First off, before I get down to my reviewy business, the winner of the Blood Magic giveaway is....
Ria O'Grady :D
Congrats Ria! I'll email you soon for your address :D
The Sky is Everywhere
June 6th 2011 (UK ppb)
Walker Books (UK)
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and 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 center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.
This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.
I loved this book. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. And I haven't read a book this beautiful in a while. It was just so brilliant, and it wasn't just beautiful, it was heart wrenching and heart warming and funny and romantic and just... Amazing.
I've always been a bit worried about reading this book, I'll admit, because I was worried I might have worked it up too much in my head, and that it might be a let down for me like it has been for some, but it just wasn't. I just couldn't stop reading. It's the sort of book that even when I'm done with it, I dream about it, I think about all the other possibilities, the characters and their future, you know?
I did find the first 50 or so pages a bit slow, and a bit confusing, but as soon as things started to click into place, I just got it. I got Lennie, because that's how I feel about my sister (she's not dead or anything, I just feel a bit like a companion pony too you know? ) And I got her grief. I got that realisation that they're not coming back, they don't have a future, that they're dead. But I couldn't feel like Bailey was dead. She was just so present in the book, you could feel her on the pages, pouring through from Lennie's memories and just pure love for her. And I know some people didn't like Lennie, that they thought she was pathetic or something, but I just couldn't see it. Her sister just died, and I can't even comprehend how close they were, how painful it must have been for her. And the way how she acted around both Toby and Joe was believable, because people do strange things when their grieving, and that intensity between 2 people who have lost the same person is there.
I loved Joe, I really, really did, until the first half of part 2. His behaviour was completely understandable and I get why he acted like that, and it ultimately helped Lennie, but still, couldn't he have gone about it a bit more sensitively? The girl was already hurting so much, he didn't have to go about what he did so tactlessly. He wouldn't even let her explain. And I know he's been hurt before, and he was right to do what he did, but still! He couldn't even imagine what Lennie was going through. He could've been a bit more gentle. But he made up for himself in the end. He's a good guy really, just a bit rash sometimes.
My favourite part of The Sky is Everywhere though was probably the poems. They were great! I mean, even I who generally just doesn't like poetry a whole lot (though I'm starting to), I just loved it. They were so beautiful to read, and so raw. They really helped me grasp Lennie and Bailey better, and I love the idea of just scattering them, letting it all go. It just all fit so well.
The Sky is Everywhere is a beautiful book that will probably make you laugh and cry, and swoon and sigh and it will make me you mad and angry and so happy and content at the end. Or at least that's what I felt reading it. Plus the poems are awesome, and the whole book is just stunning. 5 stars.