Publication Date: 9 March 2010
Publisher: Dial Books
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
The Sky is Everywhere follows Lennie Walker, a seventeen-year-old girl who has recently lost her older sister Bailey. She struggles with the grief that comes with the death of a sibling. A clarinet player for school, a silent poet and lasagne maker for her local deli, Lennie fights off those around her to cope with her loss.
When Lennie meets the new boy Joe, she is immediately transfixed by his exceptional guitar playing skills. But when Toby, who was Bailey’s boyfriend, re-enters Lennie’s life in a different way, she is drawn to how his grief is similar to her own. With two boys giving her new attention, she finds it difficult to keep them both at a distance.
‘I wish my shadow would get up and walk beside me.’
Nelson’s writing is one of the best styles of writing in young adult books. She uses metaphors and similes in a very creative way, constantly using them on every page. Many may dislike the way this book is written, but her style makes the read a more realistic experience for me. The setting was also a strength, as again it showed me a unique insight into her town that she lives in. Gram’s garden, the lake, and the outdoor room in the forest all assisted in making the setting stand out in my mind.
Before most of the chapters, there are short poems that tell the readers exactly what Lennie is thinking and gives us a better insight into her life that she had with her sister. The poems were quick to read and were an interesting way of showing the readers what Bailey and Lennie’s relationship was like. Not only were the poems about her grief, but also about her feelings towards the boy she ends up with.
Nelson’s other novel, I’ll Give You the Sun, has a really good plot with many things happening in it. The plot in The Sky is Everywhere is not as action-packed, and little happens in lieu of action. The action is quite basic and doesn’t require a lot of thought. There is a sub-plot of Lennie trying to figure out what happened to her mother, who left when she was young. The ending of this story fell flat, and although it had meaning, got lost on me because I was disappointed by it. When I started to get closer to the ending, I had a feeling I knew what was going to happen, which made it it quite predictable.
Lennie also made some poor decisions. Yes, they were justified by her grief, but I couldn’t help but think they were avoidable. There were a few times where I was annoyed by the way she behaved, and I often sided with the other characters. The best character in the book is the grandma. She is a very unique, strong woman whom I liked learning about. Her interesting hobbies are a good addition to the story.
The theme of death is very prevalent and is dealt with in a thoughtful way. This book is sad, but not too hard to read, and made easier by its romance. It’s a fairly short read. I would recommend it to lovers of young adult and to those who want something short and sweet.
- What did you think of The Sky is Everywhere?