A little while ago, I decided to start a feature based on my little “recommended for” blurbs at the end of each review. Over at my group blog, Lit Up Review, the girls do the same thing so I decided to introduce one of my posts from there. I recently came up with recommendations for those who loved The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.
The Sky is Everywhere is a book that stays with you. It’s wry, it’s sad, it has this light to it that’s impossible to capture in words. It’s poignantly written and a book that affects you soul-deep. It’s lovely. I read it for the first time when I was younger, stolen from my older sister when she got it on a road trip. I wasn’t technically allowed to read YA at the time but I couldn’t help myself – the story calls to you once you even read a single page. This is a glorious book.
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson | Goodreads
When Lennie’s sister suddenly dies, the entire family is spun into a downward spiral. Bailey was the one that everybody looked up to, the one that Lennie thought was indestructible. Lennie was happy before, with her second-clarinet spot and shadow of obscurity but Bailey’s death suddenly forces Lennie to define herself.
Lennie can find solace in Bailey’s boyfriend Toby, a comfortable fixture in the past who’s grieving as deeply as she is. Together, it almost feels like Bailey is back. Then, there’s the new kid in band, Joe. He’s the one who makes Lennie wonder who she was and who she wants to be. Toby reminds her of before but Joe reminds her that there’s still something after.
Struggling to hold onto the pieces of her life with Bailey, Lennie’s pushed to understand how to move on without letting Bailey go. In an invigorating prose scattered with gorgeous poems, The Sky is Everywhere is a stunning exploration of death and what it truly means to live.
If you liked The Sky is Everywhere, you might like…
IF YOU LIKED LENNIE’S QUIET PERSONALITY AND SOFT WRITING
Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Amy McNamara | Goodreads
This book is so quiet but it’s unbelievably lovely. While I was reading it, it felt like every single other thing in the world was blocked out and it was just me, the snow, and the soft cadence of Wren’s commentary. Written in an absorbing style drawing from poetry-inspired roots, Lovely, Dark, and Deep is an impactful read. It’s a complete escape from the rest of the world and that sadness was portrayed in a way that was so beautiful. When Wren’s boyfriend dies in a car crash, she completely retreats from the world. She’d rather be alone with her artist father than off at college where the world continues as if nothing’s changed, but her world changes more than she expects it to when she starts to heal.
IF YOU LIKED THE GRIEF AND BACKSTORY OF THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE
Before I Die by Jenny Downham | Goodreads
Powerful, raw, and emotional, this book will never let you forget it. The edgy prose and realistic, if bitter, main character facing death much too early – everything about this book is completely gripping. I’ve reread it so many times and I never stop being positively shocked by it. When Tessa learns that her cancer is terminal, she’s ready to die, but not before she gives the world a taste of her own medicine when she starts working down her list of things to do before dying.
IF YOU LIKED THE MUSIC AND THE SISTER ASPECTS
Saving June by Hannah Harrington | Goodreads
This one combines a few of my favorite things – music, humor, road trips, and memorable characters. It’ll leave you clutching it at 3 AM and choking back tears, but also with a profound appreciation for the world in its gritty glory. When Harper finds her sister June in the garage with the car still running and a mysterious playlist playing, she has to confront the fact that she didn’t know as much about her sister as she thought. Still reeling from grief and a shattered household, Harper escapes with June’s ashes on a road trip to California with the boy who made the playlist, determined to finally get some answers.