The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonThe Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky Is Everywhere

byJandy Nelson

Paperback | March 22, 2011

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Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode.

Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart.

As much a celebration of love as a poignant portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often uproarious, and absolutely unforgettable.
Jandy Nelson, like her characters in I’ll Give you the Sun, comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her debut novel, The Sky Is Everywhere, was on multiple Best Books of the Year lists, was a YALSA Best Fic...
Title:The Sky Is EverywhereFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.44 × 0.84 inPublished:March 22, 2011Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142417807

ISBN - 13:9780142417805

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slightly Uncomfortable... This book was slightly off putting, but it did have a certain feeling about it. Definitely a special book!
Date published: 2018-06-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from we stan !!! i didn't love it as much as i'll give you the sun, but it still had great qualities about it that i enjoyed! i loved lennie and how she was dealing with her grief. this book did a great job of approaching the subject of grief. i honestly just loved lennie & their grandma omg. the love interests didn't really do anything for me, so that's my only bone to pick with this book. i didn't really want it to progress into these love stories. i just loved seeing lennie coming to terms with her sister's death.
Date published: 2018-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Complicated and Beautiful I loved this book! Jandy Nelson has a way of writing flawed characters so achingly real that you feel for them.
Date published: 2018-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love it! Everything is well compacted and it is an insightful book!
Date published: 2018-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very nicely written Jandy Nelson is such a great writer, which is abundantly apparent in this novel. This is a heart-strings pulling story of a girl who loses her sister and how she copes with the grief and loss she feels. This story covers topics such as family, loss, love, and guilt. Lennie is a generally likable character who may make some questionable decisions on her way to growing up.
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Author Another smash hit from Jandy Nelson. Amazing YA artist, but really for all ages
Date published: 2017-12-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth the Money! I had bought this book a bit ago and regretted not reading it sooner when I finally finished it. This book brought me to the edge of my seat on multiple occasions and the ending left me satisfied. I decided not to give it 5 stars because although it was suspenseful at times, I was able to put down the book and not read it without feeling too bad. This book had many scenes and choices that annoyed me quite a bit and made me stop reading for a bit, but I will say that I always got back to it.
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from loved it! great story, really enjoyable. plus, this book looks great on my bookshelf :)
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down I picked this book up after reading I Will Give You the Sun and falling in love with the author's style and themes. Some people say they wish the conflict had been better, or the plot better written, however I felt it was perfect. The inner conflict that Lennie displayed made this book easy to relate to. Her struggle to make choices, her struggle to put herself first, her grief, etc.; everything was so well constructed. The story drew me in, immersed me in the world that was Lennie - allowing me to feel along with her. My only wish is that Jandy Nelson had previously published more books. I will be anxiously awaiting more from this author.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from YAS It's a sweet romance, I liked it a lot. But the main character was quite stupid sometimes when it came to some *choices*
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great YA read I'm a sucker for YA fiction. This one is a particularly well-written love story, with nuances and complications well beyond what you find in your typical Twilight or Hunger Games type story. Jandy Nelson paints fantastic pictures and characters with her words. I plan on reading more of this author's work! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from lovely The story was nicely written and it was enjoyable to read, though I wish the conflict of the plot was better.
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cute Read I loved "I'll Give You the Sun" so I thought i would try out another Jandy Nelson book, and I am so glad I did. This book was such a cute but sometimes eyerolling story. Not quite and poetic and deep as I'll Give You the Sun but still a deeper story line then a lot of contemporary YA. The story is about change. About how people change whether you like it or not.
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite Since buying this book many years ago I have re-read it about six or seven times. It's a book that will make you feel all the emotions and really connect with the characters. Artistic and moving, definitely a worth-while read.
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A cute story about loss and love I have not read I'll Give You the Sun yet but after reading this book it is first on my list! Janet Nelson wrote the heartache and anger, grief and confusion of losing your loved one so beautifully that tears spilled out of my eyes multiple times. Their were tons of cute quirks in it too that made me love it just as much such as the little notes the character leaves everywhere and how her love interest calls her John Lennon, both are connected, sort of. But I won't spoil the cute ending for you! Her family dynamic of dysfunctional but comfortable shows beautiful through this novel of trying to find yourself once you've lost a part of you. Absolutely beautiful!
