(Spoiler free until told otherwise)
Sorry to interrupt all the festivities with this boring regular book review, but if I don’t do it now I’ll never do it!
I’ve had The Sky Is Everywhere on by bookshelf for quite a while, I think I got it in a 2 for £7 at Tesco but I can’t say for sure. I think I picked it up shortly after finished I’ll Give You The Sun in August time.
I really enjoyed parts of that novel and so I was excited to pick up this one too. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be, but this novel was funny. I think a lot of that comes down to Jandy Nelson’s writing style (which, I must say, I’m a fan of).
However, as is always the way, I did have some problems (I don’t think there’s a single book on the planet that I can say did everything perfectly – heck, I don’t even think I’d be able to write a book that met my criteria, but I’ve always been honest in these reviews and that’s not about to change!)
First, let’s talk about the family. Why, oh why oh why do the majority of YA families have to be bat-shit crazy? I don’t understand! Even To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before that has one of my favourite family dynamics has a dead mother… WHY?! For me, this book just took the biscuit between the runaway mum, the dead sister, the non-existent dad the pot-smoking uncle and the crazy green grandma it all just seemed a little too unbelievable to me. Any one of these problems could have been enough to keep the intrigue going. Heck, even just the dead sister would have been enough to stabilise the plot.
However, I did enjoy the characters of Gram and Big despite their nuttiness. They were interesting to read, if not a little too bizarre for me to find them at all relatable.
While we’re on the character train, let’s talk about the men of the hour, Toby and John. Toby is a very strange fella, I understand why he was there and it was interesting, but for me, it was again just a little too much. When he first said they were engaged I went ‘aww’, when it was then revealed that Bailey was pregnant I went ‘hum’, I was fully expecting the revelation that she was having octuplets for the rest of the novel. It was sad enough that she’d died, it didn’t need all this over-the-top heartbreak.
Then there was Joe, despite his stereotypical Rockstar persona, I found myself strangely liking Joe, it wasn’t exactly a hard decision to figure out who I wanted her to end up with. But for me, their entire relationship felt very insta-lovey. They had barely even dated before they were saying “I love you” and talking about sex and then he forgave her because she wrote a poem? WHAT?! She was making out with her dead sister’s fiancé and baby daddy, to me that requires a heck of a lot more than a poem.
I’m still not really convinced about the pacing of the novel. I suppose in some ways it’s a good thing that it left me wanting more, but in a stand-alone, I’m not sure that’s the intention. I really wish we got to see a flash forward, maybe to Big’s wedding and Toby’s there with a girl who he rides horses with and Gram has brought her date and Joe and Lenny are together . I guess, I just cared about how the other characters ended up too, it wasn’t all about Lenny and Joe in my mind.
Overall, I gave the book 3/5 stars, a pretty standard rating for me. It was okay, not earth shattering and not quite up to the standard of I’ll Give You The Sun, but still enjoyable enough. If you liked I’ll Give You The Sun, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this one, so I’d give it a shot. However, if you’re wanting to try out one of Jandy’s books for the first time, go for I’ll Give You The Sun (you may need to power through the first couple of chapters, but I promise it gets good!)
Which book did you prefer, the sun or the sky? Let me know in the comments before you return to your Christmassy thoughts!
(Spoiler free until told otherwise)