Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson

cv_the_sky_is_everywhereAvailable in bookstores nationwide.

The sky is everywhere, is a tale of death, mourning, love and following one’s own heart. It is lyrically told, interspersed throughout with heart-wrenching pieces of poetry.

The protagonist,17-year old Lennie, lives with music in her veins. For most of her life it has been just her and her sister, Bailey, living with their larger-than-life (at least in personality) grandmother and irrepressible uncle, Big. Then one day, suddenly, tragically, Bailey dies. It is impossible for her sister to grasp – too long has she been her sister’s shadow, her companion pony. Her body reacts in strange ways, craving desire and belonging. This leads to some uncomfortable moments with Bailey’s bereaved boyfriend, Toby. The two are drawn together by a connection that they feel no-one else can quite comprehend.

Enter into the picture, the charismatic new boy, Joe Fontaine. Joe embraces life with an enthusiastic glee and embraces love with the same uninhibited enthusiasm. But a heart so big is easy to break, and as Lennie and he are drawn closer together, misunderstandings and misguided actions strive to drive them apart.

The poems are fragments of Lennie’s soul, poignant and emotional. She sketches them on music paper, on discarded coffee cups, in the margins of her favourite books. She sets them free. And they are the final touch that turns this tale from a simple teen story of falling in love into something much deeper and more intense – an exploration of falling apart and then beginning anew.

This is a book of family, of friendship, of making the wrong choice and making the right choice. A book of losing oneself, then finding oneself.

Of falling in love. Of loss and forgiveness.

Reviewed by Angela Oliver

The Sky is Everywhere
by Jandy Nelson
Published by Walker Books (re-issue)
9781406354386

For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell.

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