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Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Title: The Sky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson

Release Date: 1st June 2010 (Australia)

My Rating: 5/5

"I do not think this is how normal people mourn..."

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 centre stage of her own life—and, despite her non-existent 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.

I loved The Sky is Everywhere. After finishing it, all I wanted to do was pick it up and read it again right from the start. I don't think I have ever had the urge to reread a book straight away after finishing it. It is a fantastic story from first time author Jandy Nelson about life, love, loss and healing.

Despite it's morbid premise, this is a humorous novel about finding yourself, coping with grief, and allowing yourself to be happy again. It is about the tragedy of losing a sister and finding first love, and all the emotions that come with those experiences: the sadness, the confusion, the passion, and the feeling that your heart is going to burst into a million pieces.

Poor Lennie, she is so lost after the death of her 19-year-old sister Bailey. She copes by shutting out her friends and those around her as she doesn't think they can relate to her or understand what she is going through. What she forgets is that they also have lost Bailey. The supporting characters are crazy, eccentric and absolutely loveable; Grams and her roses and the Spotted Lennie Plant, Sarah and her animal vocabulary explosions, and Big and his dead bugs and Pyramids.

Lennie is a 'young' 17-year-old, always having hidden behind Bailey and has about zero experience with boys. When she falls for new boy Joe Fontaine, she immediately feels guilty for moving on and not spending every second of the day feeling depressed and mourning her sister. Her confusion over her feelings for Toby are also understandable. What we as the readers realise long before Lennie, is that she and Toby are drawn together over the enormous grief they share over Bailey's death, not by her having some strange attraction to her dead sisters' boyfriend.

The Sky is Everywhere is beautifully written. The words are so lyrical, they swallow you up and you get lost inside them.

We walk in silence then through the woods and it snaps me back into my senses. The stars and moon are mostly hidden over the thick tree cover, and I feel like I'm swimming through darkness, my body breaking the air as if it were water. I can hear the rush of the river getting louder with every step I take, and it reminds me of Bailey, day after day, year after year, the two of us on this path, lost in talk, the plunge into the pool, and then the endless splaying on the rocks in the sun-

"I'm left behind."


I also loved Lennie's random scattering of poems throughout the book that she leaves all over town. They helped give more insight into how she is feeling and also her relationship with Bailey.

WHEN I'M WITH HIM,
THERE IS SOMEONE WITH ME
IN MY HOUSE OF GRIEF,
SOMEONE WHO KNOWS
ITS ARCHITECTURE AS I DO,
WHO CAN WALK WITH ME,
FROM ROOM TO SORROWFUL ROOM,
MAKING THE WHOLE RAMBLING STRUCTURE
OF WIND AND EMPTINESS
NOT QUITE AS SCARY, AS LONELY
AS IT WAS BEFORE.

A must read for ages 14+.

4 comments:

  1. REALLY love this review. Now I really want to read it! Have so many books to read, haha.

    Dying to know what The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is like, too. Was it released yesterday? I wonder if it was busy at work.

    xoxo

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  2. Bree Tanner was released yesterday. I've just finished reading it so my review will be up tonight. I was at work at 12:05 when it went on sale and it was dead. Also, the paper said that at Borders' launch party, only one person showed up :S

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha, wow! So different to Breaking Dawn day. I suppose it's not that exciting a release, but still - I thought it would've been a BIT busy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just read this amazing new YA fiction on Ganesha - Part 1 of the Temple Wars series - I think everyone should check it out! Temple Wars

    ReplyDelete

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