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Bookish Ames

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.
~~Louisa May Alcott

The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson The Sky is Everywhere is one intense book! I was so caught up in what was happening to Lennie, our heroine, that I had to put the book down a few times and take a break. I was almost tempted to read the ending to put an end to all the suspense - and I never do that!

Our story opens up one month after the death of Bailey, Lennie's older sister. She's still reeling from Bailey's sudden death and isolating herself from friends and family. Lennie is also trying to deal with the fact that ever since Bailey passed, she's been one huge ball of raging hormones - noticing guys when they've never even been a blip on her radar before. One guy that totally rocks her world is Parisian transplant, Joe Fontaine, musician extraordinaire. The other guy, unfortunately, is Bailey's boyfriend, Toby. Joe brightens up Lennie's life but Toby keeps her memories of Bailey alive. He gets her in a way no one else does.

Lennie was such an amazing character for someone so young. What got me was her relationship with her sister. Imagine a race horse - there's a companion pony leading that race horse to the starting gate. Lennie thinks of herself as that companion pony to the star. She's trying to find her way without her sister to lead the way. Their relationship also had an effect on Lennie's musical aspirations. Lennie gave up her dream of going to Juilliard because Bailey, an aspiring actress, didn't get accepted to that prestigious school. As you can see, Bailey had a very important impact on Lennie's life.

The secondary characters were interesting as well. There's Lennie's absent mother, she plays a big role in Lennie's life even though she isn't there. There's Joe and Toby. Then there's Gram and Uncle Big. Gram has a way with flowers and Big is the town Lothario. A richer cast of characters you won't find in another young adult novel. I loved everyone.

Music also plays an important role in Lennie's story. She plays the clarinet, she's 2nd seat in band. She's allowed a less talented girl to get first seat. And her connection with Joe is also through music.

Another thing I really loved was Lennie's writing. She writes her thoughts and poems on little scraps of paper and leaves them around town, she doesn't actually commit anything to a notebook. She lets her words loose into the world, and those words were powerful.

The Sky is Everywhere is an intense and enjoyable debut novel. I highly recommend it.