Title: The Sky is Everywhere | Author: Jandy Nelson | Walker Books | Stand Alone | 368 pages | Young Adult | Contemporary | 4 Stars Source: Bought
Release Date: June 7th 2010
“Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker 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 centre 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, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can’t collide without Lennie’s world exploding…”
First of all I am going to get the very few bad points out of the way. This novel took me longer than average (60 pages) to get in to. At the beginning I was overwhelmed by characters. Across the first 25 pages we meet: Gram, Uncle Big, Lennie, Bailey, Joe, Sarah, Rachel and Toby. 6 of these characters are quite constant through out the novel and the other 2, not so much but they still have their parts. I couldn’t keep up and I kept on feeling hopelessly lost because I couldn’t remember who was who when Lennie’s thought process was going on. Regardless of this though, after patience and concentration on my part there was no stopping me.
The good points outweigh the bad points by tons. It’s so frank and honest about the sensitive topic that is death and it does not try to out run it. The way Lennie’s grief process and emotions are described are stunning, even though at times harrowing to read.
The way Lennie overcomes her grief is very credible. She does this though her music, writing poetry and conversations she had with Bailey on every available surface area (and when on paper she just lets them drop on the floor – which I found intriguing), spending hours upon hours in the bedroom (or the ‘sanctum’) she shared with Bailey and finally sharing her grief with the two boys in her life- Joe and Toby. Joe being the one who takes her away from it all and Toby being the one who buries himself under the grief with her. I love the fact that she grieved in her own ways in my eyes this means that there is no right or wrong way and everyone has the right to deal with situations like this in the best possible way they can.
The elements of romance are too, very plausible. In many books I have read with love triangles you can tell that the protagonist loves one of them more than the other. But with this one you can’t. The encounters between Lennie & Toby and Lennie & Joe are described so profoundly that you know she loves them both equally and in so many different ways. They both bring here a sense of relief one way or another.
Although in some places Lennie’s journey is sometimes painful and saddening to follow, the fact that in the end (I think) she gets the finale that she deserves makes all of her (and my!) heart break and sorrow completely and utterly worth it. Definitely a must read. And yes, I did cry.
Goodreads Average: 4.10/5 (out of 29,707 ratings)