Note: This review contains spoilers regarding The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.
Ever since I read (and loved) I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson, I have wanted to read The Sky is Everywhere. When I finally picked it up I was desperate to love it, and unfortunately I just didn’t 😢😢.
Th Sky is Everywhere is basically about a girl named Lennie whose sister has just died suddenly. It follows her and her family to an extent (her mum abandoned the sibling when they were young so Lennie lives with her Grandma and Uncle) as they deal with their grief and try and move on with their lives. It also features a love triangle and lots of poetry.
Before I picked up the book, I didn’t actually know that one of the central topics was a love traingle. As soon as I did discover this, I was a bit tentative because love triangles are literally one of my least favourite YA tropes. To be honest though, I didn’t mind the love triangle in this one so much. I think this is mainly because it was so clear that Lennie wasn’t in love with Toby, she was just struggling with her grief.
Love triangle aside though, I was confronted by another trope that I really hate in any genre to be honest and that is two girls being pitted against each other for no apparent reason. I am, of course, talking about Rachel. I never really understood the rivalry between Rachel and Lennie and more importantly, the reason for it. I just didn’t feel like the story needed this conflict and actually didn’t like Lennie calling Rachel a bitch, especially when she was annoyed at Rachel about Joe. To be honest it just felt a bit old fashioned and, personally, I’m not sure why it needed to be there.
On a more positive note, one thing I did like about the book (and when I say like I mean love!) was the poetry by Lennie scattered throughout. I just thought it was absolutely beautiful and sometimes when I was struggling to motivate myself to read this book, I would remind myself there was a poem coming at the end of the chapter. It was just beautiful.
There was also one other section of the book where I was like ‘yes, I love this’ and this was a passage quite near the end of the book where Lennie talks about her grief. She says:
My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away. It becomes part of you, step for step, breath for breath. 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.
I really do love this passage, it feels like poetry written as prose. In an interview with Jandy Nelson in the back of my edition of the book, Nelson says that this passage is ‘the whole book crammed into one paragraph’. So basically, I think I’m left in a situation where I love the message of the book, I’m just not that fond of the story.
So I feel a little bad at the moment because I feel like I have done two quite negative reviews in a row and I hate being down about books! To deal with this situation I have started rereading Carry On by Rainbow Rowell which I know I love so hopefully I can post a positive review of that soon!!