Book Recommendations: The Sky is Everywhere

15 Jul

by Kat Zhang

~~~

From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

~~~

This may be my book of the year.

I tend to look through books before buying them. I’m currently living within walking distance of a bookstore (not very healthy for my wallet, I know), and this weekend I decided to go take a look. I remembered THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE from a contest on someone’s blog, but I really had no idea what it was about.

I’m glad I never read the summary beforehand, because if I had, chances are I would have glanced right pass this book in the store. A girl caught between two guys? Guys who are compared to the sun and moon? Doesn’t really sound like my kind of book.

However, I’m a sucker for lyrical titles and pretty covers, and I was in the mood for something non-paranormal, so I took THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE off the shelf. And by the time I read the summary, the thing was already in my hand, so I figured, “Why not? I’ll just read the first few pages.”

About two hours later, I’d finished the whole thing. There in the bookstore. I wasn’t even sitting in a chair. Seriously. If you happened to be in a certain Borders last Saturday, I was the wacko girl crouching by the shelf, devouring this book.

It’s not a thriller. The beginning, I must admit, was a tad slow. This is definitely a book with a literary slant—if not just plain literary fiction.

But oh man. It was beautiful. Several times, I stopped reading because a line was so wonderful I had to savor it. Once I literally gasped. Not because of something that had happened, mind you, but because of the way Nelson wrote it.

Lennie, the main character, is a poet, and each chapter is prefaced with one of her poems. They add a lovely, haunting touch to an already incredibly lyrical story. I loved it, loved it.

If you’re a regular to Let The Words Flow, you probably know that I’m not exactly  a romance book lover. And yet… I liked the romance in THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE. I don’t think my heart had been stirred this much since… I don’t even remember  😀

I can see how this book might not be for everyone. It’s not an I’m Hanging at the Edge of My Seat kind of book. It’s more like reading a poem in book form. A study of the heart. Of healing. Of growth and loss and redemption and love.

It made me realize I need to kick my writing up a notch.

Again, it started out just “good” to me. But after the first few chapters, I couldn’t think of stopping.

