The Sky Is Everywhere

The Sky is Everywhere


Title: The Sky is Everywhere

Author: Jandy Nelson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Walker Books

Release Date: February 5th 2015

Rating:

Five Stars

For fans of John Green, David Levithan and Rainbow Rowell: a beautiful, funny and heartfelt novel about love and forgiveness. Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker 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 centre stage of her own life—and suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two boys. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow; the other comforts her in it. But the two can’t collide without Lennie’s world exploding…

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

There once was a girl who found herself dead.
She peered over the ledge of heaven
and saw that back on earth
her sister missed her too much,
was way too sad,
so she crossed some paths
that would not have crossed,
took some moments in her hand
shook them up
and spilled them like dice
over the living world.
It worked.
The boy with the guitar collided
with her sister.
“There you go, Len,” she whispered. “The rest is up to you.”

I adored Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun so as soon as I finished I jumped right into The Sky is Everywhere. Both books focus on the characters and their journey, it shows them broken down by grief and by their actions before it slowly builds them back up again. Lennie lost her sister and suddenly her world is changed forever. It feels like there is a hole in her family where Bailey used to be and nothing can fill that hole. She pushes away her grandmother and her uncle, pushes away everyone except her sister’s boyfriend.

Toby and Lennie are drawn together by their grief, and though both of them feel guilty for betraying Bailey they cannot stop because Lennie feels that Toby is the only one who understands her grief. But the more time she spends with Toby the more she realises all the things she misses about her sister’s last few months, the secrets she kept and the life she would have lived had she survived.

Then when Lennie returns to school again, faces her classmates after the tragedy that fell on her family, she meets Joe; the new boy from France who plays the horn, the clarinet, the guitar. Joe makes her smile again, smile through her grief, he brings her out of her shell.

“I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.”

Lennie is lost without Bailey and she doesn’t handle it well. She seems to latch onto Toby because he was the other half of Bailey’s heart and she needs him to help her find her way through the grief. But Joe makes her smile again, he makes her feel things she never has before. The Sky is Everywhere is split into two parts; the first follows Lennie as she sleepwalks through life and through her feelings surrounding her sister’s death, but then Joe comes along and she seems to wake up again.

…The Characters

“Everyone has always said I look like Bailey, but I don’t.
I have grey eyes to her green,
an oval face to her heart-shaped one,
I’m shorter, scrawnier, paler, flatter, plainer, tamer.”

Lennie is a complicated character but we see her at both her bad and her good and I loved the journey she took throughout the whole novel. She starts off walking around in a cloud of grief. She writes poems for her sister and leaves them all over the city but she refuses to talk about her emotions with her grandmother or her uncle. Instead she bottles it all up, refusing to even pack away her sister’s things, keeping them around as a shrine to her.

But even before her sister’s death Lennie seemed to be slowly retreating into herself. She gave up her clarinet lessons, gave up on first chair in her school’s bad, gave up on her dreams of going to Julliard and gave up on playing. She became almost a shell of herself and it is only as she spends time with Joe that we really see the girl she once was when her sister was alive and when she was still playing.

“When he plays
all the flowers swap colours
and years and decades and centuries
of rain pour back into the sky.”

Joe seems to be the sun to Lennie’s darkness. He is bright, open, friendly, and always seems to be smiling. He likes Lennie from pretty much the moment he sees her and he is the one who reaches out to her; he doesn’t give up when she pushes him away. He draws Lennie out of her shell, makes her smile again; and he seems to do the same for her family. I loved Joe’s character, he is the kind of person everyone wants in their life and from the second they met Lennie clearly felt the same way.

“Oh, God,” he whispers, reaching his hand behind my neck and bringing my lips to his. “Let’s let the whole fucking world explode this time.”
And we do.

Her relationship with Toby was fuelled by grief, fuelled by missing Bailey and not properly knowing how to go on without her. The two seemed to crash together and when it was over they couldn’t seem to help feeling guilty, but at the same time they can’t stop reaching for one another. Lennie’s relationship with Joe was all light and happiness. He drew her from her grief and showed her there was a way for her to move on from what happened to Bailey. Lennie is always going to grieve over her sister, she is always going to feel lost and alone without Bailey but Joe helps her to smile again, to move past what happened and realise her sister wouldn’t want her to go on like she had been. There is kind of a ‘love triangle’ in this book but I didn’t think there was any doubt who Lennie would ultimately end up choosing.

I loved reading Lennie’s relationship with her family as well. Her whole life it had only been her, her sister, her grandmother and her uncle after her mother ran off when she was a baby to travel the world. Lennie and her sister used to make up stories about their mother’s adventures and her grandmother always used to say she would come home one day, but as Lennie discovers more about who her sister was she also discovers more about who her mother is.

…The Setting

“Sadness pulses out of us as we walk. I almost expect the trees to lower their branches when we pass, the stars to hand down some light. I breathe in the horsy scent of eucalyptus, the thick sugary pine, aware of each breath I take, how each one keeps me in the world a few seconds longer. I taste the sweetness of the summer air on my tongue and want to just gulp and gulp and gulp it into my body—this living, breathing, heart-beating body of mine.”

