Published by Dial on 09 March 2010
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Place(s) Traveled to: Northern California
First Line(s): Gram is worried about me.
I wish that I could say that The Sky is Everywhere was an easy review to write, but I can’t. Not because the book was bad because it wasn’t. In fact the opposite was true. This is a hard review to write because the book was just so amazing. I fell in love with Lennie’s voice from the opening page. My heart broke with her grief because I too have an older sister and I don’t know how I would cope if I ever lost her. Lennie was the younger sister and her world centered on Bailey and when Bailey was suddenly gone Lennie was knocked out of orbit. At first Lennie retreats from the world but she can only hide from her friends or her eccentric family for so long. Lennie’s world now has a before and after with most people knowing who she was before and not knowing how to deal with the after. Enter Toby, Bailey’s boyfriend who knows exactly how she is feeling. And then there is Joe, new in town and with no preconception of who Lennie was before.
The Sky is Everywhere is an amazing story filled with many ups and down. Lennie’s grief is palpable but then so is her healing. The loss of a loved one is hard and personal and Jandy Nelson shows us how Lennie makes it through. Interspersed with the text are poems that Lennie writes. These poems convey such a range of emotion that could say so much more then if Nelson had tried to use standard text. Nelson has a gift with world building and with writing poetry. I would love to see an entire book of poems from her some day because she is so talented. Her characters are all real and believable. When you read the story you can close your eyes and picture Lennie’s world. The booming voice of her Uncle Big, her green paint splattered grandmother and her best friend who is a constant ball of energy.
When I first started The Sky is Everywhere I wasn’t expecting much from it. It wasn’t a book that I had heard too much about. But it wasn’t long before I was enraptured by the prose of it. As I’ve said Nelson is a talented writer with a gift of words that envelope you as a reader and pulls you into her world. Its because the story is so well written that I find it hard to put into words all that I am feeling. There is so much for me to be able to identify with Lennie. Her life and mine are similar in many ways and that might have helped bring this story to life so clearly for me. To put it simply, The Sky is Everywhere is a novel that blew me away. It took me to another place and I was happy to go and sad to leave. It is also a novel that has put Jandy Nelson on my author’s to watch list. I can’t wait to see what her sophomore novel brings especially since her debut book was just so very good. The Sky is Everywhere is a must read story for everyone its a book that I can’t recommend highly enough.