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson andy Nelson has a way with telling stories. They all come out more like works of art than books. Reading them is an experience of it's own, like dancing, but instead of your hands being on hips, they're on the cover of a book. No words to explain that. I only know that this is The best ya book EVER. If you haven't already read it, you must do it. It's simply perfect. I thank Jandy Nelson for giving me such a beautiful world to hide me inside. ?
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from My high expectations were not met, unfortunately. I’m not going to lie…I had really high hopes going into this one. I read I’ll Give You The Sun almost two years ago now. I almost immediately bought The Sky Is Everywhere the second I was finished reading IGYTS and I thought I would read it right away. For whatever reason, I just let it sit on my shelf. I don’t know if it was because I had such a huge book hangover after I’ll Give You The Sun or what, but I only finally picked it up now. I can’t say I loved it as much as IGYTS, but it was definitely a fun and entertaining read. What I Liked The writing. Jandy Nelson is an amazing writer. That is definitely no secret. As mentioned, I absolutely loved her other novel I’ll Give You The Sun and I loved it for that exact reason. Everything flowed so well and it was fast-paced and it was all just so beautifully written. The Sky Is Everywhere was just as beautiful and well-written and I’m looking forward to whatever Jandy Nelson writes in the future. The inside look. I loved the little poems and snippets of writing that were left behind by Lennie. They gave us an intimate look into her life with Bailey and also the way that she’s now feeling without her. We get an inside look into her thoughts and I thought that was a really creative way to execute that idea. I was a little confused at first as to why each note was prefaced with “found in *insert place here*”, but by the end it made sense and I loved the idea even more. The characters. I don’t know if I would go as far as saying that these characters were extremely unique, but they were entertaining to read about. I liked Lennie and learning about her family and friends. I liked seeing how she was coping with the loss of her sister and how she was growing as a person because of it. I liked Toby and his place in the story, maybe not-so-much in terms of the love triangle (I’ll get to that later), but in the way that he was a part of the family because of the unfortunate scenario of Bailey’s death. Although I wish there was a little more depth to Joe, I still really enjoyed him as a character. He was quirky and unique in his own way compared to some of the other characters which makes me really wish that I got to learn more about him. What I Didn’t Like The love triangle. Yeah, I’ve never been a fan of love triangles. They actually drive me a little insane. I understand why Lennie may be falling for both of these boys, but I think my main issue with love triangles in general is just the lack of decision making. I know it’s probably not as easy as it sounds to just choose someone, but I just really dislike when characters go back and forth. I won’t lie, whenever there’s a love triangle in a story…I almost always hope the main character ends up with neither of them. Was it insta-love? It felt like it to me, maybe just a little? I mean it may not have happened the second they locked eyes or anything, but it did happen pretty fast with both boys! Lennie even mentioned herself that she had hardly been in a relationship beforehand. So it just seemed like it happened a little too quickly and kind of randomly. While there were elements of this book that I wasn’t a huge fan of, I still had a lot of fun reading it. As mentioned, Jandy Nelson is an amazing writer and I love her style so much. The Sky Is Everywhere is definitely worth reading, even just for the way it handles death & loss. I will always recommend that you pick up I’ll Give You The Sun, but now I can also recommend The Sky Is Everywhere.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very nice read! I read this book after reading "I'll Give You The Sun", not as good, but a very cute story!
