Apr 19 2010
The Sky is Everywhere
by Jandy Nelson
After a lifetime of being one half of the inseparable ‘Walker Girls’, Lennie is left lost and reeling when her older sister Bailey suddenly dies at the age of 19. We’re introduced to Lennie on her first day back at school, one month after Bailey’s death. What follows is a truly heart-warming and often heart-wrenching glimpse into the grieving process of a sister and family who have truly lost what matters most.
It took me a few chapters to really get into The Sky is Everywhere, but once I got used to the flow of the unique language and flowery dialogue, I was really blown away! As Lennie progresses through the various stages of her grief, the reader is taken on this very emotional journey right along with her. Although I’ve never lost anyone close to me, Lennie’s reactions to life without her closest confidant – while sometimes shocking – felt very true, and left me wondering how I would ever make it through such a tragedy. Almost every chapter opens with a sample of Lennie’s writing, which gives the reader an intimate look at some of Lennie’s pivotal thoughts and ties the story together beautifully.
The Sky is Everywhere is filled with a great cast of quirky, flawed, yet completely lovable characters. Each is completely unique, with their own voice and distinct personality, and all fill an important role in Lennie’s life. Even though Lennie’s family is a little kooky, I rarely found them so over-the-top as to be unbelievable, and it was clear that their actions always originated from the heart.
It’s hard to imagine a story could be so fantastical and yet so realistic at the same time, but The Sky is Everywhere accomplishes just that. With its unique prose, focus on music and poetry, and collection of quirky characters juxtaposed against the heart-wrenching tale of a family dealing with grief, The Sky is Everywhere is an emotional journey that will leave you completely satisfied and yet wanting more.
I actually hugged the book and cried a little when I finished reading The Sky is Everywhere. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story that deals with real human issues without taking itself too seriously. I can’t wait for more from this debut author!
*This book was provided for review by the publisher, via the Goodreads first reads program.
**The Sky is Everywhere is book #4 for the TwentyTen Reading Challenge.