Publishing Info: March 9, 2010 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 15, 2012
Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode. Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart. As much a celebration of love as a poignant portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often uproarious, and absolutely unforgettable.
Breaking It Down Further: Lennie Walker is lost without her sister and best friend, Bailey. When Bailey suddenly collapses and dies from a heart defect without warning, Lennie is left in the wake of her absence along with her grandmother and uncle (with whom she lives) and Bailey’s boyfriend Toby. Lennie always felt like the sidekick to her older sister, and now that she’s gone, she has to learn how to figure out her place in life without her and how to carve her own path in the world. Full of sorrow, heartbreak, romance, betrayal, mystery, and joy, THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE is a beautiful story about a girl and her family learning to cope with loss and move along after Bailey’s sudden tragedy.
For some reason I’ve been encountering a lot of books lately where I start them and the story is good — not yet great — and then somewhere in the middle of the book, I fall in love. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE was no exception to that trend, and in no way is that a negative thing! Sometimes I get confused on how I should really feel about the book if the ending is so much stronger than the beginning, but isn’t that the whole point? The story gets better as you go along and who cares if the end result is that I loved it!
In the beginning of this story, I felt like we were very much getting the set up of Lennie, her wacky family (Gram & Uncle Big), and life after Bailey’s death. It was a necessary set up and immediately we are put into the “teen mindset”, with the narrative being told directly from Lennie and in a very much juvenile voice. I felt like that really helped me get into the characters and put a lot of emotion into the story since we get it streaming straight from Lennie. It actually made for a lot of fun at times as well because we also get the goofy over-excited gushing and lots of “Nuh-uh”/”Yuh-huh!” between Lennie and her best friend Sarah. It could have been annoying if it was overdone, but it was a nice balance and it made it cute and enjoyable! It’s kind of how much I loved If I Stay for how mature its tone was — I loved THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE for how realistic its teen voice was.
I think the story was particularly heartbreaking for me because it sort of put me in Lennie’s place. I’m the younger sister and I’ve grown so much closer with my older sister (the only sister I have!) in the past few years and she really is one of my best friends. It’s quite devastating to have to imagine myself going through that, so when I got so involved in the story, it made Lennie’s grief that much stronger as I was reading.
I actually liked the back-and-forth of Lennie going between Toby and Joe. Not in the sense that I agreed with it, but in the sense that it made sense to me. I feel like going through that kind of grief, it’s logical to go where you find comfort and at the same time Lennie almost felt wrong falling in love when she was in so much pain. It was a good story line in the book and just added that much more to the story versus just a straight-up whirlwind romance.
I absolutely adored the quirkiness of Lennie’s family! For some reason it had a very WALK TWO MOONS feel for me all throughout the book. I think it’s because of the relationship Lennie has with her grandmother and I pictured Big as the father-figure even though he’s Lennie’s uncle. It also had the missing mother element as well. I really think that made me that much more connected to the book since WALK TWO MOONS is one of my favorite books from my childhood.
It started off 4/4.5 but gosh darn it, I just fell in love with this book! It was really enjoyable and so bittersweet. I laughed, I was moved to tears, I reminisced — I just really made a connection with it.
- p 41: “‘Never know…’ I say, trying not to sound as swoony as I feel. And I’m just going to try to pretend that sitting-in-a-tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g rhyme didn’t just pop into my head.”
- p 98: “Joe crosses the room toward Toby: The sun on a collision course with the moon.”
- p 103: “Whoa – Well that was either the dorkiest or sexiest moment of my life and I’m voting for sexy on account of my standing here dumbstruck and giddy, wondering if he did kiss me after all.”
- p 120: “I had actually started to imagine trucking up the hill with Gram and Big in tow: the Munsters follow Marilyn on a date.”
- p 152: “I heard this expression once: Each time someone dies, a library burns. I’m watching it burn right to the ground.”
- p 257: “I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other.”
- p 268: “He beams at me. ‘You’re crazier than me.'” (Had to put this one in! A variation of this exact excerpt happened just yesterday with my boyfriend & me)
11 thoughts on “The Sky is Everywhere – Jandy Nelson”
My very first YA contemporary, and one of my all time favorite books. Definitely a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. This book blew me completely away. I love reading others reviews, and seeing the reaction that Jandy Nelson was able to bring to the surface! Thank you for your incredibly lovely review!
Great review, you’ve made me want to reread! Lol. I think you touched on everything I loved about the book! Jandy Nelson’s writing was just so quirky and fun. 🙂 It helped lighten the mood even though the book was based a lot around death. Her family were awesome, and I loved that the romance was believable, and not overdone.
Again, great review. 😀
I loved that – like, you, even though I didn’t agree with some of Lennie’s choices (DON’T DO IT LENNIE NOOOOO) – I *got* why she was making them I *got* what was going on in her head and that is all I want in a book. OK, I lie, there are many more things that I want in a book, but THAT is one of the Really Important Things that I want to see. I hate it when authors have their characters do dumb things just to further the plot/create conflict even if it makes no sense and is totally inappropriate to the character.
And I also loved her poems – I felt like they really helped us to understand exactly who Bailey was to Lennie.
Thanks so much for your feedback on this! I totally agree. I actually kind of liked that even though she made stupid decisions, we were able to understand why – And I think it actually made the book better for me. It made it more real instead of “okay, everything’s happy”!
So happy you liked this. I LOVED it. Bought a copy to have just in case :-). I was also ok with the love-triangle. But most of all I loved the Fontaine brothers and those bat-bat-bat lashes :-). Great review, so thoughtful.
Haha that was great! Bat-bat-bat. I loved it! I’m so glad I picked it up so soon after putting it on my TBR list 🙂 Thanks!!
Totally! sometimes an ending can make up for a rather slow beginning! But it also works the other way around! The last book I read was great, but then there was no real closure and I was disappointed!
So glad you liked this one! I’m really thinking my heart has healed enough so that I can read it again!
Seriously! So emotional!!
This is another one that I bought but haven’t read yet. Now I really, really want to. It sounds like a total sob-fest, though…maybe I’ll do it on a day when I need a good cry anyway.
Yay, definitely check this one out! I didn’t start sobbing really until the end, but it was pretty much teary-eyed the whole book lol. So good though!