Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson Review

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Publisher: speak (penguin group)
Genre: YA Contemporary
From: Christmas Present

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.

In some ways Lennie is just like me; she is a clarinet player, can't stop thinking about boys, and has this great passion.  I slid this book into my bag because of these similarities.  I raced through the book because of Lennie's grief and love.  I had lost someone the day I picked it up.  I could relate to what she was going through because I was going through the exact same thing. 
       It must have been easy for Jandy to write this (easy: in terms of writing a book) because I read as much passion in the writing as Lennie blasts through her clarinet.  Jandy had to write all the poems Lennie left all over town, and in some ways that was my favorite part; when I paused at the end of a chapter and saw a poem waiting for me, it made me want to forge forward to the next chapter.  A paperback of this book was in my stocking this year and I have destroyed it already.  My second grade librarian would die if she saw all the stuff I've done to this book.  I've written in the margins, bordered my favorite parts, and underlined all these delicious similes and metaphors Jandy has left nicely packaged in the paragraphs.  My pen is the bookmark, and if that doesn't destroy the spine the constant bending back of the cover will.  When I'm done, this book will look like Lennie's copy of Wuthering Heights. 
        The writing is so amazing that I'm surprised when the twists  come even though I've read it before there are some books that just make me want to play music or write.  Inspiration is a truly rare gift that agonizing hours of searching can not give you, it is discovered.
         I suppose I should write a little about Joe because he is undeniably amazing.  I fell in love with his smile.  The way he saw Lennie, he didn't know her but he came to her house because he knew about her passion in music.  Boys are so simple minded, they can only focus on one thing and for Joe that is music.  It is the way he measured every thing in life.  If only he would drop out of the pages and play his guitar for me while smiling his million watt smile. 
         I haven't gotten to the heart-wrecking decision, Toby-or- Joe part yet (I'm re-reading), and I know it's coming so I've been reading slower to avoid the inevitable.  I want to believe it won't come, but I'm a realistic person and just because the cover is different doesn't mean the story will be in anyway changed. 
Status: Dreading the end.

Score: 10/10- This book is so different from everything else on the shelves.

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