The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonBook Title/Author: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Publisher/Year:  Dial 2010
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
Series: No
Other Books From Author: None

Amazon| Goodreads | Jandy Nelson’s website

Seventeen year old Lennie has her world rocked when her older sister Bailey (who is also her best friend & partner in crime) tragically dies. Still trying to deal with the aftermath, Lennie tries to continue on with life like everything is normal — like she’s still the same shy, bookworm-y, band geek she always was with little to no experience with boys — but she soon discovers that everything is different. In her grief, she finds herself having feelings for two guys. One is her sister’s boyfriend, Toby, who she shares a connection with that nobody else understands. The other is the new guy in school who always seems to show up where Lennie is. Lennie tries to wade through her romantic feelings while dealing with her immense grief and the huge hole of emptiness she feels with Bailey not around.
This book wrecked me! I’m a glutton for punishment and know that I’m going to feel a lot of things reading any books that deal with grief. When done right, I’m a mess and feel like I’m reliving it all over again.  The Sky Is Everywhere is probably the most poignant,  SPOT ON story of grief that I’ve ever read. It pierced my heart and made me feel sorrow but it was balanced by the beauty of Nelson’s words and the journey of healing and of love Lennie also endures. And the thing is, it’s not all doom and gloom like I thought it was going to be but it was quite hilarious at points in times. Some of the things Lennie said, thought and did made me giggle. Case in point:

Joe smiles an embarrassed half smile at Gram and Big, leans against the counter, his trumpet case strategically held over his crotch.  Thank  God I don’ have one of  those. Who’d want a lust-o-meter sticking out the middle  of  their body?

The Sky is Everywhere is probably one of those most lyrical and poetic books I’ve read recently. If you love savoring beautiful passages that make you take pause before you can move on, you’ll love this one.  I will be honest..I don’t often dog-ear books but there were SO MANY passages that I needed to remember that I just HAD TO. They were either just gorgeous and beautiful passages or those types of passages that really put into words some of my own grief. 

“My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a 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.”


“According to all the experts, it’s time for me to talk about what I’m going through… I can’t. I’d need a new alphabet, one made of falling, of tectonic plates shifting, of the deep devouring dark.”

There were so many fabulous characters in this book and I really, more than the romance aspect of this book, really loved the relationship between that of Lennie, her uncle Big and Gram. They were just some remarkable and memorable characters and I loved some of the really tender moments Lennie shares with them towards the end of the book. I DID like both Toby and Joe Fontaine and her best friend but I really loved Big and Gram.

I’ll be honest, at first, I was really confused by this really quick romance between Lennie and Joe. Not so much on Lennie’s part — grief seems to do some crazy things in terms of emotions as I myself experienced — but I didn’t really get nor believe that Joe saw anything that spectacular in Lennie or really knew anything of her….at least from what we knew of the interactions. Later on towards the book it made a little more sense to me but I was kind of suspect of it initially. I did end up really finding him quite swoonworthy because he seemed so genuine but it took a little while for me to get there. There love was the sort of aww inducing, stand-up-and-cheer-loudly romances that I love watching! Poor Toby. Poor confused Toby. I didn’t hate him at all. I felt sorry for him — he was carrying some mighty heavy things and both he and Lennie just really misinterpreted the feelings of sorrow and loneliness they had for something else. It was sad to me.

My Final Thought: I really enjoyed The Sky is Everywhere! I’d highly recommend it to lovers of contemporary YA who love lyrical and poetic prose that makes you feel ALL OF THE THINGS and then some. You’ll find yourself just stopping every now and then to savor it. I’ve read a lot of books dealing with grief but this one was honestly one of those most true and genuine stories that just pierced my heart and made me experience the same gut wrenching, inner turmoil that Lennie does. I cried a lot during this book, for a lot of personal reasons, but also because I came to care so deeply for these characters and their pain, their mistakes, their sorrow, their bright speckle of hope become my own.

