The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Release Date: March 9th, 2010
Penguin, 288 Pages
Source: Bought the Hardback
Age Group: Young Adult
Recommended for: fans of Sarah Dessen
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 Walker has always been the girl in the background; not the one in the spotlight. And she doesn’t necessarily get thrown into the spotlight after her older sister, Bailey, dies so much as she just doesn’t have anyone to “hide” behind anymore. This is her story of loss, grief, and ultimately acceptance.
This story was exactly what I was needing. It wasn’t necessarily a feel-good kind of story but one that touches your heart in so many ways, especially if you have ever lost someone with whom you were close. The feelings and thoughts that Lennie has mirrors so much of what grief is like when someone dies – I mean, it was just so palpable. Then, enter confusion in the form of Bailey’s boyfriend. They understand each other’s grief but mistake it for..love? Okay, not love but they cling to each other in the hopes of keeping Bailey’s memory alive. And really, I just wanted to scream at Lennie and tell her she was being an idiot (because she was). But, you know, she grows throughout this book and she comes to her own kind of nirvana.
Did I have some issues with the story? Yeah, sure. The whole Toby thing was strange, but I could sort of understand it. Did I think that Joe and Lennie get too close, too soon? Yep. But the rest of the story was just so good that I was willing to overlook these small details.
I would recommend this book for fans of Sarah Dessen and especially fans of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay and Where She Went.