‘The Sky is Everywhere’ – Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere

Lennie, seventeen, lives with her grandmother and uncle, and is trying to come to terms with the sudden death of her sister, Bailey, just four weeks ago. When we first meet Lennie she is stuck in her grief-bouncing around trying to make sense of how she feels but talking to no one about her feelings.

Reading the blurb I thought this would be a rather lightweight read. How wrong!

Immediately I was intrigued by the inclusion of the random words written to Bailey that are found scattered round town. These bear testimony to Lennie’s feelings, but also help us to understand the relationships between the characters.

From the start I had an uncomfortable feeling about the situation developing between Bailey’s ex, Toby, and Lennie. They were both dealing with grief in their own way, but not really addressing the key issue.┬áThis, of course, sets up a collision course for Lennie’s relationship with new boy, Joe Fontaine. This relationship was incredibly intense and, if I’m being cynical, totally exaggerated but while I was reading it I totally believed in it and wanted to watch them wring every bit of happiness out of it that they could.

Throughout, there is a focus on grief and how people survive such events but I felt this had a really life-affirming message.