Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Lennie Walker, seventeen, Wuthering Heights obsessed, clarinet player, band geek. Also hopeless romantic, prone to scattering poems all over town and as of four weeks ago, sisterless...

A heart-breaking, heart-lifting, utterly compelling and completely unforgettable novel about first love and first loss.

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review. 

Star Rating

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson is a beautifully written book which will particularly appeal to fans of John Green. It tells the story of Lennie Walker, a teenage girl, who struggles to deal with the recent death of her sister, Bailey. The reader is taken on a journey of love, loss and grief as Lennie battles with the emotions inside her. Jandy Nelson explores the complexities of loss through Lennie's relationships after Bailey's sudden death. She meets, and falls head over heels for a boy in her band class but how can she be feeling love when she is supposed to be grieving? This question weaves itself throughout many of Lennie's erratic actions and decisions. Although I didn't agree with many of Lennie's choices throughout the book, I completely understood them. 

One of the most compelling parts of this book are the poems Lennie leaves scattered around as she struggles to deal with the loss of her sister. The author, Jandy Nelson, has an extraordinary way with words and, before writing this book, had only ever written poetry. The poems appear on different surfaces (music note paper, trees, walls, paper cups) at the beginning of every chapter and are successful in connecting emotionally with the reader.

'Bailey grabs my hand and pulls me out the window into the sky, pulls music out of my pockets. "It's time you learned to fly," she says, and vanishes.' (Found on a lollipop wrapper on the trail to the Rain River.)

With Jandy Nelson's new book 'I'll Give You the Sun' now available to buy in stores, Walker books kindly asked me to take part in their Jandy Nelson promotion. I recently received not one but THIRTY-TWO copies of this amazing book to 'drop' around London. This is easier said than done as I learned this weekend. Yesterday I went for lunch in London with my sister and thought I would take six copies of The Sky Is Everywhere to drop around town. Fast forward three hours and I was STILL lugging them around in my handbag. Why? I hear you ask. Well, London folk can, at times, be too neighborly; particularly when they are chasing after you saying "Madam, you've forgotten your book!" I didn't have the heart to tell people I meant to leave them there so with a smile and a thank you, back into the handbag they went. However,  I did eventually manage to subtly leave five copies in and around central London. So if you find one of my books (notes tucked inside) please drop me a line on Twitter. I would love to know where they end up!  

'Years ago, I was crashed in Gram's garden and Big asked me what I was doing. I  told him I was looking up at the sky. He said, "That's a misconception, Lennie the sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet."

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