The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
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.
As I sat at a tire place waiting three hours (hey it was 20 bucks for a oil change!!) I read this whole book. I sat down and quickly the sounds of the hockey game on the tv, and the sounds of the couple next to me disappeared as I fell into this world. Lennie is at a loss of how to live her life when she loses her sister, unexpectedly. Now I guess I should preface that I am no stranger to loss and grief. Sadly, many funerals I have been to have been for young people who left before their time. I guess I connected with this book in one way because I understood how Lennie portrayed her grief, her thoughts that ran through her head. To me, it made sense. The blurb highlights that Lennie must choose between two boys but Lennie really has to choose how to live her life. How to be Lennie without Bailey. We see her journey as she begins the slow slow process of accepting what she cannot change. I found the following passage pretty powerful
My sister will die, over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes 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 the love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.
This book is about the journey that grief brings about but what Nelson does is also bring about a unique story. I LOVED every character in this book. I loved how they were each so different. This family was odd with a capital O. I embraced this crazy group of characters and how different they were, but how they all were dealing with essentially the same thing. The story has some great twists and revelations as well, keeping you turing the page. And I would also like to find a mystical forest bedroom. So I say go read this book. You will not be disappointed.
As I said, I am no stranger to loss and a day doesn't go by that I am not thinking of my Chelsie. I am constantly trying to live my life and remember all her inspiration and support. So today, I am loving the world.