Source: Publishers from way back
Grade: 5 stars out of 5
Summary: “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.”
Review: It feels like I’ve been going on a negative ranting spree attacking whatever book I can. I’m a picky read, I get that, but even I get a little weary of what I’m posting! Like dang, home girl needs to stop trippin’. (Okay please accept my sincerest apologies for that last sentence; I have no idea where that came from.) Rants are easier for me to write, positive reviews ehhh not so much, but I’m going to suck it up.
The Sky is Everywhere was the last book to have gotten five stars from me on GoodReads, which was back in December (yes that is 3 whole months back). Jandy Nelson enveloped me in warm fuzzy feelings, grief, and recognition. Her writing was stunning, her prose was moving, and her characterization on point. However I will admit not everyone agrees with me. Heaven forbid all teen readers are connected to one brain. Lauren (from Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf) for example could not get into the narration and while I do believe it can be a little strong at times, I still fell in love with this novel.
Firstly I wanted to cover the author’s use of poetry. I love it as much as Sonya Sones’s work and Lisa Schroder’s contemporary fictions. By the time I finished the novel my mind thought: “If Nelson were to write a prose novel I would definitely buy it”. She is concise when choosing her words wisely and making her point across yet is able to continue this heavy onslaught of grievance. She can write about the most meaningless thing but I will still love it, it seems.
Secondly I love Lennie and Joe. I love them separately, but I love them together. I don’t, however, love Lennie and Toby together. Lennie and Joe are harmonious and sensual creating a rainbow with every tint and value in between. Lennie and Toby gives off the color brown—dirty, muddled, and only one (if not two different tones) emotion. I had trouble understanding how grief turns into such a palpable, high-strong lust.
Okay Joe needs a paragraph on his own, that’s how much I loved him. He’s easygoing, he’s comfortable, he’s new yet he’s soft like a worn childhood blanket. You feel like cuddling with him. You’re more than tempted to drag him everyone and show off. Yet despite those years he’s still sturdy. Joe doesn’t let his feelings overpower his brain, which deserves a ‘thank goodness’ all on its own.
Overall: The Sky is Everywhere is an intensely rich novel that leaves this reader extremely pleased for this debut author!
If you’re like me you are not really fond of the cover. But I really hope you see pass that because this debut novel is worth the pickup.