Goodreads 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.
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 is another book I can't believe took me so long to read. It's sad yet hopeful and realistic in a way I didn't expect. Realistic in a way that caused me to think about the people that have died in my life. And not like a family member who's much older than me, but a friend or a fellow student. It seemed impossible because they were my age. They were my friends but they died and the world kept spinning. Oddly enough, the indescribable feelings I felt in those difficult times seemed a bit more easy to describe (and accept) thanks to this book.
And what makes The Sky Is Everywhere stand out is that not only does Lennie have to live past her sister's death, but she also has to deal with her weirdly-but-perfectly timed "awakening." She's finally leaving the comfort of her sister's shadow and coming more into her own. But of course, what is living and growing without making mistakes and/or being unsure of yourself?
And let me tell you, Jandy Nelson can write. It's in a way that makes sadness seem poetic but still very real. Especially when Lennie leaves her notes all over town. And if the captivating story or the gorgeous writing wasn't enough, there are these amazing and very descriptive characters:
- A giant hulk of a man for an uncle
- A beautiful guy with full lashes who can bat his way in or out of anything
- A mother/grandmother who's the best "florist" in town
It's just the perfect mixture of complex issues and normal situations that has me adding this to my list of favorite contemporary novels.