Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: review

Goodreads rating: 4.22
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Dial
ISBN: 0803734956 (ISBN13: 9780803734951)
Setting: California (United States)
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 Bailey dies 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.
Beautiful and really pulled at my heart... One of the better "death" books I've read lately...

So somehow I just realized that I didn't give this book a full review! :( There's not much I can say because I read it so long ago, but I have to admit that I still think about this book once in a while. It's one of those books that really stays with you. And like I said earlier, this is one of the best books I've read where death was the main theme. But so was love. Actually, realizing that I never reviewed this makes me want to read it again... So just hold that thought.

Officially re-reading this one... Hold on tight for that review!

Oh. My. GOD! I forgot how honestly and utterly amazing this book is. I just can't get over it... The writing is nearly flawless, especially for a debut novel. I read this is one day (basically), which is what I think happened the first time I read it too. I just couldn't put it down even though I already knew how it ended. It was that intense. Joe was just pure perfection! I remember the first time I read this, I was like what are you doing with Toby you stupid, stupid whore!! But reading it the second time, I realized how much she was hurting. And even though she really liked Joe and finally came to love him, she couldn't let go of Toby. Especially after learning (***SPOILER***) that Bailey had been pregnant when she'd died and that she and Toby were engaged (***END OF SPOILER***). Like Lennie said, she and Toby were the two people that Bailey loved the most, and so they must have been trying to put her heart back together.

I loved Joe and Lennie. I was a clarinet player once, but I never got into music as much as those two did. Although I have made that honking noise more than once. He is a little pig-headed about things, but Lennie vowed to herself never to kiss Toby again, but lo and behold she breaks that vow and Joe just happens to witness it. I can't give away the ending, but let's just say it's as Victorian as Lennie hoped it would be. You'll just have to read the book to find out what I mean.

To be truthful, the missing mother element was a little random, but I guess it just added to the tragedy of the story. I'm glad Lennie finally decided to talk to Gram, realizing that she wasn't the only one that was hurting. And that Gram was more of a mother than her real one ever could be. It's just too bad that Bailey never figured that out. On that note, I'm still confused as to how Bailey died. Was it an anuerism? Did I miss reading that litte detail somehow? But anyway, it was sad and I wish I had known Bailey.

I would recommend this to well, everyone! It's beautiful and heart-breaking, but puts your heart back together all at the same time. Sometimes, I honestly felt like I couldn't breathe, just like the characters. This is one of those books where you sound crazy because you're talking out loud to yourself at those really awkward or horrible parts. I will definitely be reading this again. I CANNOT get enough of thise story!


  1. This is my first time here. I read this book a long time ago. Great review. Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts!


  2. Yeah it's been a while for me too but I love this book and I always forget how much I love it

  3. Jandy Nelson's first novel is a tender, beautifully written book about grief, love, family, and self-realization. Lennie is just 17 when her beloved older sister Bailey dies abruptly and the after affects of the loss are almost catastrophic. Once a talented clarinet player, Lennie stops playing and begins to hide from everything she once knew. The sadness that comes through in the words of this book was almost overwhelming. At times I didn't think I could finish The Sky Is Everywhere because the thought of dealing with a similar loss was just too much.


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