The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Sky is Everywhere is an absolutely beautiful book for 2 different reasons. Firstly- it's just a beautiful book. The text is blue, and almost every chapter is accompanied by a real colour picture of a note from Lennie scribbled on a scrap of notepaper, the back of an envelope, on a coffee cup, on a bench, a tree, or the inside cover of a book. Lennie loves to doodle and write poetry, and then scatter these notes to the wind, and it is so great to actually see these scribbles in such a life-like way on the page. Most often they are random thoughts or memories about her sister Bailey. They are just a refreshing break from what is happening in the story, and provide us with a deeper understanding of Lennie's memories and her bond with her sister- and showing us why her loss is even more raw.
Which brings me on to second reason why this is such a beautiful book- it is so utterly heartbreaking and touching. Lennie's older sister Bailey has just died suddenly and inexplicably from a heart failure, and Lennie and the rest of the family are falling apart without her. Shy, bookish, band-geek Lennie, the quiet half of "the Walker girls" is suddenly alone, and desperately struggling to cope without her exuberant big sister- the girl who was always laughing, who had such grand plans, and who demanded that they must paint their bedroom bright orange.
But the book is not just a tear-fest it is also so sweet and very funny. Some of Lennie's private thoughts just had me laughing out loud, and Uncle Big's weird pot-head behaviour and kooky Gram's bizarre beliefs made the characters so 3-dimensional and lovable. New-kid in town Joe Fontaine has never met Bailey, but is instantly interested by Lennie and tries to draw her out of her funk and engage with her love of music. But Bailey's devastated boyfriend Toby (the only one who can really understand what she is going through) keeps coming around to share memories of Bailey and as Lennie and Toby offer comfort to each other they also grow closer. Suddenly Lennie must deal with her confusing feeling for two different guys in the midst of her overpowering grief.
I have barely skimmed the surface in this review of what this book is about, and barely mentioned some of all the wonderfully quirky characters in it- I can only recommend that you check it out and read it yourself. This book is so sweet and must surely appeal to everybody with a heart. Verdict- Excellent.
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