April 23, 2012

Review #9 The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Grief can make you do all kinds of things. It can throw you into that dark hole that you don't know the way out of...how convenient is it then to have not one but two wonderful guys to pull you out again?

The Sky Is Everywhere

Goodreads synopsis:
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 transfer 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 picked this book mainly because I was in the mood for a very good contemporary read that might cheer me up a bit (my mood is pretty bad because it's almost may and all we get around here is grey sky and rain -ugh!). It might sound weird to choose a book that focuses on the death of some one's sister to lift my mood but I felt like this one would provide a nice happy end so I went with it. I did enjoy the book, I just wasn't obsessed with it.

What I liked most about this book was the way it was created - literally. Every few pages the regular story was interrupted for one of the protagonist's poems - beautifully written and really touching! I also liked the main character, Lennie, and her family. All of them were just so sympathetic and felt like real people and although you could see how all of them had a hard time dealing with the loss of Bailey they were so close and all had such great relationships, it was just adorable.

I wasn't a big fan of Toby, though.After the first few appearances he made in the book I was annoyed every time he came up and just wanted him to leave. Sorry, but I can't even put my finger on what exactly I didn't like about him. Maybe it was just that he was blocking the way to the other boy, Joe, in such an unnecessary way...
Which leads me to the next thing I didn't like: well...the plot. Which seems bad at first, but let me explain. I've never gone through something even similar to what Lennie goes through in this story, so I don't know how realistic her feelings towards the two boys are. As of right now I just didn't really understand what her problem was boy-wise. Other than that I loved Nelson's writing style. It was easy to get into the story and she didn't waste pages over pages to describe unimportant details which made The Sky is Everywhere a fast, enjoyable read.

The storyline around Lennie's mother was very interesting and one of the main reasons I wanted to keep reading this book. From pretty much the first chapter I was wondering what's it with her and the author kept me guessing almost until the last page.

To sum it up, this book was different in some ways than most contemporary fiction I read which made it a refreshing read for me. I was not a big fan of Toby, but I liked Joe okay and found the relationships between Lennie's family members and the way they dealt with unpleasant situations admirable.

RATING: 2 out of 3 Smarties

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