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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: The Sky is Everywhere

Title: The Sky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson 
Published: June 2nd, 2011
Genre: Contemporary, Romance 
My Rating: ★★★★
Recommended By: This Girl Reads A Lot

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 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.

My Review: 

The Sky is Everywhere has been on my TBR since March, but I hadn't been planning on reading it anytime soon, if at all . A couple of months ago, my friend Jazmen from This Girl Reads A Lot recommended it to me and I trust her taste 100%. I'm so thankful she did 'cause otherwise I wouldn't have picked it up. So thank you Jazmen.

17 year-old Lennie has recently lost her older sister, Bailey, to arrhythmia. She and her family, Gram and Uncle Big, are struggling trying to cope with their great loss. In the meantime, Lennie starts falling for the musically-talented, and swoon-worthy Joe Fontaine, and starts forming feelings for her sisters boyfriend due to their joint, reflexive grief.

First of all, I'd like to say I really enjoyed this book, but with my intense anticipation, was actually a bit let down, slightly disappointed.  I found it really easy to sympathise with the characters, but sadly wasn't able empathise with them. I've never lost a person really close to me (thankfully) except my maternal grandma who passed away when I was just a baby.

My Thoughts On:

1. The Characters. It was really easy for me to enjoy the multi-dimensional characters.

2. The Plot. The plot was brilliant. Like I mentioned earlier, I don't have a strong connection to the plot or the characters since I never really lost someone so close, but I did feel connected to the plot in the way the author was able to perfectly translate the situation, the strong sisterly relationship, and the grief into words. I mean she either takes, "Show me, don't tell me," seriously or she went through something similar enough. 

I love music, but I was never into characters that play instruments to the extent that it takes up a good chunk of the story. It makes me feel partially left out.  

3. The Writing Style. The writing style is sweet and metaphorical, yet straightforward. At times, either in the beginning or the end of a chapter, there are short conversational poems that Lennie and Bailey had, which I enjoyed. To me, those poems impact the story. I felt that they expanded my knowledge of Bailey and gave me a bit more insight into her character and personality. They're also full of symbolism and foreshadowing. My favorite theme of the book is, "A tragic end can also  mean a beautiful beginning." 

Who Do I Recommend This To: A grieving friend. Period.