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.
Review: The Sky Is Everywhere was a poignant, one minute tear-inducing, next minute hilarious, gem of a book. I read it at the very end of the year, and I’m glad I did because it turned out to be my favorite book of 2010. There was honestly nothing I disliked about it, and countless things that I loved.
The main character, Lennie, was instantly relatable and often unintentionally funny. It was great to get into her head and the author made it easy to understand her often unpredictable mood swings from happiness to guilt and sadness about her sister. I have a sister, and I could see a lot of us in Lennie and Bailey’s relationship, so it was all the more tear jerking for me, when Lennie was thinking back to all the good (and not-so-good) times that her and Bailey shared.
Lennie’s poems about Bailey were another thing that made this book stand out. They were sprinkled sporadically throughout the book as photos of the places the poems were ‘found’. When I was reading the poems, those were the times that I could feel myself getting choked up, as Lennie recounted her last words to Bailey, or how gut-wrenchingly lonely she was without her. The poetry was a highlight of the book and served well to set it apart from other YA books dealing with grief and loss.
Another aspect I loved was the effort the author went to, to create rich and distinctive supporting characters. How could you not love Gram with her kind heart and love of green paint, or Big, Lennie’s pot smoking, love guru uncle? Then there was Sarah, the feminist best friend, who may not have always agree with Lennie's decisions, but always tried to understand them. And, of course, there was Joe.
Joe Fontaine was the new kid in town, who only knew Lennie post-Bailey. He was the dreamy love interest who made the sky burst open to allow Lennie to feel again. Their relationship never felt rushed, but natural, as Joe got to know Lennie by arriving at her house every morning, as a friend, for weeks before they became a couple. I also liked how Joe wasn’t just there for Lennie, but he also became a life raft for Gram and Big, who were also lifted by his infectious smile and ever-positive attitude.
The Sky Is Everywhere continuously inspired me to just live, and I truly loved every aspect of the story. It is a book I can see myself coming back to over and over, just to re-immerse myself in these unforgettable characters lives.
Rating: 5 out of 5