The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, published February 2015 by Walker Books.
Read: June 2015
Genre: Young Adult/Romance/Contemporary
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: A novel about love and forgiveness. 17 year old Lennie Walker 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 centre stage of her own life – and suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two boys. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow; the other comforts her in it. But the two can’t collide without Lennie’s world exploding…
I feel like I’m going to be the black sheep of the community with this review. While I did enjoy this read, I definitely didn’t love it as much as many other bloggers did. and I feel like Nelson’s writing style has a part to play in that. I picked up another Nelson novel shortly after finishing this one, which has also received great reviews (I’ll Give You The Sun), and I had to put it down. I just couldn’t get into the right head-space for it. I’m not sure if too much of Nelson’s writing style in one go is too overwhelming for me, or if I’ll Give You The Sun is a harder read to get into because of the structure (or lack thereof) and the inner monologue style.
Nelson has a very unique writing style – that’s the first thing that comes to mind when reviewing this book. It isn’t a Marmite writing style, where you will either love it or hate it, you will either love it, or just be OK with it. I fall into the latter category. Along with the unique writing style, there are “quirky” characters, and while I can appreciate quirk (particularly in Gram), at times it felt a little overdone, to the point where the characters felt like caricatures of actual people. I can be particular when it comes to quirk.
An aspect of this book I really enjoyed was the visual inclusion of notes that Lennie leaves scattered around her home town, even though I guessed from early-on what part these would play in the novel, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of them. In fact, I don’t know if I will be rereading this one (I haven’t quite decided yet – the more time passes the more I think I might), but I want to hold on to the book for this element alone.
I felt the loss aspect of The Sky Is Everywhere was very well handled, it was an emotional read, and although I’ve already mentioned Nelson’s writing style (which I struggle to define in words!), I did find some of her one-liners and quotes to be amazingly beautiful. A pivotal element of this book is of course the love interest(s). Where to begin with that one? They were complex, and at times one of them made me uncomfortable, but I could see the obscure reasoning behind it, even if I personally felt it was unrealistic? Or maybe it was realistic in this scenario, and that’s what made me uncomfortable… Nelson is definitely a complex writer!
“Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes part of you, step for step, breath for breath.”
“I know the expression love bloomed is metaphorical, but in my heart in this moment, there is one badass flower, captured in time-lapse photography, going from bud to wild radiant blossom in ten seconds flat.”
“That’s exactly it—I am crazy sad, and somewhere deep inside, all I want is to fly.”
“The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.”
Have you read The Sky Is Everywhere? Or any other of Nelson’s books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!