The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Now and then I like giving you a heads up about fab books, and this is one of them. Published for teens, but I'm 41 and I LOVED it. So for everyone with a beating heart really! The official Inis magazine review is below but can I just say this is the most beautifully produced book I've seen in years for teens - textured cover with sky scene, stunning interior images - poems written on scraps of paper (part of the story), highly unusual blue print instead of stark black, it just looks amazing. As Sonya Sones said in her recent review 'I think I might even want to marry this book.'See for more details of Jandy.

Here's that review:

JANDY NELSON THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE Walker Books, £7.99 (PBK), ISBN 9781406326307

‘Gram is worried about me. It’s not 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.’

From the quirky, direct opening lines of The Sky is Everywhere, you know this beautifully produced book is going to be a little bit different. When her vibrant, confident sister, Bailey dies suddenly, quiet music-geek, Lennie Walker is thrown into emotional turmoil. Despite her lack of romantic experience, she finds herself with two suitors, one of whom is Bailey’s ex, Toby who is struggling with his own feelings of grief and guilt, causing Lennie even more confusion. The other boy is Joe, a gifted musician who slowly makes Lennie feel that one day, maybe, she’ll be able to swallow down her sorrow and move on with her life.

The writing is lyrical and full of telling detail, capturing the heady highs and lows of one very special teenager’s journey from grief, to acceptance and, finally, redemption. Lennie’s voice is spot on, funny, poignant and crushingly real. In quiet moments I still hear her whispering hard won teen wisdom in my ear.

This is my very favourite kind of book, the kind of book you don’t just read, you live. I’d highly recommend it to anyone teenager or adult who enjoys heartfelt, magical, redemptive fiction with a touch of heady romance thrown in for good measure. [Sarah Webb]