Recommend. Recommend. Recommend.

~~~

Kat Zhang is a Spoken Word poet and a Creative Writing major. She spends most of her free time either querying HYBRID–a book about a girl with two souls–or pounding out the first draft of her work in progress. Both are YA novels. You can read more about her writing process and books at her blog.

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30 Responses to “Book Recommendations: The Sky is Everywhere”

  1. Cassandra July 15, 2010 at 12:59 AM #

    I got this from the library the other day in a whole stack of books (23!). I’ll be sure to put it as the next one I read!

    • Kat Zhang July 15, 2010 at 9:26 AM #

      WOW! 23 books at once! Did the librarian give you a funny look? 😀 The ones at my library near my home know me by name.

      I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Ereza July 15, 2010 at 4:41 AM #

    I keep on hearing good things about this book, will move it up on my to read list. Only a few romance based stories ever spark my interest so I think I’ll give this one a try 🙂

    • Kat Zhang July 15, 2010 at 9:21 AM #

      Same here about the “few romance based stories every spark[ing] my interest”! So my rec of THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE should be, you know, twice as convincing 😛

  3. Rowenna July 15, 2010 at 9:30 AM #

    I love-love-love when books have lines that make you stop, go back, read again–those are the books that stay on my shelf 🙂 I just reviewed/blogged about Irene Nemirovsky–for phrases that stop you in your tracks, she’s a good one to read!

    • Kat Zhang July 15, 2010 at 9:33 AM #

      Thanks for the rec, Rowenna! I’ll definitely check her out. 😀

  4. Savannah J. Foley July 15, 2010 at 9:32 AM #

    Definitely going to add. Thanks Kat!

    • Kat Zhang July 15, 2010 at 3:35 PM #

      You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy it.

  5. Vee July 15, 2010 at 10:16 AM #

    I LOVE this book. So I’m always glad to hear other people love it as much as me, too 🙂

    • Kat Zhang July 15, 2010 at 3:36 PM #

      Yay! After the whole literary YA talk this morning, I think we share tastes in books 😛

  6. Julie Eshbaugh July 15, 2010 at 11:04 AM #

    Wow, Kat, this book sounds great! I agree with you; I wouldn’t have given it a look if I’d read that summary, too. Glad to have your recommendation!

    • Kat Zhang July 15, 2010 at 3:37 PM #

      Yeah, the summary doesn’t quite represent the book, I think. Perhaps they were trying to appeal to a demographic that doesn’t include me, haha. But I’m so glad I gave it a try.

  7. tymcon July 15, 2010 at 3:32 PM #

    I’m not really a fan of literary books. Like my movies, i preferably want somethign to blow up in my books:P Well not always an explosion, but i like twists, turns and just general…explosions.

    • Kat Zhang July 15, 2010 at 3:37 PM #

      Oh, there are twists and turns, but more of the internal type, you know? 😛 But I understand what you mean about liking more action-y books. Sometimes I’m in the mood for those, too!

  8. priscillashay July 15, 2010 at 4:24 PM #

    ..i find the word “transplant” in the summary odd. Does it have symbolic use in the book? Like he was “transplanted” – taken away from his home and dumped in a new town?

    • Kat Zhang July 15, 2010 at 4:30 PM #

      Hmm…that is strange wording, isn’t it? I guess I read through the summary quickly, because I always thought it said “transfer,” as in “transfer student.” Which would make a lot more sense!

      But no…no symbolic use of “transplant” that I could see!

      • priscillashay July 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM #

        Yeah, I figured it was supposed to be transfer..but didn’t want to assume? But, ok!

  9. Adventures in Children's Publishing July 16, 2010 at 1:45 PM #

    Wow, Kat. I’m going to have to make a trip to the bookstore! Thanks for this!

    • Kat Zhang July 16, 2010 at 2:31 PM #

      You’re welcome 🙂

  10. Launo July 18, 2010 at 3:53 PM #

    This sounds really interesting! I’ll pick it up at the library next time.

  11. Melissa July 20, 2010 at 9:25 AM #

    Ok, I need to stop reading blogs because my book list is growing astronomically because of book recommendations. And this one just crept towards the top of my list. I just discovered this blog and I’m enjoying what I’m reading. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book!

    • Kat Zhang July 20, 2010 at 9:28 AM #

      Haha, I know what you mean. It seems like every time I get on the internet, I get 10 more books recommended to me.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! 😀

  12. Katrina Velazquez February 16, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

    I’m 14 I just read this book and it was amazing it was warm and I just wanted to keep reading now that I’ve finished it I want another book luge it any recommendations?

    • Kat Zhang February 16, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

      Hmmm…like it in which way? The romance? The beautiful language?

      Glad you enjoyed the book!

  13. Nick April 16, 2011 at 5:38 PM #

    I’m 14 and i just read this book! i’m in love with the characters, the romance, the sense of loss and the writing! it was beautiful 🙂 I’d love to read another book just like it. got any suggestions?

    • Kat Zhang April 17, 2011 at 4:57 PM #

      Thanks for visiting the blog, Nick! I don’t know about another book just like THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, but if you liked the writing, I’d check out some other YA literary books. Maybe your librarian or local bookstore people will know 🙂

  14. Nick April 16, 2011 at 5:39 PM #

    Awesome blog btw!

  15. marial79 October 26, 2011 at 4:03 PM #

    Oh my God, I just read this book yesterday, and I have to agree the writing style is utterly sublime. It’s just plain awesome. The plot itself…wasn’t actually that great. I mean, it was a good idea but it didn’t quite go together properly but the writing style and poems all but made up for it. I loved the imagery she always used, the forest bedroom, the garden, the green paintings and you could really tell Lennie was greiving but it was in a more distant way. She wanted you to fell the story as it is, with the wittiness and the romance and that was great but I really wanted to be immersed in it and feel what Lennie was feeling, but I couldn’t quite find that. I kinda actually wanted to cry, it’s the type of book that you just want the emotion to like overtake you or something. I mean, it is def a book that is going onto my list of favs but I felt that because she was an author used to poetry she didn’t transport the reader into the book fully. But it was a rollercoaster of a book, up and down, Just Wow.
    The Title is bloody fantastic though. XD

    • marial79 October 26, 2011 at 4:05 PM #

      Oh my God, I just read this book yesterday, and I have to agree the writing style is utterly sublime. It’s just plain awesome. The plot itself…wasn’t actually that great. I mean, it was a good idea but it didn’t quite go together properly but the writing style and poems all but made up for it. I loved the imagery she always used, the forest bedroom, the garden, the green paintings and you could really tell Lennie was greiving but it was in a more distant way. She wanted you to fell the story as it is, with the wittiness and the romance and that was great but I really wanted to be immersed in it and feel what Lennie was feeling, but I couldn’t quite find that. I kinda actually wanted to cry, it’s the type of book that you just want the emotion to like overtake you or something. I mean, it is def a book that is going onto my list of favs but I felt that because she was an author used to poetry she didn’t transport the reader into the book fully. But it was a rollercoaster of a book, up and down, Just Wow.
      The Title is bloody fantastic though. XD

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