Monday, May 3, 2010

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

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.

Plot: 5/5
As Lennie deals with her sister's death, she suddenly comes to the realization that she has to become her own person. She's always happily hidden behind her older sister, Bailey's, shadow, and with Bailey gone, she has to come to terms with finally being the one to dictate the way her life turns out. Add to the equation two boys that could not be any more different- Joe, who revels in life, and Toby, Bailey's ex, whose grief matches Lennie's own. As she deals with her grief and confusion, she unravels secrets about her family and her sister that turn her world upside down, all the while trying to figure out if she should be with the boy who shares her sorrow or the one who makes her forget about it. Filled with longing and unwavering love, The Sky is Everywhere has an amazing story that readers will find hard to forget.

Creativity: 5/5
The Sky is Everywhere takes on a unique view on life after death of a loved one. It doesn't only tell the story of how Lennie tries to get over her loss, it also shows how she finds things amidst her mourning-love, confidence, courage. Some of Lennie's flashbacks are also presented in the book in form of poetry that she writes in random objects like tree branches and to-go cups, which give a unique feel to the poems.

Characters: 5/5
Characters can make or break a story, and in this case, they certainly amplify the greatness that is the story by about a million. All of the characters in the novel are well-developed, so much that even the ones that aren't present in the events of the story, like Bailey and their absent mother, become so just as concrete in the readers' minds as the ones that are present. All of them go through so much ups and downs, and because of that, the readers get to see the intricacies in each of their personalities.

Writing: 5/5
The story is told from Lennie's point of view, and the way her thoughts are presented on the pages is amazing. Jandy Nelson's writing is so rich and compelling- it's like beauty on paper. The words and metaphors she uses are beautiful and intricate and appropriate; everything about it is just so wonderful. Readers are sure to devour her exquisite prose. Her poetry is equally as beautiful, and it gives the readers a chance to get to know the more creative side of Lennie.

Impact: 5/5
As riveting as it is poignant, the book takes readers on an average seventeen-year-old's journey of losing, mourning, and moving on. As Lennie faces the complications in her life, the readers are met with a whole smorgasbord of emotions, ranging from the all-time-high of falling in love, all the way down to lowest of lows that is losing a loved one. Gripping, heart-wrenching, and all-around amazing, The Sky is Everywhere is a compelling story of love and loss.

Overall: 5/5
Everything about this novel is just plain beautiful. The ensemble of characters couldn't be better, the writing is splendid, and the plot is engrossing. I just enjoyed everything, and I do mean everything, about it. I most especially loved the way it was written- I constantly found myself highlighting the text! It certainly left an impression on me, and I have a feeling a lot of readers will share my reverence for this book once they read it and see just how great it really is- my words don't even do it justice.


  1. I'm planning on reading this one soon. So glad it's getting such rave reviews!

  2. Ooh, I loved this book! Months later and I'm still crushing on Joe Fontaine. Great review!

  3. Wonderful review, I think maybe I need to pick this one up...I have not really been in a hurry but I love your take! :) Thanks!