Author: Jandy Nelson
Published: March 9th 2010 by Dial
I purchased this book myself.
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 transfer 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.Grief books are a hard thing to master. I mean, just think about it. How do you write about a depressed, broken character who can't stop thinking about the one person she's just lost and make her interesting to read? It's a daunting task to say the least. I'm not sure I could pull it off. But let me assure you, Jandy Nelson does that and much, much more.
I mean stir in the following factors: that the girls' only know their mother as half-mom, were raised by their grandmother who paints willowy green women with a feverish obsession, Lenny is fighting an unexplainable and inexplicable lust for her dead sister's boyfriend, Toby while simultaneously falling in love with the new boy in town, musical wonder and all around half-French hottie, Joe Fontaine... and what do you get?
One Hell of an amazing book. That's what.
Don't be fooled. This is not a grief book. This is a book about a girl who is grieving, yes; but that's only part of her story. There's so much more going on. This is a story about first love. About tenuous friendships struggling to withstand the strain of life and loss and growing up. About losing first love. About trying to regain first love. About mothers that don't raise their little girls. About a grandmother that is a mother to said little girls. About finding out who you have the potential to be. And about breaking through the shell that you've been turtling along in your entire life and finally becoming that person.
Author, Tahereh Mafi, said at an author signing I attended the other night that this book broke her in half. I can attest to her statement. Because it did the same to me. Hello, world. I am the newly halved Amy Rose. How's it goin?
Now stop reading this blog and go pick up The Sky is Everywhere. Read it and revel in its beauty. And then come back and tell me what you thought. I'd love to know. Happy reading!
Visit Jandy Nelson on her website HERE and on Twitter HERE.