by Kat Zhang
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.
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.