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Emotional read Very sweet and perfect for any mood or day. The characters were well thought out. Only thing is, the story about the brother was probably more relatable than the sister but overall, still really recommend.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It all comes together I've had this book sitting in my bookshelf for quite sometime and I'm glad I finally decided to give it a go. It's been a while since I read a book that left me happy with how everything came together. This book was written in such a different way and it was refreshing to read. Jandy Nelson talks about grief and love in a way that provokes so many emotions. I will definitely be reading other titles from her and I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not What I Expected I feel in the extreme minority on my opinion of this novel. I was prepared to be blown away, thanks to the amazing reviews I'd read beforehand, however, I ended up feeling like I read a completely different novel than what everyone else did. For starters, I couldn't stand Lennie's character, and I couldn't bring myself to sympathize with her at all. I also hated how Toby and Lennie's relationship was portrayed to the reader as not really cheating, it was simply helping them both grieve, this completely turned me off the novel right there, and yet I insisted on finishing it. In the end, I felt like their was literally no growth from any of the characters, and that Lennie didn't deserve the ending she got. I can't personally bring myself to recommend this one, and I don't think it was worth my time in the slightest.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not my kind of thing I am in the extreme minority of those who have not liked this novel. That is why I wanted to read it because I had only heard great things about it. Rarely, do I EVER give a book a one star rating but this book really just....did not do a single thing for me. Honestly, I remember the moment I became disinterested in the whole story and just wanted the book to be over....that was when I was on page 26 with the whole novel left to read. First, the relationship between Lennie and Toby. I understand that grief wreaks havoc on people and changes them completely. But even with that amount of grief, I really could not understand how that could happen and it actually kind of disgusted me. Unfortunately, it really sort of tainted any kind of likability that I had for Lennie. It's really hard to read a novel when you don't like the main character. And that dislike grew as the book progressed. I also found the relationship between Joe and Lennie was rushed. Plus again, I didn't have any investment to the relationship....especially because of the way Lennie initially acted. I guess I liked their relationship somewhat by the end of the novel but even still, I just didn't really care. To be honest, I think Joe is too good for Lennie and should get out of that right quick. Overall, the book was just generally boring to me. The storyline? Meh. The writing? Meh. The characters? Meh. The fact that after the death of her sister the main character is immediately sexually attracted to said sister's boyfriend? Wrong. In my personal view, I would say this is definitely a book to pass on and read something that is much more enjoyable which is a better use of your time.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from meh not great but still though provoking
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!!! This book really had everything, love, laughter, tears and the characters left a lasting impression!
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE I fell in love with this book. There is something so beautiful about Jandy Nelson's writing and her ability to both break your heart and make you laugh at the same time. Favourite quote: “There once was a girl who found herself dead. She peered over the ledge of heaven and saw that back on earth her sister missed her too much, was way too sad, so she crossed some paths that would not have crossed, took some moments in her hand shook them up and spilled them like dice over the living world. It worked. The boy with the guitar collided with her sister. "There you go, Len," she whispered. "The rest is up to you.”
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love So beautifully written. Enjoyed this one very much. I still think about this book to this day, having read it in 2014.
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put this book down GREAT story. I leant the book to my sister and my daughter after I was done with it... it's going around.... everyone loves it.
Date published: 2015-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put this book down... Amazing!! I Loved this book, I cried, I laughed and I would have read it in one sitting if I could have but with kids and work this wasn't possible. I dragged this book everywhere and read every chance I had. It kept me up at night instead of helping me get sleepy. It's so touching, extremely well written. I fell in love with all the characters... you won't be disappointed!
Date published: 2015-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Book I loved this book. Whimsical, funny, heartbreaking. The characters jump off the page and the descriptions of love and grief are perfection.
Date published: 2014-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! Like the main character, having experienced the loss of my sister too, I am astonished how the author managed to capture every thought, feeling, insight, and all the consuming sadness about grief and grieving that I have felt over the period of 20 years. This book has been therapeutic, healing and liberating. Like the sky, our loved ones are everywhere!
Date published: 2014-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Swept Away By Books The Sky Is Everywhere is just one of those books where it is so full of gorgeous quotes it's impossible not to do something with them. Whether it's writing them in a quote notebook, painting them on your wall, noting the page or getting a tattoo of them, they need to be noticed in some special way. I took pictures of them and am seriously tempted to get a new tattoo. Jandy Nelson just has a way of twisting words into gorgeous phrases that leap off the page. This book was simply wonderful. It was frustrating at times, but the story was full of heartache and lightness, eclectic families and new love full of smiles that lit up rooms and a girl who was beyond confused in the wake of a major loss. Lennie's progression through grief and new love is an uphill battle but she fights it tooth and nail the whole time. I loved that she didn't let her grief consume her all the time, she was open to love even if she felt guilty about it. The Sky Is Everywhere is such a wonderful book, I have no idea how I hadn't picked it up before now. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be snatching up I'll Give You The Sun as quickly as humanly possible and every single book Jandy Nelson writes from this point on!
