The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson
Pages: 303 (ARC)
Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: 7th June 2010
“I do not think this is how normal people mourn…”
When her fiery older sister Bailey dies, the air is sucked from Lennie’s world. Torn from the safety of her sister’s shadow, she finds herself taking centre stage of her own life and, despite a nonexistent history with boys, suddenly she’s struggling to balance two. First there’s Toby. But what kind of girl falls for her dead sister’s boyfriend? Then there’s Joe, the new boy in town, with a jaw-dropping grin. But how dare Lennie feel joy so soon? It doesn’t seem right that anything good can come out of Bailey’s death - does it?
The Sky is Everywhere is an extraordinary novel and I don’t really know how to put into words how I feel about it. And though its all probably already been said, I’m going to give it a go.
Jandy Nelson’s writing is unbelievably beautiful. Her prose is intoxicating and full of deep and complex emotions. Lennie’s intense, mind-numbing grief, overwhelming confusion and over-flowing love all collide in an exquisite and affecting novel. This mixed in with the head-clouding feel of summer from Gram’s garden and the beautiful town of Clover.
The characters in The Sky is Everywhere are wonderfully crafted and extremely easy to love. I’d like to have a Gram with her aphrodisiac flowers and willowy green women, an Uncle Big with his pyramids and serial marriages and the sunshine-filled Joe. And then there’s the relationship between Lennie and her sister, Bailey. It’s the kind of connection I wish I had with my sister, instead of arguments and competition. A relationship that only magnified Lennie’s feelings of loss. It kind of took my breath away.
But Lennie’s poems are equally breathtaking. They’re scattered throughout the chapters of The Sky is Everywhere and under each one it says in which obscure place in Clover Lennie left it. A huge love of literature is also displayed by the characters, though I’ll admit to only having read one of the classic novel mentioned, and it wasn’t even by choice.
The Sky is Everywhere is a spectacular debut and I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.
For my 2010 Debut Author Challenge, 2010 100+ Reading Challenge