February 4, 2016

Wicked Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Published: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Speak
Acquired: Paperback

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.

To say that I fell in love with the book is a massive understatement. This book is amazing. Sure, I've read a lot about loss and how the characters have dealt with it. But The Sky Is Everywhere is more than that.

We have Lennie Walker, a clarinetist who lost his older sister, Bailey. She walks in the shadow of her older sister who's a bona fide star in their small town. Bailey dreams of becoming a theater actress one day. They were almost inseparable until Bailey's own heart took her life away.

My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. 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. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy. 

I felt Lennie's grief, so much so that her actions through the course of this book is almost selfish. I have never lost anyone dear to me so I wouldn't really put myself in Lennie's shoes. But everyone around Lennie-Toby, Bailey's boyfriend, their Grandmother, their Uncle Big-has also lost Bailey. They were also grieving. They lost a piece of themselves when Bailey passed away.

The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet. 

Lennie met Joe Fontaine, new guy who plays so many instruments. He's such a sweetheart. *insert heart eyes emoji* Where Lennie was overcome with grief over the loss of her sister, Joe comes to save the day. He's the epitome of a good life in my book. I just love him.

Each start of the chapter, there's a poem at the side. All those poems are written by Lennie and I think, those poems help understand Lennie's feelings and her relationship with her sister. She leaves those poems everywhere and writes on all sorts of known surfaces. I think I'll try that some time.


Messentialism. It's the word the often came up in this book. We live in a big mess. Each situation we're in, it's a mess. I believe that one hundred percent. Jandy Nelson provided me with a book that is greater than life. It was everything I expected from Jandy Nelson and then more.

Jandy Nelson, like her characters in I’ll Give You the Sun and The Sky is Everywhere, comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her critically-acclaimed, New York Times bestselling second novel, I’ll Give You the Sun, received the prestigious Printz Award, Bank Street's Josette Frank Award, and is a Stonewall Book Award honor. Both Sun and her debut, The Sky Is Everywhere, have been YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults picks (Sun, a Top Ten on Both YALSA and Rainbow Lists) and on multiple best of the year lists including the New York Times, Time Magazine, NPR, have earned many starred reviews, and continue to enjoy great international success, collectively published in over 47 countries. I'll Give You the Sun has been sold to Warner Brothers and screenwriter Natalie Krinsky is currently writing the adaptation. Jandy, a literary agent for many years, received a BA from Cornell University and MFAs in Poetry and Children's Writing from Brown University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. Currently a full-time writer, she lives and writes in San Francisco, California—not far from the settings of her novels.

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