Book Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonUsually, when you pick up a novel, you expect the story to be the best part of the book. With The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, that wasn’t the case—at least not in my experience.

Don’t get me wrong. The story in this book is plenty good, but the poetry that highlights each chapter? That was way, way better. It gave dimension to the story, and it made the reader actually feel something for the main character.

Take, for example, this poem written by the main character, Lennie, about the death of her sister. While reading this poem, I can feel Lennie’s grief begin to slowly envelope me before it grips my soul and raises my anxiety.

And that, my friends, is the mark of good writing. Excellent writing makes the reader feel something. It grabs the reader and gives them goosebumps, or makes their heart flutter, or in this case, makes my blood pressure rise.

Why Read The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson?

 The Sky Is EverywhereWith The Sky Is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson has created a world in which Lennie is struggling to exist after the death of her sister and best friend. Lennie and Bailey were only a few years apart, and throughout life, they did everything together. Now, without Bailey in her life, Lennie can’t figure out where she fits in the world.

Enter Joe, the new boy in town. With Joe, Lennie feels alive for the first time since Bailey’s death. Where Lennie is withdrawn, Joe is expressive. Where Lennie is grey, Joe is colorful.

It seems like Joe has come into Lennie’s life at the prefect time, except for one complication. Since Bailey’s death, Lennie finds herself being unable to resist Bailey’s boyfriend, Toby. It seems to Lennie that Toby shares in her extreme grief; that with Toby, she can wallow in her self-pity. Toby is the one who understands the pain she carries on a daily basis, Lennie believes, and it’s through that pain that Lennie and Toby find one another.

Except, Lennie can’t help but wonder… What kind of person hooks up with her dead sister’s boyfriend? And what will happen if Joe discovers the connection between Lennie and Toby?


My Thoughts on The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

For me, The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson took some time to love. It started out slowly, but as I got to know the characters and began to understand their motivations, the story really picked up. Throughout her entire life, Lennie has played second chair to her older sister, and Lennie has been totally OK with that. Bailey had a big personality, and Lennie was content to hang out in her shadow.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson pinBut suddenly, that shadow is gone, and Lennie’s entire way of life has changed. She doesn’t have a best friend anymore. Her person, her No. 1 in the world, is gone.

What if your best friend was gone? What if your sibling suddenly disappeared?

Those were hard questions for me to think about, and it was those feelings that helped me to understand Lennie. As the story went on, my sympathy for Lennie only grew.

When Lennie began to find herself again in Joe, I cheered along with her in the way that I imagine her sister would have done. When she spent time with Toby, I inwardly groaned, because I believed in my mind that Joe was the guy for Lennie.

Who Lennie ends up with isn’t all that important in this story. Instead, Lennie’s transformation is the key here, and I found myself cheering her along throughout the book. I wanted her to make the right decision so that she could be a whole person again.

That, to me, means that The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson was enjoyable and worth the read. Nelson did something right with this book!

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson has been compared to
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. See a full list of books like these here.


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