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Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere: A Heart-Wrenching Story

The Sky is Everywhere is a breathtaking and highly astonishing piece of fiction written by Jandy Nelson. The novel basically deals with one of the harsh realities of life that is death. It talks about how the near acquaintance of the dead person copes up with the sorrow after they’re gone.

The Sky is Everywhere is Jandy Nelson‘s debut novel published in the year 2010. Jandy Nelson, born in the year 1965 is a celebrated author mostly known for her novel I’ll Give You the Sun.

This book is believed to be written by Jandy after she had experienced some tragedies in her personal life. It is amazingly put together, the myriad of emotions portrayed are incredible. It tears your heart out stomps on it and then puts it back; wonderfully balanced with pieces of grief, romance, love and even sarcasm. The mixture of dark and light themes is

worth admiring.
Credits: Amazon


The plot revolves around Lennie Walker, a seventeen year old girl who is deeply traumatized after the death of her elder sister Bailey. Lennie feels as if her entire world has collapsed after her sister’s death, she was all laden with grief. The following are the texts from this book which illuminate the depth of the words of Jandy: “My sister dies over and over again, all day long”, “I found out later she wore the blue”, “I wish my shadow would get up and walk beside me”. These are the words of grief stricken Lennie. Lennie is depicted as a bookworm who is obsessed with Wuthering Heights and is a hopeless romantic girl who loves music.

After Bailey’s death Lennie is catapulted to the center stage of her own life and despite her non-existent history with boys unexpectedly finds herself struggling to balance between two. Bailey’s fiance Toby was going through the same intense pain and sorrow. Lennie could not find any other person who understands her grief in its totality except Toby whenever Lennie was with Toby, she felt the presence of Bailey in their conversations as if she was alive.

On the other hand, Joe Fontaine is a charming young boy who is new in the town. Joe joins Lennie’s band as he too is a typical band geek. Joe’s presence made Lennie alive again. Quite a few times in the novel Joe and Toby are compared to sun and moon. Emphasizing the fact that both hold equal importance in Lennie’s life. Toby was a half skater and a half cowboy who shares mutual mournings with Lennie.

The language brings the effect or tone of today’s teens, thus everyone could easily relate to the novel in one way or the other. The characters are beautifully carved. The flawed traits of Lennie Walker are way relatable and realistic. The way she sinks in her sister’s memories is heart-wrenching, especially when she says the lines: “If I heal, doesn’t that mean I’ve accepted the world without her?”.

The minute details about the novel are alluring, such as the way Jandy describes the rich earthly forests of Northern California. Music is also brought up as an important tool and adds up magic to the novel. The intense metaphors are commendably used.

Every chapter is paired up with a poem or we can say emotional texts which Lennie used to write on napkins, carved on the bark of trees and walls. These strategic poems add a certain charm to the novel. It is not very appealing in the former chapters, but as the story continues one could not stop turning the pages to know what happens next.

Mudabbira Rehman is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Rutba Iqbal

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.

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Written by Mudabbira Rehman

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