The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonPublished by Dial Books on March 9th 2010
Purchased copy from Fully Booked
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.
“I think if we don’t stop kissing, the world is going to explode.”
“Let’s let the whole fucking world explode.”
The Sky Is Everywhere is a beautiful novel about loss and love. Lennie Walker’s sister, Bailey, had just died. Lennie feels like she might as well die too. No one understands how much she misses her sister. Not her Grams, her uncle, Big, or her best friend, Sarah. Only Toby, a boy with surfer flop golden hair and freckles who happens to be Bailey’s boyfriend, knows what it’s like. Soon, the grief Lennie and Toby share brings them together in ways even they cannot understand.
While Lennie’s relationship with Toby dwells in Bailey’s death, Lennie’s relationship with the new gorgeous boy shipped from Paris, Joe Fontaine, makes her forget about her loss. (How can you not forget everything when Joe bats his eyelashes at you?) Joe is a musical genius and is in Orchestra with Lennie. Joe, from the start, was obviously interested in Lennie. He wants to play together with her but Lennie refuses. But due to Joe’s persistence (If Joe coming to Lennie’s house everyday isn’t persistent enough, I don’t know what is), Lennie finds herself unable to pull away from him. I found it adorable that Joe not only charmed Lennie, but Lennie’s grandma and uncle too.
Joe and Lennie’s friendship blooms into sweet young love. But Lennie’s continuous association with Toby, her pains about the absence of her mom and sister complicate things.
Oh God, how do I even begin to explain the things I felt when I was reading this book? First, Lennie’s feelings about her loss. It was so immense, you feel it so much. It’s all over the book. It’s in Lennie’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, words, and poems. Especially her poems. Lennie’s poems are written freehandedly, just random words strung together and conversations recounted. Even so, their expressionism’s amazing. I think the poems and how they exist in the story make the book really unique.
The next feeling is, as much as it makes me sound cliche and anticlimactic, falling in love. I sound so cheeseballs but omg how can you not fall in love with Joe Fontaine? I mean he’s so freaking fantastic and just so alive. And it’s not even because he’s a sex god from France, although that is a major strong point. Joe is also so determined, so dorky, so cute, so sweet and omg I will stop before I write down the infinite-list-of-why-Joe-is-marvelous. Really, he should just hurry up and become real already.
So yes, I might be biased because of Joe, but really , this book is great. It captures perfectly the feelings of a teenager who’s been overcome by sadness. Moreover, it gives you hope that maybe in the stretching ocean of depression, you might find someone who’ll make you happy again.