There is an air conditioner in my room. It watches me when I dress. It watches me when I sleep. It whispers in my head.
And it's trying to kill me.
On that note, let it be known that I'm rather behind in book reviews. I've read five excellent books I wish to review since this Sunday (it's hot, there's nothing else to do! *whines* you can't expect me to write in triple-digit weather! and I can't use the air conditioner because it's trying to kill me, haven't you been paying attention?), and I have reviewed about zero of them.
Anyway, this is my review for a super-duper-positively-amaaaaaaazing book that gave me the happies when I read it.
Synopsis: 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.
This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.
Details: "The Sky is Everywhere" by Jandy Nelson, 288 pages, 4.5 stars on Amazon
My Thoughts: Let's get something straight. I don't like Sarah Dessen and those types of books in general. I mean, Sarah Dessen is an amazing writer, but the stories just don't work for me. If Dessen-type romance was going to happen to me in real life, I'm, you know, completely and entirely open to that, but I'm not too interested in reading about it.
I didn't expect to like "The Sky is Everywhere" so much, but for whatever reason, I absolutely loved it. The story is heartbreakingly beautiful, and although it didn't move me to tears, there were parts that made me feel depressed for Lennie.
Writing a great book about romance is hard. Writing a great book about grief is hard. But writing a great book about romance and grief is incredibly hard, because there's such a huge need for balance. But Jandy Nelson pulled it off amazingly. She did Lennie's conflicting emotions wonderfully, and the plot, while predictable at points, worked extremely well.
The prose was poetic, almost lyrical, and I love the inclusion of Lennie's poetry and how she leaves her poems lying around on tree branches, slips of paper, walls, etc. Overall, this was a well-crafted book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA! 4 smilies out of 5.
Oh, and a note about the cover - at first, I didn't like it, but now I think it's absolutely perfect with the misshapen heart and the sky.