The Sky Is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Genre/Themes: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: March 22nd 2011
Page Count: 277
“… if you’re someone who knows the worst thing can happen at any time, aren’t you also someone who knows the best thing can happen at any time too?”
I’m not going to lie…I had really high hopes going into this one. I read I’ll Give You The Sun almost two years ago now. I almost immediately bought The Sky Is Everywhere the second I was finished reading IGYTS and I thought I would read it right away. For whatever reason, I just let it sit on my shelf. I don’t know if it was because I had such a huge book hangover after I’ll Give You The Sun or what, but I only finally picked it up now. I can’t say I loved it as much as IGYTS, but it was definitely a fun and entertaining read.
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.
What I Liked
The writing. Jandy Nelson is an amazing writer. That is definitely no secret. As mentioned, I absolutely loved her other novel I’ll Give You The Sun and I loved it for that exact reason. Everything flowed so well and it was fast-paced and it was all just so beautifully written. The Sky Is Everywhere was just as beautiful and well-written and I’m looking forward to whatever Jandy Nelson writes in the future.
The inside look. I loved the little poems and snippets of writing that were left behind by Lennie. They gave us an intimate look into her life with Bailey and also the way that she’s now feeling without her. We get an inside look into her thoughts and I thought that was a really creative way to execute that idea. I was a little confused at first as to why each note was prefaced with “found in *insert place here*”, but by the end it made sense and I loved the idea even more.
The characters. I don’t know if I would go as far as saying that these characters were extremely unique, but they were entertaining to read about. I liked Lennie and learning about her family and friends. I liked seeing how she was coping with the loss of her sister and how she was growing as a person because of it. I liked Toby and his place in the story, maybe not-so-much in terms of the love triangle (I’ll get to that later), but in the way that he was a part of the family because of the unfortunate scenario of Bailey’s death. Although I wish there was a little more depth to Joe, I still really enjoyed him as a character. He was quirky and unique in his own way compared to some of the other characters which makes me really wish that I got to learn more about him.
What I Didn’t Like
The love triangle. Yeah, I’ve never been a fan of love triangles. They actually drive me a little insane. I understand why Lennie may be falling for both of these boys, but I think my main issue with love triangles in general is just the lack of decision making. I know it’s probably not as easy as it sounds to just choose someone, but I just really dislike when characters go back and forth. I won’t lie, whenever there’s a love triangle in a story…I almost always hope the main character ends up with neither of them.
Was it insta-love? It felt like it to me, maybe just a little? I mean it may not have happened the second they locked eyes or anything, but it did happen pretty fast with both boys! Lennie even mentioned herself that she had hardly been in a relationship beforehand. So it just seemed like it happened a little too quickly and kind of randomly.
While there were elements of this book that I wasn’t a huge fan of, I still had a lot of fun reading it. As mentioned, Jandy Nelson is an amazing writer and I love her style so much. The Sky Is Everywhere is definitely worth reading, even just for the way it handles death & loss. I will always recommend that you pick up I’ll Give You The Sun, but now I can also recommend The Sky Is Everywhere.
About The Author
Here’s a mishmash:
My all-time favorite novels are One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.
The first YA and MG novels I read as an adult were Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Looking for Alaska by John Green and Walk Two Moon by Sharon Creech. It changed my life.
As picture books go: William Steig.
Some poets I love: Pablo Neruda, Anne Carson, Ilya Kaminsky, John Berryman, C.D. Wright, and Dr. Seuss.
Thank you for reading!