The problem with this book is that it isn’t I’ll Give You the Sun.
If there’s one thing to know about little book blogger me, it’s that I’ll Give You the Sun is my favourite book in the world. I wrote a love letter to it, and whenever anyone asks me about it, I say simply “it sings the same song as my heart.” There’s no other way to describe my relationship to that book. Even though the description of The Sky is Everywhere didn’t really appeal to me, I decided I had to read it because Jandy Nelson wrote it and if it was even one iota as good as I’ll Give You the Sun, then it will be a great read.
And…. it was. I was genuinely surprised with how much I ended up liking this book. It starts off slow, but I ended up flipping pages quicker and quicker as I raced towards the end. I even stayed up late to binge the last 100 pages because I felt like I had to. The second half of the novel is definitely stronger, in my opinion, and a lot more emotions swirl about, resulting in more things happening. It’s not what I would call unpredictable, but it gives you the ending you want, and maybe even need.
Lennie, our fierce protagonist, is so lovable. She is broken, full of flaws and heartbreak, but you keep rooting for her. I was somewhat surprised with how young she comes off– until I realized that yeah, she is young. It’s refreshing to have a teenage voice that comes off so young and unwise compared to some of the more sophisticated voices found in YA. It makes Lennie’s story that much more heartbreaking (which, if you haven’t bothered to look it up on Goodreads already, is: Lennie’s sister died suddenly and she’s trying to cope with it, as well as dealing with her absent mother, and the fact that she’s been making out with her sister’s boyfriend while sort of falling for the new boy in town– it’s as cliche as you’d expect, yet it’s still heartwarming and beautiful, I promise).
I’m not much one for romance, but I am always here for the family plot. If Nelson knows anything, it’s how to write family. Lennie’s relationship to her grandmother and her Uncle Big is absolutely stunning. They’re all messy people, and they’re all strange and wonderful, and they link together so beautifully. This book is about loss, but it’s also about absence, and saying goodbye. Lennie’s family supports her, holds her up, and she does the same to them. The romance is sweet, yes, but read this story for the family plot. I was surprised to find myself crying as hard as I did– Nelson is so soft with family, and I love that about her books.
I could keep babbling on, but I think I will stop here. The Sky is Everywhere surprised me: I thought I would like it, but I didn’t expect it to touch my heart as much as it did. It’s a good book to curl up with, and to thaw that cold heart of yours. It deals with grief well, as it does with losing and finding yourself again. It’s a nice book about love, growing up, loss, and family. If you want to feel found, this is the book for you.
4 lost poems out of 5.