Lennie’s home sounds like such a beautiful place to live; there is so much to see and discover with Lennie as she wanders the woods with Joe or reminisces about the times spent with her sister. But there are still so many secrets in her home which she slowly discovers through the book. Grief plays a big part in this story and it is incredibly well-written, there were honestly parts where I felt like I was going to cry. This book is incredibly moving and everything Lennie felt I did as well as I was reading. She writes poems for her sister and leaves them all over the city maybe hoping Bailey will somehow be able to see them; poems which were beautiful to read. Anyone who has lost someone close to them can relate to how Lennie feels, how lost and broken, and this book was honestly a treat to read. If I could I’d go back and read it all again it was so beautiful.


I love Jandy Nelson, she is now one of my favourite contemporary YA novelists. Her books aren’t all cute and fluffy, there are so many deeper emotions that play a part and effect all her characters. The stories are all so moving you can’t help but love them, and the characters are so well-written and their relationships so touching you can’t help but root for them. Jandy Nelson has become one of my auto-buy authors and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

What did you think of The Sky is Everywhere? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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29 thoughts on “The Sky Is Everywhere

    1. It’s definitely become one of my all-time favourite books, and Jandy Nelson one of my all-time favourite authors. Ohh I really hope you love The Sky is Everywhere just as much as I’ll Give You the Sun, I can’t decide which I like the best 🙂
      And thanks, I’m glad you liked my review 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel like I’ve read this book before – I may even have rated it on Goodreads – but I can’t for the life of me remember the details! I’m glad you enjoyed it though, and it is a very difficult, very tragic situation for the characters – was the writing style the same as in I’ll Give You The Sun?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess you must have read it a long time ago then. I would definitely recommend re-reading it if you have! There was only one POV and the story didn’t jump between times like I’ll Give You the Sun but reading this book it was obviously by Jandy Nelson, if that makes sense. Yeah it wasn’t an easy situation for any of the characters but it was very well written, I was near tears during parts of this book.

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      1. That makes sense! I’m not sure I like Nelson’s writing – for me IGYTS was very long-winded and… overly metaphorical? I’m glad you liked it and this one, though – the plot sounds interesting so I might just check it out. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah there were a lot of metaphors in IGYtS, there’s less in this book. Well at least I don’t remember reading so many of them but I think it was still long-winded in places. I hope you enjoy it if you do decide to pick it up 😀

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  2. Aggghhhhh I really must read this ASAP! I’ve been excited to read The Sky is Everywhere ever since I finished reading her novel I’ll Give You the Sun, and even before that. 🙂 I’ve heard so many amazing things, and this review just confirmed it! I’m so glad to see you enjoyed this so much. I want to read itttttt! Great review, Beth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you just read this book as soon as humanly possible! 😀 I started this one as soon as I finished I’ll Give You the Sun and thought it was BRILLIANT, I can’t decide which I like better!
      I really really hope you love this book as much as I did (though if you loved I’ll Give You the Sun I’m sure you will) and thanks 🙂 I’m glad you liked my review!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! It was so addicting, so easy to read and did I mention addicting? 😂 Totally. While reading, my love for Joe and Lennie together made my quite frustrated at times because of Lennie and Toby, but truthfully I wouldn’t have it otherwise because overall the characters feel so much more developed? If that makes any sense? 😅

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      2. Definitely addictive! It was the same when I was reading I’ll Give You the Sun, I just couldn’t put it down 😀
        Oh I know what you mean. There were times when I was like, ‘Lennie what are you doing?!’ But her development throughout the whole book was so well done it just felt true to her character.

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  3. Such a great review and YES A FANTASTIC BOOK! I can never decide whether I like this one or I’ll Give You The Sun more because they’re both so beautiful! Jandy Nelson has become an auto-buy for me too, she describes character and story in such vivid detail, it’s addictive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Hollie! I’m glad you liked my review so much, and YES I am exactly the same. I cannot decide between this book and I’ll Give You the Sun which I like more. Jandy Nelson’s characters and stories are so well written and beautiful. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next! 😀

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  4. Amazing review, once again! I’m so, so happy to hear that you liked this one, it is one of the greatest books ever, if you ask me. Jandy Nelson really knows how to make you feel things, and her books are far from the fluffy contemporaries. I really loved the characters as well, they are so relatable. I just love that book so much, it makes me so happy you loved it ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marie! And yep, I loved this book, honestly between this and I’ll Give You the Sun I can’t decide which I like the best 😀
      I would not class either of Jandy Nelson’s books as fluffy contemporary YA though they do have elements of that, just with heartbreak mixed in.
      I am so glad I came on WordPress and saw tons of people raving about I’ll Give You the Sun, I’m not sure how I would have discovered both these books if I hadn’t!

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  5. This is one of my very favorite contemporary YA books, it made me cry several times. I lost my sister at a young age so I could relate all too well at many points, and the language Jandy Nelson uses is just beautiful! Wish I could write like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s become one of my favourite contemporary books as well. I’m sorry you lost your sister, I imagine this book must have been hard to read at times because of it. It was hard for me to read in places. God I know what you mean, I’d love to be able to write like Jandy Nelson, she has a way of creating the most beautiful stories and characters.

      Liked by 1 person

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