Title: The Sky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Published: 7 June 2010
Pages: 302 (excluding about author, title page, etc.)
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.
Lennie often at the beginning of the book describes herself as a companion horse, a horse that isn’t the main show, the possible winner. Her sister, Bailey, being the possible winner. But she dies whilst rehearsing, Lennie suddenly becomes centre stage of her own life, when before she hid in the shadow of her sister.
I thought this book was simply adorable. The characters were all so quirky and interesting – Lennie herself was grief stricken, and essentially, quite self-absorbed. I loved all the characters.. Gram, Big, Joe, Toby, Sarah and I think if Bailey was alive she would have been so well developed too.
I thought that the way Lennie felt guilty every time she felt happy, was really well conveyed. I have never had a close person in my life pass, but I think when it does, I would feel guilty for being happy. I’d feel like I would need to mourn.
The plot kept you glued to the pages until the end, with enough interesting happening to make it an interesting read.
I thought, after finishing, that some of the poignancy of some of the events which happened mirrored some of Sarah Dessen’s books. Although, I think that Jandy Nelson has managed to dig deeper and I feel she has managed to teach me more, more about grief and loss, and in general to try and be happy.
At the beginning and end of each chapter was a poem, and it would also state where Lennie (she wrote them) had written it on, and where it was found. The poems play a little role in the story, too.
Here is one of the poem’s (no spoilers)
“There were once two sisters
who were not afriad of the dark
because the dark was full of the other’s voice
across the room,
because even when the night was thick
they walked home together from the river
seeing who could last the longest
without turning on her flashlight,
because sometimes in the pitch of night
they’d lie on their backs
in the middle of the path
and look up until the stars came back
and when they did,
they’d reach their arms up to touch them
(Found on an envelope stuck under the tire of a car on Main Street)
One of the more interesting things was I laughed several times during reading this book. Why? There were moments when the way something was described, and more usually, something Joe did or how people reacted to him. It made me laugh out loud. For example:
[Lennie meets Joe – he works out that she was named after John Lennon]
I nod. “Mom was a hippie.” This is northern Northern California after all – the final frontier of freakerdom. Just in the eleventh grade we have a girl named Electricity, a guy named Magic Bus, and countless flowers: Tulip, Begonia, and Poppy – all parent-given-on-the-birth-certificate names. Tulip is a two-ton bruiser of a guy who would be the star of out football team if we were the kind of school that has optional morning meditation in the gym
I recommend this book to anyone! If you need any more persuasion… who wouldn’t want to read a book about an Uncle called Big with a marijuana addiction, a Gran called Gram who believes a plant replicates her grand-daughters health, and a boy who can play a lot of musical instruments??
Pure love love love love ❤