Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

If I'm honest, I never really ever planned to read this book before my sister bought it at the end of June.  I liked the sound of the synopsis and was interested in reading, but wasn't immediately drawn to it so much that I had ever went to buy it myself.  It always just sounded like your average contemporary to me, but nonetheless after hearing good things about Nelson's other book, I'll Give You The Sun, I decided to give it a go and hoped that it would exceed my expectations.  Unfortunately, whilst it was a very easy and quick read, I wasn't a big fan of this one and so didn't find myself pleasantly surprised by it, something I was hoping I would be going in.  

One of the aspects of this that I was most curious about going into it was the grief aspect, which I felt it dealt with really well.  Not only do I think the grief of Lennie's whole family was well presented, but the way that storyline as a whole was integrated into the story was something else I really liked.  I also loved how it was shown that grief can affect everyone, not just those closest to the person who died, and that sometimes other people are suffering more than they are letting on.

However, as much as loved the grief storyline, I wasn't as keen on some of the other aspects of the plot, particularly towards the beginning of the book.  I felt as though almost all of the plot was simply a switch between a scene with Lennie and Toby and then one with her and Joe, instead of their being other aspects fitting in as well.  The romance and love triangle aspect seemed to take up so much of the story that it was only towards the end that we started to see other points begin to develop.

Moving back to a more positive note, I was a big fan of Lennie as a character, particularly because I didn't agree with everything she did and every decision she made.  I love flawed characters so much and so I really enjoyed watching Lennie struggle with things, as it made her seem real, but then slowly begin to figure things out and grow as she learnt how to deal with certain situations and her grief.  Her mistakes made her seem so much more relatable, especially as it was clear they were mistakes and that she didn't mean to hurt anyone, and wasn't a bad person.

Similarly to Lennie, I also liked all of our other key characters in this, particularly Toby, whose relationship with Lennie I really grew to love.  I really enjoyed seeing how the two bonded over their loss but how eventually they managed to help each move on and make up for some of their mistakes.  As for some of the other characters, I also loved the uniqueness of Lennie's family, in the form of her Gran and Uncle, and loved the dynamics between them all, as well as her friendship with Sarah.  And, although he wasn't my favourite, I did also like Joe as a character on his own, and how he stood up for and stuck by who he was for the majority of the book.  

Sticking with Joe, one of the key aspects of this book was the romance itself, which unfortunately I was not a fan of at all.  Not only did this book include some serious insta-love, but the love triangle, which I am not a fan of at the best of times, was also done so badly that I couldn't find myself truly rooting for either pair.  I found that I could predict exactly how the romance was going to play out and so was never surprised by any of the plot twists or unexpected moments.

One of my favourtie things in a book is a unique format, and so its safe to say that this one was no different.  I really liked all of the little poems that were scattered throughout the story and felt it gave us so much more of an insight into Lennie as a character, as well as just giving it another unique aspect.  I think they also made the book, added with the easy writing style, so much more of a quicker read and generally just made the story move alot quicker. 

As for the ending, I hate to say that it was another part of this story that I really wasn't keen on at all.  Like the romance, I could guess almost exactly what was going to happen, and even then wasn't satisfied at all when it did.  It all just seemed a little rushed and so unrealistic how easily things tied up when just a couple of pages before it was nowhere near being solved.

Finally, one thing which I did really like about this was the musical aspect.  Although it wasn't as big a plot point as others, it was one I also enjoyed reading about and seeing pop up, and that I found made me actually like Lennie that little bit more.  

So, in conclusion, whilst I did think this was a really cute little read and did really enjoy certain aspects of it, it just really wasn't for me.  I just couldn't get passed my problems with the romance and the plot to enjoy it that much unfortunately, but I would say to still give it a go because I know that so many people do love this one.   

Character - Toby
Quote - 'If you're someone who knows the worst thing can happen at any time, aren't you also someone who knows the best thing can happen at any time too?' 

Relate a:
Song - Make it Right - The Mowgli's 
Where Snowbirds have Flown - A Silent Film
Other Book - Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson


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