Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey’s boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town. While Toby can’t see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it’s up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey.

Literary Award: 2011 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection

*****

I always imagined music trapped inside my clarinet, not trapped inside of me. But what if music is what escapes when a heart breaks?

ENCHANTING.

The Sky is Everywhere swept me off my feet! My first impression is that this book will be depressing, but it is so, so far from that. It is about grief, yes, but it is also about being strong for your family, falling in love at the wrong time, and moving on once the mourning became a tad bit bearable.

Lennie is sad, confused, alienated, and guilty all rolled up into one – because of her sister’s Bailey’s death. This tragedy seemed to trigger her sex button because she can’t seem to get enough of not just one, but two guys! Her journey to recovery is detailed and astounding, funny at times but soulful at most, constricting to the heart yet gives freedom at the end. Lennie’s story is beautifully written, my heart went instantly (and constantly) to her every step of her grieving process.

Toby is the male version of Lennie – he cannot move on after Bailey’s death. Joe is the epitome of sunshine – persistent wide grin, musical genius, and fun to be with. I normally hate love triangles where the girl can’t decide which one to choose, but with Lennie-Toby-Joe, Lennie’s confusion is understandable. Like the tagline of the book, Toby makes her remember, Joe makes her forget. I loved how the triangle worked out! I was rooting for this guy (sorry, no spoilers!), but initial reactions of Lennie towards him made me think twice. Still I stick to him, and man I was glad Lennie ended up with him!

The Sky is Everywhere is a very magnetic read – I read and finished it overnight. The little snippets of Lennie’s relationship with Bailey at the start and end of every chapter is such a bonus. Grams (I love her relationship with Lennie), Uncle Big (funny bloke, he’s often stoned!), and Sarah (she’s demented in a cool sort-of way) are such diverse characters that they compliment Lennie’s.

How do you deal when you lose a loved one? Do you grieve by yourself, make out with every guy/girl you see, and feel guilty because you were left behind to live without him/her? I say you read Lennie’s story. Jandy Nelson perfectly captured and written the way to live past the grieving and to love past the losing.

That’s a misconception, Lennie. The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.

#9 Off the Shelf Reading Challenge 2011

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Feed by Mira Grant

RATING: StarStarStarStarStar

(Newsflesh #1)

In 2014, two experimental viruses—a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as “Marburg Amberlee”—escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.

It raised the dead.

Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed “The Rising,” and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power.

Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all:

When will you rise?

Literary Award: 2011 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel

*****

Danger is a side effect of what I do, not the reason behind it.

UNNERVING.

There are three points I want to make: One – the talk of politics bored me to death. Two – there are barely zombie-killing scenes and this disappointed me. Three – the twist, and ultimately the ending stupefied me… to the highest level! Point Three made up for the lack of Point Two and the abundance of Point One.

Feed is unlike any other zombie book I’ve read (this is my first zombie read, compared to Enclave which I consider more of dystopia than zombie). It follows the story of siblings Georgia (or George) and Shaun, with their friend Buffy and correspondent-turned-friend Rick through a series of blog entries. They are the Press team of a senator-turned-presidential candidate and together they battle out politics, post-apocalyptic controversies and zombie-filled intermissions.

What struck me strong the most is the absence of sibling rivalry between Georgia and Shaun. Oh, there’s still a lot of bickering and swearing between them, but at the end of the day, all they have is each other and for that reason alone, living in a zombie-infested country is worth it. It amazes me that besides being bloggers/journalists, Georgia & Shaun can kick ass with their powered guns and crossbows. They are efficient in their defense and I love that about them. Georgia is pessimistic, but realistic at most; Shaun knows when to be serious and when to be crazy. I must say, Shaun’s POV is more fun and engaging than Georgia.

The ending left me powerless, hopeless, and with a broken heart. I must have retinal KA (just like Georgia) because I can’t seem to shed a tear when I wanted to. Mira Grant rendered me speechless and broken.

Feed is an intelligent read – you gotta get past the political intrigue to appreciate it’s zombieness. Despite the haunting ending, Feed is beautifully made by the love and devotion between Georgia and Shaun and their dauntless belief to search out for the truth. *sniff*

RISE UP WHILE YOU CAN.

 I wanted the truth, and I wanted the news, and I’d be damned before I settled for anything less.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”