Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Title: The Sky Is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 272
Release date: March 9th 2010
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: Bought
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
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.

First sentence:
Gram is worried about me.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I´d heard so many great things about The Sky Is Everywhere that I had pretty high expectations. And for once, my expectations were met - this book is heartbreakingly beautiful!

I loved the writing, it's beautiful and vivid. I even enjoyed Lennie's poetry. Usually, I hate when in between the acutal novel there's writing by the main character. It either doesn't sound authentic and seems like it's just the author´s poetry instead of the main character´s because it doesn't match his/her voice, or, if it is authenic, it's amateur-ish and not interesting to read, in my opinion. The Sky Is Everywhere is, I think, the first book where I liked the main character's poetry. It's beautiful and emotional and heartbreaking and made me feel Lennie's grief even more. I loved the whole thing with Lennie writing on napkins, trees, walls, takeaway cups, etc.

The characters are great, fully-developed and multi-dimensional. I could imagine all of them easily, with their unique, fun quirks. I loved the unique family dynamics. Gram and Big are great, enjoyable characters, and I loved reading about the situation with Lennie's mom and finding out about her along with Lennie.

What I loved most, though, are the incredible emotions The Sky Is Everywhere conveys. I've been going through some stuff pretty similar to what happens in this book, so maybe it's different for me, but I cried loads while reading this. Sometimes I didn't know whether I was crying for Bailey or about the real-life situation, but either way, Bailey's grief is portrayed really well, and the whole story is heartbreaking.

I'm split on the romance aspect. On the one hand, I thought Lennie and Joe are adorable together, and Joe's character is swoonworthy. On the other hand, I just don't think the romance is realistic. Joe seems too perfect to be real, and the descriptions of how amazing he is are overdone, just like Lennie and Joe's feelings for one another. It seemed a bit melodramatic how much they said they loved each other considering the short time they'd known each other.

The whole thing with Toby didn't really work for me. I wanted to understand why they did what they did, but I just couldn't. I also think the transition is too fast - they want to jump each other's bones wheneever they see each other, and then suddenly they agree to stop.

Even though I had some problems with Lennie's relationships with Joe and with Toby, this is one amazing book. Emotional and heartfelt, with beautiful writing and quirky characters - I definitely recommend it!


  1. I am completely in love with this book! So glad you reviewed it...this is definitely an author you could tell is a poet. Her writing is just insanely gorgeous.

  2. I loved this book so much. It's not just you: I bawled basically through the whole thing. I agree with you about the romance aspect, a little. Lennie and Toby just made no sense in the first place. But I think the descriptions of Joe and their relationship were spot on: everything in the book was emotional and inflated, so it's only natural to express everything that way. It fit right in.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I've had this book since the beginning of the year and I haven't read it yet. Everybody loves it and that makes me want to read it but then I find another book and yeah. I like books about grief, like Hold Still and Where She Went. I'm sorry for whatever it is that you're going through; isn't it cool when you find a sentence in a book that hits you because it's how you feel? And probably it wasn't written with that meaning but it gets to you?

    Okay, back to the book. The "I want to jump your bones" thing. Really? Oh man, this book is going to be...(shocked face) and a love triangle? I've read that one of the guys is her sister's boyfriend? Isn't there like a secret girl code that you're not supposed to like your sister's boyfriend even if you're dead? I don't know...

    When you mentioned the writing on napkins and stuff, it reminded me of Amy & Roger's and Ingrid's journal entries in Hold Still. That makes me want to read the book more.

    We'll see how that love triangle goes!

  4. Loved this book like nobody's business. I see what you're saying about the romance, but I also think this book suffered a little from 500 Days of Summer Syndrome (my term). Everyone complained that Zooey Deschanel's character was unrealistic, and she was - but we were seeing her entirely through the eyes of JGL's character, so of course she would seem that way.

    Of course, maybe I'm just justifying my (admittedly occasionally irrational) adoration of this book. ;)

  5. Thanks for the comments! You probably aren't going to read this, with Blogger not having a comments-system where you can reply to individual comments (which sucks!!), but...

    @Bekka and Maggie: Those are really good points, that's probably why I thought the romance was overdone. But their relationship still moved too fast, in my opinion! Oh well, this book is amazing either way!

    @mfay2: Thanks! Yeah, I love when I read something and think "That's exactly how I feel!" You're right, Lennie develops feelings for her dead sister's boyfriend. I know it sounds crazy, but don't let that put you off! I didn't like the romance aspect too much, but it's not that big a deal - really, in a different book, I probably wouldn't have even mentioned it. There are loads of books out there where the romance is unrealistic. I just like saying something positive and something negative about each book. And the rest of this book is amazing! The last thing I wanted with this review was to make you not read The Sky Is Everywhere - You need to read this book! And yeah, (I say yeah too often...) it's similar to Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and Hold Still (well, more similar to Amy & Roger, since there are drawings in Hold Still and none in The Sky Is Everywhere). All three are amazing books!!

  6. Great review. Sounds like a good read for a teenager. Sounds like it has some great prose from what I read on other reviews. I will have to check it out and see how much it is.

    Thanks for sharing.


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