A Taste of Heaven: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonSaturday, February 08, 2014
The Sky is EverywhereGoodreads | Author's website
by Jandy Nelson
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Published: March 22, 2011 by Speak
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey's boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town. While Toby can't see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it's up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey. A remarkable debut novel perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block.
The Gist: Following the aftermaths of her sister’s death, we find Lennie—clarinettist, poem- and lasagna-maker, and Heathcliff-obsessed—still in sorrow. Enter Toby—her sister’s boyfriend and still grieving. With him, Lennie feels an overwhelmingly sense of completeness she lost when her sister died. Enter Joe Fontaine—musical genius, eyelash-batter, and grin-abundant. With him, she feels happy and new, and makes her believe she could start again.
As she struggles to continue living after her sister’s demise, Lennie will often do wrong things, sometimes right ones, and always commit both passionately.
1. Writing was… extraordinary! It was remarkably raw and gut-wrenching. Nelson writes in a way that the reader would feel the character’s sentiments even ten times more than them. I want to quote the whole book.
2. I liked Lennie Walker’s character. I liked how sometimes perceptive and open-minded she was and other times selfish. Perhaps even her overthinking I like. I liked how she was the right amount of messed up and the right amount of sane. At first, I actually thought she was mentally ill and it almost put me off. But then, as I stayed in her head a little longer, I started to understand her and even wholly admired her line of thought.
3. The only thing I disliked was how the story’s pacing was slow-going at first. (The book is divided in two parts). In the first part, I felt the story dragging. Reading it felt tedious, and I couldn’t even feel the romance. But as it progressed and things became more tricky, I couldn’t stop reading. Things started spiralling out of control, and maybe that’s just how I liked it. I identified with Lennie and became engrossed with the romance. Believe me, the love’s contagious. I became eager to know how it’ll end up. And bam! There was no other way to end it that magnificently and perfect than how Jandy Nelson did.
4. The format of the novel was also nice. I enjoyed reading the poems/journal-like entries that were squeezed in between chapters. They were so deep and reflective and thought-provoking.
Overall: The Sky is Everywhere is a riddle of sorts: hard to decipher in the beginning, profound in the end. The Sky is Everywhere is as heart-breaking as it is hilarious.
Favorite quote: “And then he smiles, and in all the places around the globe where it's night, day breaks.”
Rating: 4 stars