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?


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



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”