Date published: 2014-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from beautifully written tale of grief Jandy Nelson has written a debut novel which will resonate with anyone who has ever lost someone they’ve truly loved. The Sky is Everywhere is seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker’s journey through the grief of losing her nineteen-year-old sister. "My sister Bailey collapsed one month ago from a fatal arrhythmia while in rehearsal for a local production of Romeo & Juliet. It’s as if someone vacuumed up the horizon while we were looking the other way." The loss of her sister isn’t the first significant loss of Lennie’s young life. She lives with her grandmother and her uncle ‘Big’ (yes, he is indeed) because her mother abandoned her and her sister when Lennie was only one. Despite the fact that Gram and Big are awesome, Lennie is finding it difficult to cope. Lucky for her, Bailey’s boyfriend, Toby, is on hand to share her grief. "“How will we do this? I say under my breath. “Day after day after day without her…” “Oh, Len.” he turns to me, smooths the hair around my face with his hand. … I look into his sorrowful eyes and he into mine, and I think, He misses her as much as I do, and that’s when he kisses me -" There isn’t a thing I didn’t love about Lennie. She’s lived, thus far, in her sister’s shadow; Bailey was the outgoing, beautiful one. Now, suddenly, Bailey is gone and Lennie is lost. Perhaps that’s what makes Toby so desirable. They can share their grief, but also their memories of someone they both loved. But, then it gets complicated. “Even in the stun of grief, my eyes roam from the black boots, up the miles of legs covered in denim, over the endless torso, and finally settle on a face so animated I wonder if I’ve interrupted a conversation between him and my music stand." Meet Joe Fontaine, the “gypsy,” “rock star,” “pirate,” who arrived at school while Lennie was away. Suddenly Lennie finds herself in a precarious predicament: she is impossibly drawn to Toby even as she crushes hard on Joe. Those feelings are compounded by her guilt because she’s supposed to be sad. And she is. Make no mistake, The Sky is Everywhere is not a romantic comedy; it’s a beautifully written novel about loss, about being left behind and about what it means to be alive. All the characters are fully realized; even the adults have interior lives, a fact Lennie only begins to understand months after her sister’s death. She also comes to understand that grief is a living thing. Lennie thinks, “I don’t know how the heart withstands it.” I’m not a fan of eReaders, but I can’t imagine reading this book on one would offer as satisfying an experience as reading the book the traditional way. The novel is filled with poetry written on scraps of paper and found in various places which are named on the back of the found object. How they came to be collected is revealed at the end of the story. The poetry itself is beautiful (Nelson herself is a poet) and I loved its inclusion in the book. This is a novel I will really look forward to passing on to and talking about with my students.
Date published: 2013-10-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I don't know Well, this book i dont know why but i did get in to it. Like I understand the story but I was never interested about what will happen at the end. It kinda sad because i was hoping it will be a good book but nahh
Date published: 2013-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from spectacular coming-of-age story - an utterly satisfying read Wow. This is just such a special book. It has everything - love and loss and betrayal and confusion and redemption - and yet is ultimately so beautifully simple. With such emotional highs and lows, you will laugh and cry. I loved the quirky, interesting characters. The writing is witty and funny, and the book has a unique format that includes hand-written notes. The story takes you through the best and worst aspects of being alive in a way that is light-hearted yet powerful, and satisfying in a way that few stories are. I would recommend this book for any teenage girl, and to any adult woman who, like myself, is not adverse to reading about a teen protagonist.
