The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
If I remember correctly, the first time I heard about this book was a year or two ago when I heard rumors of it being adapted into a film. I haven’t heard anything about that since, but thankfully I added the book to my “to-read” list before I could forget about it completely. Since then it’s stayed in the back of my mind and I finally decided to pick it up a few weeks ago. I was expecting a light-hearted, slightly dramatic contemporary YA romance, but instead I got a story that was much more intense and fulfilling.
Summary from Goodreads.com:
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.
In a lot of ways this book is pretty cliche. The protagonist is a geeky, shy girl with limited dating experience. Her best friend is outgoing and quirky. There is some parental drama (Lennie’s mother walked out on her when she was a baby). There are two boys that are equally in love with her that are polar opposites.
Sounds familiar right?
What makes this story different is the fact that all of this occurs directly followed by Lennie’s sister’s untimely death. In addition, one of the dreamy boys fighting for her affection is her dead sister’s boyfriend. Talk about awkward.
Though the general premise is odd at best Sky is a great coming of age novel about family, friends, love, death, and everything in between. It’s a quick read that’s great for the warm weather that’s (hopefully) on its way.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)
Read If You Like: Identical by Ellen Hopkins, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Extra Tidbit: Did Nelson’s description of Joe remind you of anyone? A guitar-playing, dreamy guy with dark curly hair and eyelashes any girl would envy? Sound familiar?