Friday, 16 November 2012

Review - The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson

The Sky is EverywhereTitle: The Sky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: March 1 2010, Walker Books
Pages: 320 pages, Paperback
Source: Library book, but The Sky is Everywhere is so beautiful, I'll probably purchase my own copy!
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.
I'll be honest, I don't know what to say. All the emotions I feel for this book can't be put down on paper, or in this case, typed onto Blogger. The Sky is Everywhere is such a poignant, stunning book that words have failed me to describe how in love I am with the characters, the plot, the meaning and Jandy Nelson's heavenly writing. I will try and write a gorgeous review for this novel made of awesome, but I won't be able to, no piece of writing could ever be as beautiful as what I have just read and experienced. But I will try.

Jandy Nelson is an extraordinary writer. She makes you feel emotions that you wouldn't have thought possible while reading a book. She makes you feel anguish for the tragedy of what happened to Bailey and the broken people she left behind, this enormous calamity of what happened to this young girl, produced my heart to be wrenched out my body and torn into a million pieces, only later to be taped back up and placed back into my body, but  after finishing the novel, I feel a sense of love and wonder, but I know a piece of my heart will always be  missing, why?  Because the poignancy of The Sky is Everywhere will do that to you, that's why. 

Her writing is like taking a breath of fresh air and a taste of freedom after being cooped up inside for the whole of winter. Her awe-inspiring sentences are like the smell of Gram's love-inducing roses. She describes the knife-stabbing pain of loss with such gentle clarity. She describes the giddiness, the beauty and the unexpectedness of first love. Her writing will make your throat constrict with the melancholy of her sister's loss, her writing will make you a sob a river, similar to the one Bailey and Lennie use to swim in, her writing will have you doubled up in laughter, her writing will make you feel.

The characters are quirky, cute and real. They each have their own problems, that I could relate with. Jandy Nelson gets right into the characters' heads, so that we can understand them. After reading this novel, I want to meet Lennie, gram, Big, Toby, Joe and Sarah, in real life. 



I want to be Lennie's best friend, obsess over books with her, do a musical duet, write poems and eat lunch in trees with her and help her out of her personal hellish pit of despair. I want to see Gram's Half Mom painting, even more so I want paint next to her, mixing the different shades of green and swishing the paint brush across the canvas. I want to drink tea with her and comfort her in her grief. I want to hear Big's strong, loud voice, and I want to find dead bugs with him to resurrect. I want to meet Joe and Toby. Listen to Joe's inspirational music playing, I want to lose myself in his gorgeous green eyes and the bat, bat, bat of his spider- leg long eyelashes. I want to console Toby and let him tell me about his grief and about his future he had planned with Bailey. These characters are so third-dimensional, so real. I feel like I know each of their hopes, dreams and fears. I feel like we're best friends. I know that we're best friends.


I love Lennie, I would love to be her younger sister. She's this quiet, shy, quirky sort of girl, that has now been shoved into the limelight because her sparkly, bubbly older sister has passed away from a fatal arrhythmia. Even though half of the book was Lennie sobbing and trying to comfort herself in her cacoon of grief...the other half was her discovering herself, falling in love and being downright funny! Honestly, I don't think a character's made me laugh as much as Lennie, even though she's going through this, she doesn't intentionally make everyone's else's life a misery because of what she's going through and she's not a drama queen that makes sure everyone must know what she's feeling. Once she meets Joe, she lets herself be a bit happier and I want to thank him for making her feel happy again.

The romance in this novel was interesting, mysterious and sweet. There was a love triangle in this book, and I hate love triangles, but if all books had a love triangle written like Jandy wrote hers, I would be their number one fan. I didn't now who Lennie would end up with, it kept me guessing till it was revealed. I loved both the boys as well, they had their different problems an different personalities. There are two boys Lennie finds herself caught between: Toby and Joe. 

Toby was Bailey's boyfriend before she died (And later we find out, there was more to their relationship then meets the eye), a cowboy-skater, with gleaming blonde hair and freckles scattered across his golden skin. I liked Toby, I felt for him, as he'd lost the  girl he was head-over-heels in love with, at just nineteen. I could see why him and Lennie wanted to be with each other, they felt Bailey's presence around them when they were together. They were both comforting each other in their hellish pit of despair. I hated what happened during the middle of the novel, when she kissed him, ruining almost everything. But lucky things got straightened out. I did find the relationship between Lennie and Toby a bit odd, but I could understand that they were disillusioned with grief and they felt like they could bring Bailey back by being together.

Joe, an American-born Parisian guitarist. I LOVE HIM. He is so sweet, cute and goofy. When Lennie did that to him I was so FURIOUS at her for doing. He's my new fictional boy crush, with curly brown hair that flops over his emerald green eyes, and black eyelashes that girls would be envious of. And he loves music. Seriously, you can't get better than that! He was also the opposite of Toby, he was a boy with a mega-watt smile who brightened Lennie, Big and Gram's whole world up. I love reading the parts where he comes in the mornings, settles down, makes him a cup of mud-thick coffee, sits at the kitchen table and quietly strums the guitar. He filled the house with such happiness when he did that and I loved him for it.

While reading The Sky is Everywhere, my heart was torn into pieces, scattered around town like Lennie's poems to her spunky, but now tragically deceased sister, Bailey. As I continued reading it was stitched back, but a part will always be missing, because like I said, the poignancy of this novel will wrench your heart out, tear it up and put it back, mostly mended, but with  little piece missing. But you know what? I don't mind, because that little piece of my heart that's missing, proves that I've just read the world's most stunning book.

The Sky is Everywhere has stunning, poetic writing. Writing that will make you feel every heart-wrenching, and heart-warming emotion under the sun. You will feel the turmoil, the anguish and the sorrow of losing the one you love. The one that makes your world feel safe, brighter and happier.  You'll feel the warm, cosy feeling of falling in love, like a blanket warming you on a dark winter's day. You'll feel the butterflies flitter in your stomach as you experience that first kiss with the boy you love. You'll travel along alongside Lennie on her journey through grief, love, loss and self-discovery. 

The Sky is Everywhere is Jandy Nelson's debut novel. I couldn't put this book down, I didn't want it to end, I want this story to go on forever and ever, like the endless sky above our heads. When I finished this book, I quietly closed it, and was quite evidently speechless from the spectacular novel I'd just read. And then afterwards, for the first time in my life, I flipped back to page one and started reading all over again. But I stopped myself and looked guiltily at my towering TBR pile. So on Saturday, I'm going to the book store and buying me my own copy of The Sky is Everywhere. Read this stunning, heart-wrenching book about the tragedy of first loss and the warmth and beauty of first love that can drag you out of despair. When you read this book, you'll be swept off your feet, and you'll start again from page one so that you can experience it all over again.

I give it: 5 CUPCAKES!



4 comments:

  1. Hm. I've never heard of this book or the author. Sounds like an interesting read. Will have to look into it. Nice review :)

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  2. I got this out the library the other day and your review has made me so excited to read it! Thanks for the fab review :)

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  3. I agree with you! TSIE is just so poignant and moving that no words can do justice - but you seem to have done an amazing job :) I always put off reviewing stories like this... the poetry is just breathtaking. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kyra! :D xx

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  4. This is one of my favourite books EVER. It is so beautiful.

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