Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

I was told recently there wasn't much demand for "sweet family stories" in publishing today. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE blows that theory out of the water. Of course there is a catch. The story has to be written in such achingly beautiful prose that you pause after almost every paragraph in awe of what you just read. I typically read fast, especially when reading for enjoyment, but this book made me slow down and savor the language on each page. The descriptions and quirky characters resonated and stayed with me long after I finished the book.

The Sky Is Everywhere is Jandy's first novel, but her MFA in poetry from Brown is put to wonderful use in this venue. The Los Angeles Times calls it: "unusually rich with both insight and breathless romance," The Denver Post: "a brilliant piercing story," and The Daily Beast says: "Those who think young-adult books can't be as literary, rich and mature as their adult counterparts will be disabused of that notion after reading The Sky Is Everywhere."

According to the website:
"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 isn't a book about vampires or aliens. There isn't a complicated, high concept plot. It's just an incredibly written family story about dealing with grief and I highly recommend it.


I have heard the most wonderful things about this book. It's on my MUST-READ list for this winter. Thanks for the review!

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