Saturday, August 28

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer borrowed this book from the library. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Dial Books and is used solely as an aide to the review.

After her older sister Bailey dies, Lennie is thrust into a new life of loneliness, searching for meaning through music, words and the people around her: her Gram, her uncle Big, and two boys...Toby and Joe.

Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend, the only one who seems to understand Lennie's grief. Joe is the new boy in town, who lights up like the sun and takes her out of her misery.

Both boys have an incredible pull over Lennie, sending her from one emotion to the next, but how much can she take before she tears apart? Will she ever discover who she is in a world without Bailey?

I picked up 'The Sky is Everywhere' by Jandy Nelson on a whim when I was at the library. I had read about it on a blog and it intrigued me, so I took it out.

What I liked first about this novel was that the author's skills were eminent. The novel is written entirely in first person, present tense. Lennie's voice is wonderfully unique and so easy to read. It has a sort of subtle literary magic that gets under your skin. I hope it's contagious because the writing is excellent.

I was a little wary of this book. A novel about a girl's grief over her dead sister? How depressing! It wasn't at all like that, however. Lennie was a very sympathetic character and so beautifully written. I never found her tedious or grew tired of her. She was real and likable. Most importantly, she didn't throw pity parties every second and wallow in her grief. 'The Sky is Everywhere' displays the loss of a sister – or any loved one – in such an effective, and not bleak, way.

'Thy Sky is Everywhere' is not just about death and grief. It is about discovering yourself and falling in love. Not just falling in love with another person but falling in love with life. At least that's how I felt to me when I was reading it. I felt as though I were falling in love with life.

Mostly I just fell in love with the novel. There were a few moments where I was a little confused by the wording or time frame, but other than that I found no fault. The characters came alive and I was transported into and throughout the story. I loved how Lennie wrote down her feelings in notes and poems - on candy wrappers, inside books, on the sole of her shoe - that were scattered all throughout the book, in between chapters. It gave the novel an extra essence, and allowed for another angle to the story telling.

'The Sky is Everywhere' is the best book I have read this year and I am sad that I will have to return it to the library. Ironically, the three highest-rated books I have read this year all came out of the library. I will be eager to get my own copy of 'The Sky is Everywhere' and I encourage others to read it too.

1 comment:

Becs said...

Lovely review. Not my usual genre but this book does indeed sound intriguing. I shall also have to pop down to my library and borrow this novel!