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.
My thoughts...This story will hit home with anyone who has lost someone. Not just to death, but first loves, divorce, a friend moving away. We experience a profound loss, something heartbreaking and seemingly impossible to move beyond. This story, The Sky is Everywhere is a beautiful tale of learning to deal with that loss and learning how to live again.
This beautifully written story is, as expected a bit gloomy. Parts are even painful to read because the author, Jandy Nelson, did an incredible job of capturing the grief the characters experience. There were so many times throughout the story I just wanted to reach out and hug Lennie, assuring her that over time, things would get better. Even though I have never lost anyone close to a death, I found that I could really relate to this story. It was a brilliant journey through life and death.
The characters in the story were very believable. I was particularly fond of Lennie's grandmother and her uncle. Their quirky personalities kept the story from being too dark. Aside from the grieving, this turns out to be a love story, albeit a tragic one and a coming-of-age story. Readers will quickly bond with the characters and from there the plot moves with a steady place. The infusion of poetry into the chapters creates a magical feeling to the story. I found it hard to put the book down and savored it until the satisfying ending.
I would recommend this story to readers of all ages. This is a very mature story that remains appropriate for teen readers. With her debut novel. Jandy Nelson has proven herself with her amazing writing ability. She will be one to watch for in the future.