Review for The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson!
Quick View Review:
Characters: ***** (5/5)
Plot: ***** (5/5)
Writing Quality: ***** (5/5)
Amazon Rating: **** (4.5/5)
Overtaken by grief after her sister Bailey’s devastating death, Lennie finds herself unable to choose between two boys: quiet Toby, Bailey’s boyfriend who understands Lennie’s grief, and Joe, the new French boy who has a thousand-watt smile and is a musical genius. Toby helps Lennie keep Bailey’s memory alive and helps her remember her beloved sister, while Joe helps Lennie let go of her grief and start living life her way. Lennie desperately needs both of them, but she knows that when or if they collide, it won’t be pretty.
I think it’s safe to say that Jandy Nelson is a genius. My expectations of this book were way up there (I mean, she wrote I’ll Give You the Sun!), but this book just went beyond perfection. It will take you over the rainbow, through amazing galaxies, suck you into black holes, before landing you in another world, all while you fall in love with every single character and every word on every page.
The characters absolutely deserve 5/5 stars and more. Each one went above and beyond where I thought fictional characters could go. They all had layered, complex, realistic personalities that I just can’t get over. My absolute favorite (how could it not be) was Joe Fontaine. For all you girls out there, he was an incredible explosion of stars who will steal your heart away at the first bat of his ridiculous eyelashes. He was the sun of the solar system, and he managed to catch everyone in his orbit, from Lennie and her quirky family to the high school’s mean girls and teachers. It was hard not to let my head get over my heels when faced with someone so endearingly tender but also hilariously goofy. So yeah, current fictional crush would be Joe Fontaine, hands down. And for all you boys out there: if you’re wondering how to get the girl, this book is a must read for you because Joe Fontaine can teach you mountains.
On another note, I also thought that Lennie was extraordinarily written. There were many different sides to her personality, and I definitely understood how she was feeling. Of course, I wanted to smash something every time she kissed Toby (pretty obvious I’m Team Joe big time), but at the same time, I understood what drove her to do it. Toby gave her something that Joe never would be able to: he understood her grief and helped her uphold her sadness for her sister. I almost felt like she did it not because she had true feelings for Toby, but because she wanted her sister to be her every waking thought. When she was with Toby, she would feel guilty about stealing her dead sister’s boyfriend, whereas Joe distracted her from her grief and took away Lennie’s sad and mournful thoughts. I think this also shows that Lennie’s character developed and grew over the course of the book, because at the end, she was able to let go of her grief and focus on living her life to the fullest.
The plot was brilliant. Sure, it wasn’t quite as magical as I’ll Give You the Sun, but it was still beautifully creative and captivating. It wasn’t suspenseful, but it also wasn’t supposed to be. Nelson managed to keep you turning the page without incorporating suspense or making the book a classic page-turner novel. I also thought that the book benefitted from being only Lennie’s perspective. I usually prefer multiple perspectives in books because I like to get lots of opinions and many sides of each story, but this book really didn’t need it. This was truly Lennie’s story, and, as the book emphasized, it was hers and hers only to tell.
Finally, the writing quality. Breathtaking and perfect, Nelson took an already amazing plot and idea and turned it into something so much more. This book was so realistic I felt like I could be living it. Nelson’s writing was a beautiful work of art, and it really is something rare you don’t come across often.
Overall, this book took me somewhere that no other book has ever taken me to before. Characters so realistic you could see them and imagine having conversations with them, a unique and unbelievable plot, and writing that was so incredible you almost never see anything like it. A must read for all genders, all ages, and people everywhere. I recommend this to you even if you hate books, because I’m telling you, this book will change that.
The one thing I still think about and I think that will never leave me: would Lennie have broken out of her shell and become as independent as she did if her sister hadn’t died?
Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review! :)