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.
This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.
Hey, it’s Alex again, I hope you’re all having a great holiday and that you got a lot of books on Christmas Day. Today I’m reviewing a book by Jandy Nelson, I’ve been meaning to read something by her since forever because her books sound so promising and unique. So, I decided to start with this one and I look forward to reading I’ll Give You the Sun soon.
This book follows Lennie Walker’s life after it’s been shaken by her beloved sister Bailey’s death. They’re this kind of really close sisters that rely on each other all the time, therefore after her death Lennie doesn’t know how to feel and what to be without her.
“How will I survive this missing? How do others do it? People die all the time. Every day. Every hour. There are families all over the world staring at beds that are no longer slept in, shoes that are no longer worn. Families that no longer have to buy a particular cereal, a kind of shampoo. There are people everywhere standing in line at the movies, buying curtains, walking dogs, while inside, their hearts are ripping to shreds. For years. For their whole lives. I don’t believe time heals. I don’t want it to. If I heal, doesn’t that mean I’ve accepted the world without her?”
Lennie’s family consists basically of her grandmother, her uncle and her sister. Obviously, Bailey’s absence affects all of them but in different ways, her grandmother cries in the shower, her uncle smokes pot and Lennie writes poems that she leaves wherever she wants around town and is suddenly attracted to two different guys. The poems were one of my favorite things of all the book, they were always full of emotion and so well written that I found myself rereading them more than once.
“There once was a girl who found herself dead.
She spent her days peering
over the ledge of heaven,
her chin in her palm.
She was bored as a brick,
hadn’t adjusted yet
to the slower pace of heavenly life.
Her sister would look up at her
and the dead girl would wave back
but she was too far away
for her sister to see.
The dead girl thought her sister
might be writing her notes,
but it was too long a trip to make
for a few scattered words here and there
so she let them be.
And then, one day, her earthbound sister finally realized
she could hear music up there in heaven,
so after that, everything her sister needed to tell her
she did through her clarinet
and each time she played, the dead girl
jumped up (no matter what else she was doing),
Yes, there’s a kind of love triangle, but it’s not really a love triangle and you’ll understand if you decide to read the book. But don’t let the promise of a love triangle fool your perspective of this book, it didn’t annoy me at all and you’ll find yourself understating Lennie and wanting to hug and help her.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate Joe Fontaine, I don’t think I have ever met such a dork. If that’s how French guys are I want one for my birthday.
“Oh, God,’ he whispers, reaching his hand behind my neck and bringing my lips to his. ‘Let’s let the whole fucking world explode this time.’
And we do.”
In conclusion, I really enjoyed the story and the characters, the writing was phenomenal and it was full of metaphors that I so very much enjoyed but for some reason I feel like something was missing. It was more of a 4 stars out of 5 for me just because of that very reason. But I really recommend this book to anyone who wants a light but painful read.
“The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.”