The Sky is Everywhere took me a long time to read. Usually I can finish a book in a few days, but this one I found I could only read bits at a time. I enjoyed it, but it’s not the kind of book that I wanted to rush through, that swept me up and made me keep turning the pages. The subject matter can’t be blamed either – yes, it is quite sad and harrowing, but I’ve read similar books that despite their tragedy still kind of eat away at me and I have to find out more. I didn’t experience that feeling with The Sky is Everywhere, but I still think it’s a worthwhile book with lots of good content about relationships and grief and family dynamics.
The story follows seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker as she struggles to cope with the aftermath/shock of her sister Bailey’s death. Lennie is a bookworm and a band geek and has been pretty happily living in her older sister’s shadow. But when Bailey dies, Lennie must scrape together her own identity away from her sister, deal with family conflict both past and present, and make sense of the conflicting feelings she feels towards Bailey’s old boyfriend, Toby, and newcomer in town, Joe Fontaine.
Another strength of The Sky is Everywhere is that it is actually pretty funny and quirky, despite the subject matter. Some lovely prose, both physical and emotional, and also some nice lines and dialogue. At times I felt Nelson was being a little too clever and obvious, and it annoyed me, but there is a lovely natural feel to the way most characters speak, and it is refreshing to read.