Welcome to this week’s Fiction Friday. Today I am reviewing the YA contemporary ‘The Sky is Everywhere’ by Jandy Nelson.
The synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker 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 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, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can’t collide without Lennie’s world exploding…
5 out of 5.
This is one of the happiest sad books I have ever read. In the sad books I have read it’s usually the characters facing death themselves, which made this book a refreshing change. The Sky is Everywhere tells the story of 17 year old Lennie, who is mourning the loss of her sister, Bailey. Bailey and Lennie were inseparable and Lennie is torn apart by her death, and is struggling to cope in a world without her sister. Lennie lived her life as Bailey’s shadow and now she is forced to find out who she is without her sister. It was heart breaking at times, but there were humorous moments to balance it out.
All the Characters were so vivid with such strong personalities. Lennie lives with her artist Grandmother (Gram) and her stoner, stealer of hearts, arborist uncle, Big. She has a best friend, the enthusiastically cynical Sarah, who she is struggling to stay connected with, not wanting to face her and have to talk about how she is feeling. And then there is Toby, Bailey’s boyfriend, who is left a broken mess after her death. Lennie finds comfort in his arms, and absolutely hates herself for it. I did not hate Lennie for this, or judge her, grief does do strange things to people.
Then their is Joe. Oh, Oh I loved Joe. He brought happiness back to Lennie and her family. He was talented, with a smile that will melt your insides, and was so charming and kind.
Music plays a big role in Lennie’s life; its how she meets joe, and it also helps her to express her pain when words are lost to her.
Lennie also writes poems to help her deal with her grief. She leaves them around her house, garden and neighbourhood, on scrap paper or carved into tree trunks etc. They are dispersed throughout the book, in between the chapters, captured in the form that Lennie writes them. For example: Lennie wrote a poem on a foam cup, so there was a picture of a foam cup with the poem written on it. I loved this about this book.
The Sky is Everywhere was a beautifully written, lyrical novel. I was captivated from the start and couldn’t stop reading, turning the pages compulsively. This is definitely a must read, if you haven’t read it and you love YA you should go and read it ASAP.
You can add it to your Goodreads here