You Might Also Enjoy: If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Please Ignore Vera Dietz by AS King

Book Review On A Post It:

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.


  1. YAY! This is one of my favourite YA books and was even the first review on my blog. I didn’t know how to review it, there were a lot of flaily hands and EMOTIONS. The book was more solid for me outside of the romance too, they were done so well. I really love Lennie’s relationship her her sister and Big & Gram. In some ways, I actually found Toby’s relationship with Lennie more compelling? Because Joe is super sweet and all but Lennie and Toby had more complexity. Isn’t Jandy Nelson’s prose GORGEOUS? I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

  2. WONDERFUL review, completely agree with everything! The Sky is Everywhere is probably one of my favourite YA books ever because it’s just so beautiful on every level possible. The poetry sprinkled throughout was also a fun little treat – I’m not often one to read (or understand) a lot of poetry but it was all just so gut wrenching. And I was surprised that I didn’t hate Toby either! When I first heard about Lennie & Toby together and the history, I was certain I would disapprove of it — but it’s just framed so well that you completely GET it. So absolutely beautiful, and poetic is really the perfect word for it. I can’t wait to see what else Jandy Nelson comes out with

  3. Great review. This is definitely in the top three of my favourite books of all time. I just adored every minute and had to stop and pause so many times at some of her sentences. I ended up reading half of them out to my boyfriend and being like ISN’T THIS AMAZING!
    I want to read this over and over again. Can’t say how much I love it.
    Thanks for the review and recommendations. I will have to check some of them out.

  4. I love it when someone likes this book since I enjoyed it so much when I read it last year. Yay!

  5. I really enjoyed this book, too. I read it and Saving June by Hannah Harrington and Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers right around the same time. Probably a mistake because they’re pretty similar in heavy plots. I agree that the writing was really beautiful in this book, but did have some struggles with the two boys.

  6. Definitely pegged this as a book YOU would love! Glad you did 🙂

  7. Beautiful review, Jamie! This book really found a place in my heart and like you, I couldn’t dislike Lennie or Toby, they had so many emotions to deal with.

  8. This one WAS a fab book. I read it last year but didn’t review it (fail) but I LOVED IT. And I’m so glad you did, too. It was tragic 🙁

  9. OMG, Jamie. i’m sooooooooooooooo glad that you actually read this book and liked it so much. You don’t understand. This is one of my all-time faves ever. Nelson’s writing is so deep and vivid it packs a punch straight through the heart. There were moments where I’d just sob because of something so insightful and so in tune with Lennie’s grief that she wrote. The whirlwind romance with sexy, adorable Joe and moving forward despite the tragedy… gosh, this book scored my hearts. The Sky Is Everywhere is revered.

  10. Awesome review! This book keeps showing up in my recommended reads on GoodReads … guess I should give it a shot =P

  11. I just lost my grandma a couple weeks ago and it’s been really difficult. I’ve never lost anyone I was actually close to, so I’m not even sure how to grieve. It’s been very strange for me and I still find myself just randomly crying in the middle of the night.
    I’ve been looking for good books about dealing with grief and death and this one sounds great. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Jamie :]

  12. This is such a great review. I remember reading this book on January 4th last year and telling my husband that it would be my favorite book all year (he, of course, looked at me like I’m crazy) and I was totally right. So beautiful. I hope she writes more!

  13. I think I’m going to be thinking of the term “lust-o-meter” for a long, long time now 🙂 I’ve had this book on my shelf for an embarrassingly long time and your review was just the kick in the pants I needed to get on that soon!

  14. The cover of this book is so pretty! I’ve actually seen it at the library and I almost checked it out – before I realized I have a ton of books to finish. That having been said, after reading your review, I’m kind of tempted to just go and get it and devour it because I LOVE beautifully written books with passages like the ones you posted.

  15. This is a great review and makes me so glad I ordered this from the library. It sounds beautiful and powerful, though I hope it doesn’t mess me up as much as A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness did (another great book about grief and loss).


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