Review: the sky is everywhere

Posted 24 May, 2011 by Danny in Book Review, Kristen / 18 Comments

the sky is everywhere

by Jandy Nelson (website)
Publication: 2011 by SPEAK Books
amazon (Hardcover & Kindle)
synopsis from goodreads

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.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

First – you have to watch this!

I know it’s the UK version, but I love the song and the lyrics as well as bits of the book just like Lennie threw them around….


I found a book that doesn’t suck! I’m telling you right now. I started reading this on a roadtrip to Omaha and simply by page 6 I turned to my husband and said, “Uh oh, I’m hooked!” I was so ticked when it was my turn to drive!
I think I need to give you some of that page 6 (when Lennie meets Joe):
Even in the stun of my grief, my eyes roam from the black boots, up the miles of legs covered in denim, over the endless torso, and finally settle on a face so animated I wonder if I’ve interrupted a conversation between him and my music stand.
“Hi,” he says, and jumps up. He’s treetop tall. “You must be Lennon.” He points to my name on the chair. “I heard about–I’m sorry.” I notice the way he holds his clarinet, not precious with it, tight fist around the neck, like a sword.
“Thank you,” I say, and every available inch of his face busts into a smile–whoa. has he blown into our school on a gust of wind from another world? The guy looks unabashedly jack-o’-lantern happy, which couldn’t be more foreign to the sullen demeanor most of us strove to perfect. He has scores of messy brown curls that flop every which way and eyelashes so spider-leg long and thick that when he blinks he looks like he’s batting his bright green eyes right at you. His face is more open than an open book, like a wall of graffiti really. I realize I’m writing wow on my thigh with my finger, decide I better open my mouth and snap us out of this impromtu staring contest
“Everyone calls me Lennie,” I say. Not very original, but better than guh, which was the alternative, and it does the trick. He looks down at his feet for a second and I take a breath and regroup for Round Two.
See? So cute and funny and fun to read! I loved Lennie – her snark and heartbreak. Sadly my family has dealt with losing a sibling, so the grief she feels and expresses by writing poems on scraps of trash that she stashes wherever she goes rang so true to me. I loved the interaction of her Grandma, the huge hole of her runaway mom, her Uncle Big and her best friend, Sarah. This was book was the perfect mix of fun YA romance, with a heaping dose of angst and humor. But the shining star, I think, was the delicious mix of poetry and prose. Some of the phrases Ms. Nelson wrote I would have to read over and over because they were so beautiful.
This was a very easy in-on-sitting read and I enjoyed the heck out of it! Laughed and cried and even pulled out my hair at the love triangle at times. I throughly and completely recommend this as a summer read!

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18 Responses to “Review: the sky is everywhere”

  1. I recently picked it up in paperback, I'd heard SO many amazing things about it. And your review has me thinking I might just set my pile of review books aside and spend a day reading this instead. Awesome review and the snippet was awesome! Totally convinced me that the writing is awesome too!

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  2. blueicegal

    I don't think the trailer does it justice. As in to me it doesn't show or hint at the grief she feels to the extent that she does. A little too light in my opinion but okay I suppose. I'm so glad that you liked this. Its such a amazing read and had me in thought for days. In fact I still think about her and her story at times, I don't think I could forget her even if I wanted to. You can't appreciate it until you read it. It's a highly recommended read for all!

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  3. cutie

    Well I'm most definitely adding this to my to read summer pile, in fact, I just requested it at the library!! =) I *heart* Dessen sooooofa king much. Great Review, my love. *hugs*

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  4. I've had it for 2 months – just picked up the paperbook because I loved the cover and the snippet (I always open it up and read a random page or two) really spoke to me. It's a super quick and great read! Hope you like it!

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  5. It seems a little scary – as in – what the heck is the girl doing thinking about boys when her sister just died? But that is the whole premise – as survivors we have to live. We have to live for the ones we lost. Sounds cheesy, but so true.

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  6. It's so funny you say that – because the US trailer is way more moody and emo. And I like this one because it was more lighthearted and focused on the romance and humor. However, the little bits of poetry they showed were the darker ones. Which to me, made the extremes even more awesome. That's one thing about this book I loved – all the ups and down. I was literally snorted one minute and sniffling the next. In my experience of losing ones close to me (both expected and unexpected deaths) that is how I handled it.

    Thanks for your comment!

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  7. I was so forlorn reading book after sucky book that i was so excited to read one that was awesome! Especially since i just picked it up off the YA shelf during my son's book fair fundraiser at B&N. Thanks for your comment!

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  8. I know! if my to-read stack wasn't so dang high I'd be re-reading it. I thought about giving my copy away as a giveaway too -but when i was done, I was like, "UH UH!" Thanks for commenting!

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  9. I think the grief part is a turn off for most "maybe" readers. And yes, there are parts of this book that are gut-wrenching sad. But really – it's about living life through grief and accepting the changes that happen when someone close to you passes away.

    But there is such great humor and love and friendship and really impeccable writing. So it goes on my must read list! Thanks for your comment!

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