Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson






Title: The Sky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Pub Deets: 2011, Speak
Source: Gifted from Amy <3
Challenges: TBR Challenge



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In a sentence or so: Lennie’s vibrant, charismatic and shining sister Bailey dies unexpectedly and she has no idea how to deal with that grief. In addition, Bailey’s boyfriend is showing interest in Lennie now AND the new boy to school is seemingly oblivious to the fact that she is a million little pieces inside and likes her anyway.

Lennie thought Bailey had all the traits she lacked. Bailey was in theater and loved to be on stage. She loved life fully and openly and had a vibrancy that left Lennie in her shadow. Not that Lennie minded a bit, since she adored Bailey and their relationship as sisters was something she held very dear to her heart. Then Bailey died unexpectedly and Lennie is left to navigate the waters of her quirky family, Bailey’s boyfriend, and the new kid Joe who is expressing interest in her and she in him and that is NOT what she should be feeling right after her sister died, right?

We pick up in this story a few weeks after Bailey’s death and as Lennie goes back to school. She has an incredible best friend, a loving and quirky grandma and Uncle as her parental units, and a passion for music. In short, Bailey has an unusual yet fulfilling life. I loved reading her story, not because of her grief, but because I loved experiencing family dynamics in a way that were so different and flawed, yet still successful and supportive and sincere.

Lennie’s experience with grief is confusing, challenging and, believe it or not, romantic. Joe patiently waits for Lennie and forms a relationship with her in whatever way she’ll have him and you guys that melts my heart into a big fat puddle all over the floor.

I wish I had the words that Jandy Nelson has to tell you my love for The Sky is Everywhere. I read this book in a sitting - A SITTING - because I was so captivated and hopeful and committed to what happened to Lennie and her life. She makes good choices, like confronting her grandma about her mom that went “wandering” years ago. She makes bad choices, like kissing Bailey’s boyfriend despite the fact that she’s head over heels for Joe. This makes Lennie REAL and her struggles REAL and the hope you have for her resolution so tangible you could hold it in your hands.

If you’re looking for a contemporary YA stand alone novel that tackles grief, relationships, and what it means to be a family, please read The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Hell, if you’re NOT looking for this type of book, you should be. You will regret nothing.

Fave quote: "That's exactly it - I am crazy sad, and somewhere deep inside, all I want is to fly." (72)

Pairs well with: Music. Lennie plays the clarinet and it’s kind of a big deal to who she is as a person. Joe plays the guitar and 100 other instruments and that’s a big deal to him. It’s actually one of the first ways they really connect, so that’s pretty dang special.

Fix er up: Okay you guys. I had SO much anxiety with Lennie when she was making some of her bad choices I can’t even tell you. I almost had to take a break because I was so frustrated with her! It’s not a BAD thing. Not at all. Just know that you won’t like Lennie all the time and dang it Jandy Nelson, I loved her the whole time in spite of it all!

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

18 comments:

  1. I seriously have so much love for this book and I'm SO HAPPY you loved it!! I agree that despite Lenny's oh so freaking frustrating bad choices sometimes, we still love her and want the best for her, which of course is beautiful Joe. Bat. Bat. Bat.

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  2. Yay! I'm so beyond glad that you read this and loved it!! I know that sometimes Lenny makes you shake your head, but I always felt more heartbroken for her AND Toby. Grief BLOWS, you know? But yes to this entire review. Yes to reading it in one sitting. Yes forever.

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  4. I've been getting more into contemporary YA and have found that the most satisfying books tend to be the ones with genuinely likeable, however flawed, characters. The Sky Is Everywhere sounds like one such book. In general, you find yourself wanting to root for the protagonist but you get frustrated because they so often make bad choices. I think that frustration is a good thing though(like you said) because it shows that you're invested in them and that's what makes the author so good at their craft.

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  5. Ahahaha yeah, Lennie has some awful life choices, but overall, I just LOVED this book and omg her poetry, normally I hate that stuff, but it just really feels authentic and true to the story.

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  6. Loved this one, so much. I felt all the feelings possible while reading it.

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  7. This one was so, so beautiful. I'm so glad you read it and loved it!

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  8. THIS:

    "Joe patiently waits for Lennie and forms a relationship with her in whatever way she’ll have him and you guys that melts my heart into a big fat puddle all over the floor."

    Yesssss.... gosh I just love this book:) So glad when I find another kindred soul singing it's praises:)

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  9. I feel like the only one who didn't get through this one. While I do plan on reading it in the future (I think it was because I was in the mood for a light, fun read at the time), I just couldn't get past the slow (in my opinion) beginning. I did like the writing and now your reviews makes me want to go out and grab this book ASAP!

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    1. Oh yes, definitely not a light fun read! But well worth the read when you get around to it again.

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  10. I loves this book. I actually listened to it and it was so awesome. I agree, everything Lennie did felt real and there were tons of good and bad, tons of growing and tons of mistakes. I loved this book.

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  11. I really loved Joe but had so many problems with the stupid decisions Lennie makes throughout so this was a toughie for me.

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  12. My friend said this was great, and after your review, I'll have to check it out! The romance sounds so sweet and Lennie seems like a realistic protagonist.

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  13. I loved this book, too, Lisa! And I had MAJOR anxiety when Lennie was making certain choices and was seriously afraid the book would turn out completely differently. Usually I hate poetry and stuff just randomly in a book but I think it totally worked in this one! What an emotional read - so good!

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    1. Oh man I almost had to put it down multiple times because LENNIE and her decisions! AHHH!

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  14. Now you've made me want to re-read this book, it is so beautiful and sad.

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  15. I CAN'T EVEN tell you how many words it would take to explain to you why I love that you love this. This is one of my all-time favorite books EVER in EVER.

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