In case you missed the memo, I’m hosting a daily giveaway on the blog to celebrate my blogging anniversary! 5 years of blogging = 5 days of giveaways. Holla!
Today, I have my lovely and equally nerdy friend Amy from Tripping Books here to give away a copy of one of her favorite books of the past 5 years. If you haven’t met Amy, that’s a total shame because she’s hilarious, LOVES THE CAPS, and is totally into middle grade, fantasy, dragons, swoony times, and all other sorts of rad things. I just have a lot of feelings about Amy.
So what book does the awesome Amy want to give away? Let’s ask her!
My good pal Lisa has asked me to tell you what makes The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson so special to me. And because she's awesome, and because I love this book SO much, I'm going to try and tell you. I hope I'll be able to explain myself well, because I often find that, when it comes to the things I love the most, I have the hardest time explaining why. Like I don't know words that are important enough. But I'm happy to give it a shot!
Above all things, to me, The Sky Is Everywhere is about the bond between sisters. Yes, there's a boy, and guys, he is SPECIAL. And of course there's family drama, and misunderstandings, and CAPSLOCK LOVE. But the thing that stands out the most to me about The Sky Is Everywhere is the way you totally understand how close Lennie and Bailey were before Bailey's death, even though Bailey is never a character we see alive. How inseparable. How their stark differences actually made their bond tighter and stronger. And how Lennie is kind of like a frayed rope, flapping in the breeze without Bailey around. It's a constant ache. Not a sadness, per se, because this book is actually pretty joyous in its own way. Just…achy.
I don't know how many of you all have sisters, or siblings for that matter, but I have one myself, and she's just the bestest person I know. She reminds me of Bailey. The way she's always trying to get Lennie (that would be moi) out of her shell, and how she lives with all of these huge feelings that she doesn't hide from anyone. I'm totally like Lennie, nose always buried in a book, shy and guarded. So when I read The Sky Is Everywhere, and I saw their closeness, it reminded me so much of my relationship with my sister. Jandy Nelson just GETS IT, friends. I don't know if i can explain it better than that. It was like she was writing about us. And you know what little thing totally made it for me? That little throwaway thing that made me go, "HOLY CRAP she IS writing about us!"? In one of Lennie's poems--her GORGEOUS poems are sprinkled throughout the book--she mentions that people called her and Bailey "the girls." Like they were two parts of just one thing. That was it. My sister and I are "the girls," even though we're both completely grown women, and we'll probably be "the girls" until there's no one left who even knew us that way. Isn't that the weirdest reason to feel a connection to a book? But there it is.
Of course, for all that the sisterly love is important and huge and wonderful, there is another kind of love in The Sky Is Everywhere, which brings me back to that boy I mentioned. Friends. Real talk? Joe Fontaine is very nearly the swooniest, most passionate, warm-hearted guy I've ever read in a book. One of the remarkable things about Jandy Nelson's writing and characterization is that you can feel the warmth of his personality as you read. NONE of the characters in The Sky Is Everywhere seem fake or flat. That is what makes Joe so instantly lovable, it's what makes his relationship with Lennie--complex and deep--so outstanding, and it's just one of a BAZILLION reasons why The Sky Is Everywhere is my favorite book of the last 5 years.
PS. I mentioned Lennie's poems, and I just can't write anything about The Sky Is Everywhere without sharing one of them. This is one of my favorites, but trust that the rest of the poems are just a gorgeous, and the writing of the book itself is beautiful, too.
"Remember how it was when we kissed? / Armfuls and armfuls of light thrown right at us / A rope dropping down from the sky. / How can the word love / the word life / even fit in the mouth?"
So, friends, because I love this book HARD, and because we are celebrating 5 fabulous years of Miss Lisa and her beyond wonderful blog, I can't wait to share 1 hardcover (because I like that cover better) copy of Jandy Nelson's The Sky Is Everywhere with one of you. Huzzah!
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THANK YOU AMY for giving away such a rad book and for being so special and fantastic and lovely. MWAH.