Earlier this year I enjoyed Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun, so when I saw her other (earlier) novel The Sky is Everywhere on display, I figured it was worth a look.
While I am not going to rave about this one like I did the first, there is plenty of good stuff here.
Lennie Walker is in grief – her older sister Bailey has died suddenly leaving her feeling like half a person. Shy and introspective, Bailey was her other half, the one who shone and then made Lennie feel bright in her light. Devastated and unable to control her feelings, she pushed away many of the things she loves, and does some questionable things in order to keep the memory of Bailey close – like kissing Bailey’s boyfriend.
The Sky is Everywhere is a story about dealing with grief, and learning to step out of the shadow of a stronger personality. This is all emotionally real and rewarding, especially as we are given snippets of Lennie’s poetry throughout – scattered around the town – which further explore her feelings. My only disappointment here was with the triteness of the love story, which I felt was a bit convenient and perhaps not as emotionally complex as I would like to see in the kinds of romances explored in young adult fiction. Nonetheless I can imagine this has found a lot of fans since its publication.