Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky Is Everywhere

Title: The Sky is Everywhere
Published: March 9th, 2010
Author: Jandy Nelson
Pages: 288

From Goodreads:

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.

My Thoughts:

This book was beautiful. It's been a while since I fell in love with words and metaphors. When I first became a serious reader in middle school I would highlight all my favorite parts of my books with highlighter. When I got older I stopped because I didn't want to tarnish my books. However, this book was so beautiful it had me longing for my highlighter. I want to go back and highlight all my favorite parts, all my favorite passages and poems. But I won't. This book is beautiful enough on it's own that I don't have to pick out it's beauty.

“What happens to a stupid companion pony when the racehorse dies?”

Lennie is trying to figure out who she is without her sister. Bailey was her sun and she was just the planets revolving around her brightness. When Bailey died Lennie felt like she lost herself right along with her sister. Lennie is a somewhat frustrating character, but I felt very connected to her. I couldn't bring myself to be mad at her because all I could see was a confused, grieving girl.

“He's so alive, he makes me feel like I could take a bite out of the whole earth.”

Joe is quite the character. He's so right for Lennie. He's adorable and quirky. But better than that is what he is able to do for Lennie. He's the one that is really able to help her move on. Everyone else in Lennie's life reminds her of Bailey, and she thinks all they see when they look at her is Bailey. But Joe only sees Lennie.

Toby is just as heartbroken and confused[if not more so] as Lennie. He seeks comfort in the only person who might just understand what it is he's feeling. Toby is the one character I felt I didn't get to know enough. His story felt a little incomplete, but I think that was the point.

All the secondary characters are just as alive as Bailey and the boys. Some of my favorite scenes include Big and Gram. Even Lennie's barely there best friend Sarah adds something special to the story.
Just a few of my favorite quotes, including a longer excerpt I must share.

“I have a window in my chest where sunlight is pouring in.”

“It's her life rather than her death that is now teaching me how to be, who to be.”

“grief is a house
where the chairs
have forgotten how to hold us
the mirrors how to reflect us
the walls how to contain us

grief is a house that disappears
each time someone knocks at the door
or rings the bell
a house that blows into the air
at the slightest gust
that buries itself deep in the ground
while everyone is sleeping

grief is a house where no on can protect you
where the younger sister
will grow older than the older one
where the doors
no longer let you in
or out”

Jandy Nelson has a way with personification and exaggeration. She makes inanimate objects breath life with her words. She stretches adjectives into new positions and throws them in a blender with nouns until they become something entirely different. It's the best kind of uniqueness. Then there are all these things that add something extra like The Half Mom, the scribblings all over town, and Gram's magic love roses. I was hooked on every moment. This is the kind of debut that has me eagerly anticipating the authors next novel as soon as I reach the last page.

Have you read this one yet? If so, what did you think?

1 comment:

  1. I've had this on my TBR list for a little bit so I'm excited to see that you've now read it! I will have to read it this summer!


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