Book: The Sky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Started: July 14
Finished: July 15
Synopsis: Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey’s boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town. While Toby can’t see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it’s up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey. A remarkable debut novel perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block.
At first, I wasn’t sure if I would like this or hate this. The synopsis implies that she has a fling type thing with her dead sister’s boyfriend? Not for me. But I went into it with an open mind and found that it was much more than that. This story has resonated with me from the beginning and still days later.
Firstly, the writing was the strongest point of the book. It was addictive and so incredibly real. Lennie seemed like a real person while I was reading this book. That turned out to be a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. I haven’t read many books with writing like this one.
Lennie was real to me. Which also made me annoyed with her a little. I just had a hard time seeing past her hooking up with her dead sister’s boyfriend, but grief does strange things to people. Obviously it’s not like it’s “cheating” because her sister is dead, but it still seems a little disrespectful. I understand their reasoning for it, but I don’t think many other people would.
Lennie’s relationships were different with everyone in the book, which made her seem real and well written. Even her relationships with her grandmother, uncle, the boys, her best friend, and the way she talks about her sister were all different. I think I enjoyed her relationship with her grandmother the most. You could just feel the respect and love that she has for her, even when she is grieving for her sister and shutting out her grandmother.
Her ~whatever it was~ with Toby was strange. It was heated and needy and almost selfish. It was also healing and opening and filled with passion, but not for each other. I’ve never been in a situation like that so I don’t really understand it. Sometimes it was heartbreaking and beautiful and other times it was annoying and made me mad.
But then there is her relationship with Joe. Joe came along post-Bailey so their relationship is completely different than with Toby. This one is more functional and healthy. I really rooted for them.
An interesting twist to the story was her relationship with her mother. I have somewhat the same story with mine as she does with hers and it was sad to me to see it from a different perspective. I think I cried the most at parts that included her mother.
Overall, this was a strong book. I would definitely read it again and recommend it to everyone. It’s probably in my top 10 favourites this year. If Jandy Nelson can always write this well, I may have to check out her other books as well.