Sky Is Everywhere

Jandy Nelson

Sky Is Everywhere
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Sky Is Everywhere

Jandy Nelson

This is a vibrant, deeply romantic and unmissable debut. Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker 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 centre 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, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can’t collide without Lennie’s world exploding…

Review

The unthinkable has happened to seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker: her, beautiful, talented older sister Bailey has died suddenly and tragically while rehearsing Romeo and Juliet. Left with her Gram and her pothead uncle Big, Lennie struggles to cope. She considers herself the unassuming, band-geek sister, but without Bailey around to hide behind, Lennie finds herself increasingly drawn into the spotlight. Little makes sense to her in the weeks following her sister’s death: the occasional sharp moments of joy that burst through her sadness, the distance from her best friend Sarah, the mystery of her absent mother, the feeling that she is taking on aspects of Bailey’s personality, the growing attraction she feels for Bailey’s boyfriend Toby, the growing attraction to new boy in town, ace musician Joe , oh, let’s face it, Lennie gets a little sex-obsessed!

This is far from your ordinary grief book. Lennie narrates in spirited, sprawling, idiosyncratic prose, that speaks perfectly of her age and her highly unconventional family life. The Sky Is Everywhere is presented in an unusual format: bound in journal-style, the chapters interspersed with photos, scribbles and hand-written poems. I always get worried when characters write poetry in YA books - will it make me cringe? - but Lennie’s poems perfectly illuminate her story, and speak volumes at times when she can’t express her feelings externally. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It is one of the most unusual, effortless and engaging reads I’ve had the pleasure of encountering in some time.

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