Friday, April 23, 2010

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Nelson, Jandy The Sky is Everywhere, 272 pgs Dial; Language~PG-13, Sexual Content~PG-13; Violence~G

Lennie’s world has collapsed in on itself. Was it just four weeks ago that her beloved sister and confidant Bailey suddenly died? Bailey’s death has created a gaping hole in the lives of Lennie, Gram, Uncle Big, and Bailey’s boyfriend Toby. When she returns to school, she finds Joe Fountaine, a new student fresh from Paris, sitting in her chair in band. His smile lights up the universe, it is so bright. How can anything ever be bright and cheerful in her life ever again? Caught up in their own grief, Toby and Lennie seek out each other for comfort. They seem to be drawn towards each other. Lennie wonders how she can want to be held by and kissed by Bailey’s boyfriend not weeks after her sister’s death? Then as summer begins, Joe keeps unexpectedly showing up. Their friendship quickly develops into something much more. She wants to be with Joe, but Toby understands her grief.

In a beautiful debut novel, Nelson has written a story dealing with grief but overflowing with love. Her prose and poetry is so effective in drawing the reader in. While the swearing is not frequent and mostly consists of “g’s” there are 5 “f’s.” There is one heavy make-out scene that while not graphic, does consist of clothes beginning to be removed. The characters discuss sex, but not in detail and there is no on or off page sex. There is recreational drug use by a side character and under-age drinking but this also is more of a side note. I would highly recommend this novel to most if not all high schools.

HS—ESSENTIAL Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

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