Monday, September 6, 2010

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Publication Date/Version: March 2010/Hardcover
Publisher: Dial
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher

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.

Similar to Cath Crowley's A Little Wanting Song, The Sky is Everywhere delivers on romance and prose. These two books fall into their own special category of writing. It's beyond emotional, beyond evocative, beyond anything else. It's near perfection in a book. Writing as good as this hits true emotions and makes you nod along saying Yes! That's exactly what it feels like. Jandy Nelson is a writer who is able to put into words what everyone feels but can't describe.

Bailey faces the classic dilemma of having two boys both vying for her heart. One is her sister's old boyfriend, who shares her pain but also causes enormous amounts of grief. The other is a new boy who lights up her world, bringing sunshine and music to the dark corners of her mind. Does she want to remember her sorrow, or forget it completely? The decision is complicated, and we're taken along through each of Bailey's thoughts. The beginning of each chapter starts with a poem or a few words written on trash scattered throughout the town - all of which are touching and simple. The Sky is Everywhere is one of those book where I wish I had a notebook handy to write down each gorgeous phrase I came across.

Though the characters were a-okay after such a long fight - one of my pet peeves - I really can't detract much from the story because of a few plot points. The words and weight of this book are ultimately redeeming. This is a book you can't judge based on character arc or dramatic tension. Instead, it's one of those books you judge on the quality of life, the emotions it portrays, and the simple elegance of its words. It's touching, inspiring, and gosh darn near perfect.

Overall: I really shouldn't have to explain at this point. I already said gosh darn near perfect.

My Advice: Buy it.

Cover: I didn't initially love it, but it's growing on me. I prefer the UK cover, as that one's gorgeous.

*This was read as a part of the 2010 Debut Author Challenge and the 100+ Reading Challenge


  1. I've seen this one around, but was still unsure about whether or not to pick it up. Thanks for the review, I'll have to add it to my list!

  2. Hey my friend! How are you? I was hoping you would be OK if Strident Publishing put a snippet of the review you did for "Bree McCready and the Half Heart Locket" on the back cover of book 2 ("Bree McCready and the Flame of Irenus") which comes out next month?
    It would say "Good friends, action and thrills, oh my! Bree had all of it...a crazy adrenaline rush" The Book Owl
    I really hope you wouldn't mind. They asked me which reviews I would like underneath the blurb and I immediately replied "McKenzie"! Let me know if there are any problems with this. Hope you are well and not too busy.
    Hazel Xx

  3. I really like your reviewing style! It's like, even though they're kind of long, I'm compelled to just sit and read through it all. Good job! :D I'm a new follower.


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