06 June 2011

Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Cover of The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson Title: The Sky Is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publication Date: 9 March 2010
Publisher: Dial
Source: Library
Summary (courtesy of goodreads.com):

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

I'm just going to come right out and say it, I read this book solely for the cover.  Seriously.

Unfortunately, it came at a bad time for me.  Well, not so much for me.  More like it came at a bad time for...it.  I imagine, in a perfect world where I hadn't chosen to read The Sky Is Everywhere between If I Stay and Cracked Up To Be, two books with moderately similar concepts (hey, someone's dead/missing!  how do we deal with it?!) that I enjoyed a considerable amount more than this book, I would like it better.  But it's not a perfect world, and I did read it between those two books, and so, mostly, I just found it annoying.

My main complaint about this book is the author's inability to write dialogue that doesn't involve a run on sentence lacking any consideration for subjects or conjunctions.  Thirty pages in I wanted to stop reading simply because of the way characters talked.  I have never heard anyone in real life eradicate completely relevant words from their sentences the way the characters in this book do, much less an entire community of people.  It's like, just come to life out of the pages so I can slap you, please.

Furthermore, Lennie is just obnoxious.  I truly did not understand the "half of our hearts make one whole of her heart" crap that was her excuse for fooling around with her dead sister's fiancĂ©.  I feel like "oh, my sister's dead, I don't know what I was thinking" was a sorry justification for her actions, especially after she clearly states just as much, and then does the same stupid thing again.  The whole thing just didn't work for me and I hated Lennie for it, which I'm not sure was the intention.

But just so this review (rant?) isn't all bad, I will say that I liked the resolution with the poems that are "found" throughout the book.  And the general idea that "the sky is everywhere."  Honestly, I think the story was mostly good, but then the characters had to came along and ruin it by being annoying and stupid and poor users of the English language.


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