The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson | Review

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I was so excited to read The Sky is Everywhere when I spotted it in the library, then realised a chapter in that I’d already read it…typical. I could vaguely remember what happened but decided to keep reading anyway. I was actually meant to be buddy reading this, but started reading it on the train to uni one day and got totally carried away and ended up finishing it, oops. Whilst I didn’t love the book as much as everyone else seems to, the fact that I read it so quickly shows how addictive it is.

The Sky is Everywhere is all about the different ways people cope with death and the loss of a family member. When Lennie’s big sister Bailey dies suddenly, she becomes obsessed with boys. Two particular boys: Joe, the new boy in school, and Toby, her sister’s boyfriend. Lennie has a massive crush on Joe, but Toby is the only person who understands how she feels. When you first see that one of the love interests is the dead sister’s boyfriend, I understand if you’re put off, but the characters and the grief shared between them are so well developed and written that their feelings are completely understandable.

When a serious book is targeted towards a YA audience I feel like it needs to have some lighthearted relief, which this had. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and felt like she did a really good job of balancing grief and humour, so it wasn’t a completely depressing read. I liked that Lennie felt such a wide array of emotions, and it never felt like the author was being judgemental or invalidating any of them. I loved reading about her relationship with her sister and how complicated it could be.

The biggest problem I had with the book was how unrelatable most of the characters are. I loved Lennie and Toby because they actually felt like real people. You know how there’s manic pixie dream girl (“a character who “exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures“)? Is manic pixie dream boy a thing? Because that’s what Joe was to me. I’m a teenager, and I’ve never met a teenage boy who acts like he does. I liked him at times, but mostly his annoying hipster ways got on my nerves. Then, when I did start to warm up to him, he annoyed me again with his overly dramatic jealousy. Like I said, I’ve read this before, and the minute his character was introduced I remembered that I didn’t like him the last time either haha.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but probably for different reasons than everyone else. I liked how realistically the book showed how different people deal with grief, and the relationship between Lennie and Toby as they try to heal. I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority when I say the insta love between Lennie and Joe was my least favourite part. Have you read The Sky is Everywhere, and if so, what did you think?


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