Date published: 2011-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So amazing! Lennie has just lost her bright older sister and is rightfully having a very difficult time moving on. She won't pack Bailey's possessions, or talk to her grandmother, who's acted as 'mom' for almost their whole lives. Even the plant that represents her is dying. She's shut herself up with grief and turns to writing memories of her sister on scraps and leaving them around--a coffee cup, a piece of paper, a napkin. Of these we get to read are sad and poetic and heartfelt and just plain beautiful. Ms. Nelson definitely has a way with words (she's a poet!) and each one gets under your skin. Problems arise when Lennie starts finding comfort in Toby, Bailey's boyfriend. At first I was all 'whaaaat, how could she!? To her sister!'. Lennie definitely feels guilty about what she's doing, but at the same time I could see her excuse at how being with Toby and his grief would maybe make her feel better. That if they were suffering together it would be ok. Then there's Joe, the new kid, who's like a jumping ball of fiery energy. He makes Lennie feel happy again, gets her to, maybe not forget about her sister like the blurb says, but see that it's ok to be grieving, but it's also ok to pick yourself up and keep walking. The whole Toby-Joe back and forth made me super nervous because Lennie was going behind both of their back's, almost like she was cheating, and I felt like I was biting my nails waiting for that moment when she would be caught and for the explosion to happen. Then as Lennie begins finding out more about her absent mother and the life her sister led, things get more complicated. As she gets closer to the boys and starts to understand what it is she's feeling for each of them, what they mean to her, she has to acknowledge the mistakes she's made and try very hard to fix them. Watching it all unfold was so heartbreaking because you want Lennie to be happy again, for everyone to be happy again. My review also here:
Date published: 2011-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Be prepared to cry and laugh while reading this. What I loved about "The Sky is Everywhere" is that it's a story with a lot of heart. It's sincere and genuine. It'll make you cry and make you laugh. The characters were all really unique and engaging. You have Lennie who's still grieving for her sister and without her she's confused and doesn't know who she is anymore. Everything she was feeling, I felt like I was right there with her--and let me say it was quite the emotional roller coaster. At school Lennie meets Joe who is the new boy in town and a musical genius. He and Lennie are attracted to one another and the fact that Joe doesn't't know Bailey, hasn't met her; he can be that fresh start that Lennie needs. I didn't know to think of what happened between Lennie and Toby. It came out of nowhere and didn't make sense to me. I understand that they're both grieving and missing Bailey but for that to translate into lust for one another just didn't't sit well with me. Overall, this is another awesome book by a debut author and one I highly recommend. Looking forward to what Jandy Nelson writes next.
Date published: 2011-07-16

Read from the Book

chapter 1Gram is worried about me. It’s not just because my sister Bailey died four weeks ago, or because my mother hasn’t contacted me in sixteen years, or even because suddenly all I think about is sex. She is worried about me because one of her houseplants has spots.Gram has believed for most of my seventeen years that this particular houseplant, which is of the nondescript variety, reflects my emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. I’ve grown to believe it too.Across the room from where I sit, Gram—all six feet and floral frock of her, looms over the black-spotted leaves.“What do you mean it might not get better this time?” She’s asking this of Uncle Big: arborist, resident pothead, and mad scientist to boot. He knows something about everything, but he knows everything about plants.To anyone else it might seem strange, even off the wall, that Gram, as she asks this, is staring at me, but it doesn’t to Uncle Big, because he’s staring at me as well.“This time it has a very serious condition.” Big’s voice trumpets as if from stage or pulpit; his words carry weight, even pass the salt comes out of his mouth in a thou-shalt-Ten-Commandments kind of way.Gram raises her hands to her face in distress, and I go back to scribbling a poem in the margin of Wuthering Heights. I’m huddled into a corner of the couch. I’ve no use for talking, would just as soon store paper clips in my mouth.“But the plant’s always recovered before, Big, like when Lennie broke her arm, for instance.”“That time the leaves had white spots.”“Or just last fall when she auditioned for lead clarinet but had to be second chair again.”“Brown spots.”