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 The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

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PostSubject: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson   Tue May 03, 2011 11:02 am

The Sky is Everywhere is a YA book, Jandy Nelson's first novel.

The story starts with a few lines of poetry, with "found on ____" at the end. Each chapter starts like this. The Sky is Everywhere tells the story of a 17 year old girl, Lennon, who is struggling to cope with the death of her sister while finding herself, growing up, and coming to terms with some of the uglier things in her family.

Something that struck me about this novel is the extremely unapologetic voice of the narrator. I mean that in a good way. The novel does not, like so many other YA first-persons, talk in a self-monologue or read like a self-justification, or a martyrdom trip. The narrator does get across her emotions clearly, and none of the grief feels fabricated, but it comes across refreshing instead of dull, and clear instead of a rehash of the 'poor me's'.
Mary Sue's seem quite exempt from this world altogether. Although Lennie has a clear voice and very little sulk-inclinations, it doesn't stop her from making some very irrational decisions to try to bury her grief and bring back a sense of closeness to her sister - but these choices are not condemned or praised in the eyes of the narrator or author. They are rather simply put out, left for the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. This happens a lot in the book ands mostly works, but there are some instances, especially towards the end, where I wish the telling would get a little deeper and more opinionated.

Other than that, I have very little complaints. The ending is pretty predictable, but I enjoyed it anyway. I know most of you are much much older than me, so I don't think you will enjoy it to the extent I did, but if you ever want a YA book featuring a female protagonist who does not discover speshul powers/fall in love with a otherwordly being but instead focuses her life on self-discovery and personal growth, give this a check.

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