a powerful read that will have you turning pages even as tears are running down your cheeks or laughs erupting from your mouth in public. I was somehow eerie of starting this book, as I was worried about being disappointed- but the opposite occurred. I am in love with this book!
The Sky is Everywhere has a unique plot, that was definitely not cliche. Lennie did not just lose her sister, she lost her best friend, a piece of her heart and soul. Although the novel starts after Bailey's death, the reader can feel the connection the two sisters had and it makes me wish I had siblings! You could understand Lennie's feelings and emotions, even if you haven't experienced the pain she has. I couldn't really relate to Lennie, but I felt like I wanted to comfort her and be there for her when other's were not.
There were quite a few great characters in this novel that added to it's originality. Lennie lived with Gram and Big (her grandmother and Uncle) and these were two of my favorite characters. Gram was a strong character, but also needed support from Lennie. And while Big dealt with his emotions in a different way, he was part of the glue holding the Walker Family together. Lennie's best friend Sarah didn't have a huge role, but she added a lot to the scenes she was in. Unique, witty, and kind, Sarah wasn't afraid to be herself and helped Lennie to do the same. Now I can't not mention the two main guys in this novel- Toby and Joe. I loved them both, although Joe will always be my favorite. These two characters were so developed and in depth I felt like I would recognize them even if I just bumped into them on the street. Joe was just... beyond words. The love Joe had for Lennie shone off the pages.
The writing style was phenomenal. Nelson's writing is so beautiful and emotional I would reread passages over and over just to drink in the fabulousness. Her choice of words were perfect and although I've heard some readers say the writing just seemed sugar coated I loved it, and I know I would not give The Sky is Everywhere nearly as high a review if the writing was not what it was. The poems Lennie wrote were great, too. I loved how they tied together in the end.
I cannot begin to do justice to the amazing debut known as The Sky is Everywhere, but this is one book you need to run out and buy. Along with a box of tissues and pillow to lean on as you read through the night. Be prepared to cry, rant, laugh, and smile and fall in love with the characters and writing over and over again. I am anxiously awaiting Nelson's next novel!
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars