Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson


Title: The Sky is Everywhere

Author: Jandy Nelson

Published: March 2010

Rating: ★★★

Summary: A month ago, Lennie’s older and beloved sister died suddenly. This tragedy shattered Lennie and her mish-mesh of a family. Trying to figure out how life goes on without her sister, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to her sister’s boyfriend and finding solace in their mutual grief. At the same time, the new and gorgeous Fontaine brothers move into town, one of which is showing up at her house every morning with a smile and chocolate croissants, helping her forget about her grief.

Thoughts: The tragic loss of her sister is punctuated so fully throughout this book. The way Nelson captured her grief in everyday activity really underscored the immense sadness of losing a sister and best friend in such a palpable way. At times, I felt overwhelmed with grief right alongside Lennie. The writing in this book is unique. Nelson really goes for it with descriptive sentences, long with drama and illustrations. Sometimes she lost me in her lengthy and overly complicated sentences, but I could certainly appreciate the colorful prose. Lennie is part of a unique family, one that is now made up of her eccentric Gram and her pot-smoking Uncle Big. Her mom left her before she had any memories, so her sister and she were raised by Gram. They all have their quirks, almost to a point that it was unrealistic, but maybe I just don’t know people like that. It seemed to me though, that their quirks didn’t have much of a point and was just a tactic in creating “interesting” characters. I really couldn’t get my head around her uncle and kept imagining him differently as little bits of his character were shared throughout. Mostly I didn’t understand why he was included in the story if he wasn’t really going to be used in any substantial way. Each member of that family seemed to be a bit unhinged. After experiencing such immense tragedy, my counseling degree was screaming for them to get some help. I couldn’t help but cringe at how much they were struggling. The romance in this story was epic and sweeping, so much so, that my cynical heart couldn’t handle it. It was a little overdone. I read the book pretty quickly and enjoyed it, just didn’t pan out to be quite the greatness I had built it up to be in my mind over the years I have had it on my TBR.

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