“Or when—”“This time it’s different.”I glance up. They’re still peering at me, a tall duet of sorrow and concern.Gram is Clover’s Garden Guru. She has the most extraordinary flower garden in Northern California. Her roses burst with more color than a year of sunsets, and their fragrance is so intoxicating that town lore claims breathing in their scent can cause you to fall in love on the spot. But despite her nurturing and renowned green thumb, this plant seems to follow the trajectory of my life, independent of her efforts or its own vegetal sensibility.I put my book and pen down on the table. Gram leans in close to the plant, whispers to it about the importance of joie de vivre, then lumbers over to the couch, sitting down next to me. Then Big joins us, plopping his enormous frame down beside Gram. We three, each with the same unruly hair that sits on our heads like a bustle of shiny black crows, stay like this, staring at nothing, for the rest of the afternoon.This is us since my sister Bailey collapsed one month ago from a fatal arrhythmia while in rehearsal for a local production of Romeo & Juliet. It’s as if someone vacuumed up the horizon while we were looking the other way.chapter 2The morning of the day Bailey died,she woke me upby putting her finger in my ear.I hated when she did this. She then started trying on shirts, asking me: Which do you like better, the green or the blue? The blue. You didn’t even look up, Lennie. Okay, the green. Really, I don’t care what shirt you wear . . . Then I rolled over in bed and fell back asleep. I found out latershe wore the blueand those were the last words I ever spoke to her.(Found written on a lollipop wrapper on the trail to the Rain River) My first day back to school is just as I expect, the hall does a Red Sea part when I come in, conversations hush, eyes swim with nervous sympathy, and everyone stares as if I’m holding Bailey’s dead body in my arms, which I guess I am. Her death is all over me, I can feel it and everyone can see it, plain as a big black coat wrapped around me on a beautiful spring day. But what I don’t expect is the unprecedented hubbub over some new boy, Joe Fontaine, who arrived in my month-long absence. Everywhere I go it’s the same:“Have you seen him yet?”“He looks like a Gypsy.”“Like a rock star.”“A pirate.”“I hear he’s in a band called Dive.”“That he’s a musical genius.”“Someone told me he used to live in Paris.”“That he played music on the streets.”“Have you seen him yet?”I have seen him, because when I return to my band seat, the one I’ve occupied for the last year, he’s in it. Even in the stun of grief, my eyes roam from the black boots, up the miles of legs covered in denim, over the endless torso, and finally settle on a face so animated I wonder if I’ve interrupted a conversation between him and my music stand.“Hi,” he says, and jumps up. He’s treetop tall. “You must be Lennon.” He points to my name on the chair. “I heard about—I’m sorry.” I notice the way he holds his clarinet, not precious with it, tight fist around the neck, like a sword.“Thank you,” I say, and every available inch of his face busts into a smile—whoa. Has he blown into our school on a gust of wind from another world? The guy looks unabashedly jack-o’-lantern happy, which couldn’t be more foreign to the sullen demeanor most of us strove to perfect. He has scores of messy brown curls that flop every which way and eyelashes so spider-leg long and thick that when he blinks he looks like he’s batting his bright green eyes right at you. His face is more open than an open book, like a wall of graffiti really. I realize I’m writing wow on my thigh with my finger, decide I better open my mouth and snap us out of this impromptu staring contest.“Everyone calls me Lennie,” I say. Not very original, but better than guh, which was the alternative, and it does the trick. He looks down at his feet for a second and I take a breath and regroup for Round Two.“Been wondering about that actually, Lennon after John?” he asks, again holding my gaze—it’s entirely possible I’m going to faint. Or burst into flames.I nod. “Mom was a hippie.” This is northern Northern California after all—the final frontier of freakerdom. Just in the eleventh grade we have a girl named Electricity, a guy named Magic Bus, and countless flowers: Tulip, Begonia, and Poppy—all parent-given-on-the-birth-certificate names. Tulip is a two-ton bruiser of a guy who would be the star of our football team if we were the kind of school that had a football team. We’re not. We’re the kind of school that has optional morning meditation in the gym.“Yeah,” Joe says. “My mom too, and Dad, as well as aunts, uncles, brothers, cousins . . . welcome to Commune Fontaine.”I laugh out loud. “Got the picture.”But whoa again—should I be laughing so easily like this? And should it feel this good? Like slipping into cool river water.I turn around, wondering if anyone is watching us, and see that Sarah has just walked—rather, exploded—into the music room. I’ve hardly seen her since the funeral, feel a pang of guilt.“Lennieeeee!” She careens toward us in prime goth-gone-cowgirl form: vintage slinky black dress, shit-kicker cowboy boots, blond hair dyed so black it looks blue, all topped off with a honking Stetson. I note the breakneck pace of her approach, wonder for an instant if she’s going to actually jump into my arms right before she tries to, sending us both skidding into Joe, who somehow retains his balance, and ours, so we all don’t fly through the window.This is Sarah, subdued.“Nice,” I whisper in her ear as she hugs me like a bear even though she’s built like a bird. “Way to bowl down the gorgeous new boy.” She cracks up, and it feels both amazing and disconcerting to have someone in my arms shaking from laughter rather than heartbreak.Sarah is the most enthusiastic cynical person on the planet. She’d be the perfect cheerleader if she weren’t so disgusted by the notion of school spirit. She’s a literature fanatic like me, but reads darker, read Sartre in tenth grade—Nausea—which is when she started wearing black (even at the beach), smoking cigarettes (even though she looks like the healthiest girl you’ve ever seen), and obsessing about her existential crisis (even as she partied to all hours of the night).“Lennie, welcome back, dear,” another voice says. Mr. James—also known in my mind as Yoda for both outward appearance and inward musical mojo—has stood up at the piano and is looking over at me with the same expression of bottomless sadness I’ve gotten so used to seeing from adults. “We’re all so very sorry.”“Thank you,” I say, for the hundredth time that day. Sarah and Joe are both looking at me too, Sarah with concern and Joe with a grin the size of the continental United States. Does he look at everyone like this, I wonder. Is he a wingnut? Well, whatever he is, or has, it’s catching. Before I know it, I’ve matched his continental U.S. and raised him Puerto Rico and Hawaii. I must look like The Merry Mourner. Sheesh. And that’s not all, because now I’m thinking what it might be like to kiss him, to really kiss him—uh-oh. This is a problem, an entirely new un-Lennie-like problem that began (WTF-edly?!) at the funeral: I was drowning in darkness and suddenly all these boys in the room were glowing. Guy friends of Bailey’s from work or college, most of whom I didn’t know, kept coming up to me saying how sorry they were, and I don’t know if it’s because they thought I looked like Bailey, or because they felt bad for me, but later on, I’d catch some of them staring at me in this charged, urgent way, and I’d find myself staring back at them, like I was someone else, thinking things I hardly ever had before, things I’m mortified to have been thinking in a church, let alone at my sister’s funeral.This boy beaming before me, however, seems to glow in a class all his own. He must be from a very friendly part of the Milky Way, I’m thinking as I try to tone down this nutso smile on my face, but instead almost blurt out to Sarah, “He looks like Heathcliff,” because I just realized he does, well, except for the happy smiling part—but then all of a sudden the breath is kicked out of me and I’m shoved onto the cold hard concrete floor of my life now, because I remember I can’t run home after school and tell Bails about a new boy in band.My sister dies over and over again, all day long.“Len?” Sarah touches my shoulder. “You okay?”I nod, willing away the runaway train of grief barreling straight for me.Someone behind us starts playing “Approaching Shark,” aka the Jaws theme song. I turn to see Rachel Brazile gliding toward us, hear her mutter, “Very funny,” to Luke Jacobus, the saxophonist responsible for the accompaniment. He’s just one of many band-kill Rachel’s left in her wake, guys duped by the fact that all that haughty horror is stuffed into a spectacular body, and then further deceived by big brown fawn eyes and Rapunzel hair. Sarah and I are convinced God was in an ironic mood when he made her.“See you’ve met The Maestro,” she says to me, casually touching Joe’s back as she slips into her chair—first chair clarinet—where I should be sitting.She opens her case, starts putting together her instrument. “Joe studied at a conservatory in Fronce. Did he tell you?” Of course she doesn’t say France so it rhymes with dance like a normal English-speaking human being. I can feel Sarah bristling beside me. She has zero tolerance for Rachel ever since she got first chair over me, but Sarah doesn’t know what really happened—no one does.Rachel’s tightening the ligature on her mouthpiece like she’s trying to asphyxiate her clarinet. “Joe was a fabulous second in your absence,” she says, drawing out the word fabulous from here to the Eiffel Tower.I don’t fire-breathe at her: “Glad everything worked out for you, Rachel.” I don’t say a word, just wish I could curl into a ball and roll away. Sarah, on the other hand, looks like she wishes there were a battle-ax handy.The room has become a clamor of random notes and scales. “Finish up tuning, I want to start at the bell today,” Mr. James calls from the piano. “And take out your pencils, I’ve made some changes to the arrangement.”“I better go beat on something,” Sarah says, throwing Rachel a disgusted look, then huffs off to beat on her timpani.Rachel shrugs, smiles at Joe—no not smiles: twinkles—oh brother. “Well, it’s true,” she says to him. “You were—I mean, are—fabulous.”“Not so.” He bends down to pack up his clarinet. “I’m a hack, was just keeping the seat warm. Now I can go back to where I belong.” He points his clarinet at the horn section.