Lennie’s older sister Bailey was everything to her, so when she dies suddenly, Lennie is set adrift her powerful grief. Only Bailey’s boyfriend Toby seems to understand what she’s going through, and when Lennie’s with him, she feels Bailey’s presence most. But then there’s new boy Joe, who brings with him sunlight, sky, and joy – all things Lennie thinks are lost to her. Or are they?
I’ll be honest, despite all the glowing reviews I’ve seen around, I was wary. I really did not feel like reading another "teen dealing with death of relative" novel. Been there, done that…you know? And the first ...oh…35 pages…were fine, but not really exciting me on any level. Then page 36 happened. And my eyes got huge and I thought – ok then…I don’t think this is going to be like every other book out there.
It’s not. It’s so raw, so honest, and it’s not afraid to expose dark moments of the soul and to push them out into the light for incredibly close (and sometimes uncomfortable) examination. Lennie is devastated, not just by her sister’s death, but also by the realization that with her sister gone, she is finally able to come into her own – to sprout wings and fly. And if that’s not enough survivor’s guilt to carry around, Lennie also makes some questionable choices on the Toby front to satisfy certain primal urges that jeopardize not only her sanity, but also her mad-passionate/sweetly dorky relationship with Joe – owner of the best eyelashes in YA fiction. If you don’t swoon when he bats those puppies, you are dead inside, my friend.
It’s been awhile since I was so swept up in a story that I ignored the clock and read well past my bedtime, feverishly underlining passages. It brought me back to when I was 19…getting the phone call that my mom had passed away…and then feeling guilty for enjoying all the sympathy hugs I was getting from the hot guys on campus (yes – I finally admit to this…sad, but true). Let’s just say I completely understood where Lennie was coming from when she asks, “What kind of girl wants to kiss every boy at funeral, wants to maul a guy in a tree after making out with her (dead) sister’s boyfriend the previous night?” Not that I have a sister. But I think you get the point.
Anyway, there’s so much more to love here. To support (and counterpoint) Lennie’s emotionally charged character arc, we get a range of characters – the kooky grandmother, the most original pot smoking uncle ever, the winsome (and neglected) best friend – all who have their own issues to work through, but are also always ready for a good healing laugh.
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE is out in hardcover. Find out more about it at the author’s website (where you can also see the book trailers). PS - I have the UK edition and it looks like this: