The Sky is Everywhere is Jandy Nelson’s wonderfully sad (and at times hilariously funny) debut novel. In it, you meet Lennie, a 17 year old girl who has lived her life in the shadow of her vivacious older sister Bailey. Then one day, Bailey dies unexpectedly, and Lennie is forced to figure out who she is apart from her sister. As Lennie wades through her grief- life completely throws her for a loop when she falls for not one, but two completely different guys. One who connects with her grief over losing her sister (because he lost her sister too) and one who pulls her out of her grief completely. As she tries to figure out who she is and who she loves, Lennie’s pure heart overcomes her awkwardness in this unexpectedly fun coming-of-age tale.
Lennie’s story is both humorous and tragic. As she experiences the gamut of emotions (sorrow, happiness, guilt, confusion, lust, and love) she is forced to wade through the awkward confusing mess and when she comes out on the other side she knows a little more about herself. Poetry is sprinkled throughout the book, written by Lennie and (you’re told) found in random places-on wrappers or stuffed in trees- and these poems give you a different glimpse at her character. Since they are from Lennie’s point of view but outside of the first-person narrative, it is almost like getting to see her subconscious thoughts- the ones she doesn’t want to tell you about, but are vital to understanding her.
The Sky is Everywhere is just the right mix of heartbreaking tragedy and quirky humor- not overdone on either side. Nelson has created a lovable and zany narrator who will have your heart almost breaking on one page and then, as she falls all over herself and deals with the (oh so many) awkward and confusing parts of life, you just can’t help but root for the lovable band-geek who is fighting to find her own way after losing her sister.
- Posted by Erin