The Sky is Everywhere (by Jandy Nelson)

2 03 2011

A book about grief, love and family…. When a book comes in an edition like Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere, there’s a lot that has to go wrong for the cat to not like the book at least a teensy weensy little bit… I confess, I do on occasion judge a book by its cover, at least initially…, especially really recent novels, because I’m more than convinced that in the age of digitalization and throwaway consumer society, authors these days try their darnest to have full control over their writings, to stand out from the crowd, to make their artistic mark or what have you, so that also includes the cover of their book! On the other hand, at the same time the cat’s expectations were raised pretty high on this one…

But, let me first just gush about the absolutely gorgeous binding of the edition the cat got her paws on! Seriously, this is probably the nicest looking book ever (prove me wrong if you can). The edition I read was like a Moleskine personal diary, light blue typeface, the pages interspersed with Lennie’s poems and writings about how she was coping with her sister’s death, printed on colored papers, which looked like envelopes, receipts, crumpled papers, music paper, pieces of a tree, etc. Absolutely beautiful! Here are a few images of the edition, so if you decide to read this book, try to get this edition!

Onto the story itself then… The Sky is Everywhere tells a “touching and tender” story, is how I would describe it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want action-packed muscle-stories all the time, I can appreciate feather light musings about love, loss, grief and choosing life over death like the best of them. And Jandy Nelson really does make it easy on the reader. The words just seem to touch the page and then float onwards and upwards and carry the story along for a good 350 pages… So once you start you’ll be caught up in Lennie’s world immediately, and you’ll just be taken along on a symphony of grief (over her sister Bailey’s death), lust & love (Toby vs. Joe), life & death (again in the choice of Joe vs. Toby) and  remembrance (Lennie’s family history, the story of her mother’s disappearance – she had the “restless gene”). Lennie’s a musician after all, and taking us along while she plays, or in this case, writes, her remembrance poems that she leaves behind all over town for everyone or no one in particular to find, is the best way to deal with the emptiness she feels after sister’s death.

The story just keeps on floating along, the writing is dreamy, the characters in the book are quirky. That’s all fine and dandy of course, but it’s also a bit risky because of the “forgettability” of it all. I know that in the long run I’ll remember the book more for the nice artifact I had in my paws than for the story itself (which, again don’t get me wrong, was touching and heartfelt).  In other words, the cat’s a bit mixed about this one. Liked it? Yes. Loved it? No.

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4 responses

18 05 2011
Emma Maree Reviews “The Sky is Everywhere” « E.Maree On Writing

[…] was a softcover with a textured cover and lovely full-colour images of Lennie's poems throughout. (Ringo the Cat has some pictures of this edition.) I haven't seen as unique and detailed an edition of a book […]

27 04 2013
Emma Maree Reviews | A Scottish YA writer reviews awesome books

[…] softcover with a textured cover and lovely full-colour images of Lennie’s poems throughout. (Ringo the Cat has some pictures of this edition.) I haven’t seen as unique and detailed an edition of a book […]

22 10 2016
Chayma

Where can i find this book ??

22 10 2016
Chaima

Where can i find this book !??
I am from tunisia and i didn’t find it 😦 … So if u know how can i find or buy this book …. Answer me …. Thank u 😀

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