The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Summary: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.
After reading Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun, I was hooked by her exquisite writing and realistic characterization. Unfortunately, however, The Sky is Everywhere doesn’t quite have that same magical touch, and I was disappointed by how it turned out.
My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other.
All her life, Lennie Williams has lived in the background of her outgoing and popular older sister Bailey. Until one day Bailey dies abruptly, and Lennie’s world turns upside down. She soon finds herself intertwined with two very different boys – one who helps her to forget her pain, and one who helps her remember it. Yet two such relationships can’t flourish without colliding, right?
The main problem I had with this story was the love triangle; which turns out to be a bit of a dilemma because the entire story revolves around the romance. I think my feelings about the romance can be summed up in this quote:
Not again, I think. What’s wrong with me? What kind of girl wants to kiss every boy at a funeral, wants to maul a guy in a tree after making out with her dead sister’s boyfriend the previous night? Speaking of which, what girl makes out with her sister’s boyfriend, period?
Lennie makes out with Bailey’s boyfriend Toby; and then the next day she goes on to make out with a hot French musician Joe. I understand her reasoning for hooking up with Toby – trying to hide her grief – but does she really need to make out with him if she wants to find some closure? It made me so angry that she would do that to her sister; especially her dead sister. It tries to romanticize grieving with a despicable love triangle, and it just didn’t work for me.
I honestly can’t see what’s so appealing about this, why there are so many glowing five star reviews for it. Maybe I’m just missing something important (and if I am please let me know), but the romance really angered me. I’d definitely recommend Nelson’s other book – I’ll Give You the Sun – over this by a longshot.