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The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky Is EverywhereSince the death of her older sister Bailey, Lennie hasn’t known what to do about her life. Everything just seems to blah now. Lennie barely enjoys the things she used to, like reading and playing her clarinet. She just feels like no one understands what she’s going through. But when she reconnects with Toby and meets Joe. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend and is the only person Lennie feels she can completely relate to. Joe, a gorgeous and musically talented boy, has just moved into town, and his warm and infectious smile, when beaming on Lennie, always makes her feel better. But one thing leads to the next and Lennie finds herself struggling to balance the two boys in her life. Sooner or later, she’ll have to choose between the one who comforts her in her grief or the other who makes her see all the goodness in the world.

There are a handful of words that could describe The Sky Is Everywhere, such as sweet, quirky, and uplifting, but unique is definitely not one of them. I don’t think I could count how many times I’ve seen the storyline of sibling and/or best friend dies and the one left behind is stuck juggling a world full of grief and boys or any variation of that. It takes spectacular writing to make and overused storyline appealing at all, and I’m sorry to say debut author Nelson just doesn’t have it. It seemed that Nelson was trying too hard at times to add flowery and unnecessary metaphors and language to make the lackluster story perhaps deeper, but it was never really tied in all that well. The only thing that really shone for me in this novel were the unusual characters, particularly the more minor ones like Big and Gram. Their funny strangeness almost made up for the unoriginal and sometimes just awkward plot in the rest of the book. Overall, I think The Sky Is Everywhere is a mildly instersting tale to read, but it’s not one that really stands out in any significant way.

This novel may be enjoyed by fans of Saving Zoë by Alyson Noël, A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell, Wish by Alexandra Bullen, and Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley.

Rating: 3.25

Review copy from publisher Penguin

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