“You’re just being modest,” Rachel says, tossing fairy-tale locks over the back of her chair. “You have so many colors on your tonal palette.”I look at Joe expecting to see some evidence of an inward groan at these imbecilic words, but see evidence of something else instead. He smiles at Rachel on a geographical scale too. I feel my neck go hot.“You know I’ll miss you,” she says, pouting.“We’ll meet again,” Joe replies, adding an eye-bat to his repertoire. “Like next period, in history.”I’ve disappeared, which is good really, because suddenly I don’t have a clue what to do with my face or body or smashed-up heart. I take my seat, noting that this grinning, eye-batting fool from Fronce looks nothing like Heathcliff. I was mistaken.I open my clarinet case, put my reed in my mouth to moisten it and instead bite it in two.At 4:48 p.m. on a Friday in April,my sister was rehearsing the role of Julietand less than one minute latershe was dead. To my astonishment, time didn’t stopwith her heart. People went to school, to work, to restaurants; they crushed crackers into their clam chowder, fretted over exams, sang in their cars with the windows up. For days and days, the rain beat its fistson the roof of our house—evidence of the terrible mistakeGod had made. Each morning, when I wokeI listened for the tireless pounding, looked at the drear through the windowand was relievedthat at least the sun had the decencyto stay the hell away from us. (Found on a piece of staff paper, spiked on a low branch, Flying Man’s Gulch)

Editorial Reviews

"Nelson's first novel is tender, romantic, and loaded with passion."—The Horn Book"The author brilliantly navigates Lennie's course between despair and hope, sorrow and humor... a gripping love triangle."—Shelf Awareness"In this amazing tale of love and loss, Nelson introduces a cast of characters who make the reader laugh and cry."—NPR's The Roundtable"Nearly everyone who's staggering through life in the wake of a loved one's death will recognize themselves in this brilliant, piercing story."—The Denver Post* "This is distinguished by the dreamy California setting and poetic images that will draw readers into Lennie's world..."—Publishers Weekly, starred review"A joy to read. You'll remember [it] long after you've turned the last page."—The Romantic Times * "It's romantic without being gooey and tear-jerking without being campy—what more could a reader want?"—BCCB, starred review* "This is a passionate, vulnerable, wonderfully complete and irresistible book."—VOYA, starred review"[Nelson] writes with abandon... it's a headlong kind of book, preferably devoured at a single setting."—Los Angeles Times"Brimming with humor and life, full of music and the poems Lennie drops all over town, The Sky is Everywhere explores betrayal and forgiveness through a vibrant cast of characters."—SLJ "Those who think young adult books can't be as literary, rich, and mature as their adult counterparts will be disabused of that notion after reading The Sky is Everywhere... A finely-drawn portrait of grief and first love."—The Daily Beast"A story of love, loss, and healing that will resonate with readers long after they've finished reading."—Booklist "A story about love and loss... both heartfelt and literary."—Kirkus Reviews "Sky is both a profound meditation on loss and grieving and an exhilarating and very sexy romance. The book deserves multiple readings simply to savor Nelson's luscious language..."—NPR (chosen by Gayle Forman as one of the top five teen reads of 2010)"How grief and love run side by side is sensitively and intensely explored in this energetic, poetic, and warm-blooded novel."—The Guardian"An addictive, romantic, heartbreaking, and wise tale of one girl's epic loss—and equally epic self-discovery. Seriously, stop reading this blurb; start reading this book!"—Gayle Forman, author of the New York Times Bestseller If I Stay "Wow. I sobbed my eyes out and then laughed through the tears. I have not fallen in love with a story and its characters like this in a long time. Stunning, heartbreaking, hilarious. A story that shakes the earth."—An Na, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award and National Book Award Finalist"Okay, I admit it. I have a huge crush on this book—it's beautiful, brilliant, passionate, funny, sexy, and deep. Come to think of it, I might even want to marry this book."—Sonya Sones, author of What My Mother Doesn't Know"Full of heart, quirky charm, and beautiful writing, The Sky Is Everywhere simply shines."—Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist and author of The Secret Life of Prince Charming "Jandy Nelson's story of grief somehow manages to be an enchantment, a celebration, a romance—without forsaking the rock-hard truths of loss."—Sara Zarr, National Book Award Finalist and author of Story of a Girl and Sweethearts "The Sky Is Everywhere evokes the intensity of desire and agony of heartache with breathtaking clarity. This beautifully written story will leave an indelible impression upon your soul."—Susane Colasanti, author of When It HappensA Publishers Weekly Flying Start TitleA YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults NomineeA Junior Library Guild SelectionTranslated into seventeen different languages