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Literature / The Sky Is Everywhere

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The Sky Is Everywhere is a debut Young Adult novel by Jandy Nelson.

It revolves around seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, who 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 centre stage of her own life – and suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two boys. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow; the other comforts her in it. But the two can't collide without Lennie's world exploding...

A film adaptation of the novel was released on February 11th, 2022.


This novel provides examples of:

  • Always Someone Better: Lennie to her older sister, Bailey. In her words, "I am plainer, flatter, scrawnier, paler, tamer."
  • Anguished Declarationof Love: Lennie writes one to Joe, then is embarrassed about it later, but it seems to work.
  • Badass Baritone: Uncle Big has a deep, impressive voice.
  • Badass Boast: Lennie gives one to Rachel near the end of the book on challenging her to first chair, something she knows Rachel has been scared of her doing all year, "Come September, may the best clarinettist win."
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Rachel, though only to people who don't know her better.
  • Bookworm: Lennie is an obsessive reader, especially of her favourite novel, Wuthering Heights.
  • Breakthe Cutie: Lennie comes pre-broken. The story is about her figuring out how to live without Bailey.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Lennie's habit of writing poetry and scattering it about town proves useful for reconciling with Joe.
    • The reason why Gram paints her green ladies? Her daughter, Paige, was wearing a green dress the night she left and Gram's been painting her ever since out of guilt.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Everyone in the book.
  • Coming of Age Story: The whole book is Lennie's, along with learning how to live outside of her sister's shadow.
  • Cool Big Sis: Bailey was this to Lennie, who feels utterly lost without her.
  • Dude Magnet: Bailey, who had boys following her around wherever she went.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Lennie and Joe first bond over their love of music, Lennie being a clarinettist and Joe playing the horn.
  • Gentle Giant: Uncle Big is over six-feet tall with a deep, booming voice, but he's a total softie and a science geek.
  • Get Out!: After an emotional conversation, Gram reveals to Lennie the truth about what happened when their mother left- Paige left Lennie and Bailey with her and repeatedly asked what would happen if she just left. Gram lost her temper and told Paige if she abandoned her daughters, she'd be dead to her.
  • Gratuitous French: Joe, which is somewhat understandable as he lived there as a kid.
  • Green Thumb: Gram's roses are said to make people fall in love, just from how gorgeous they look and smell.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Lennie and Toby get there, eventually.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Bailey collapsed from a brain aneurysm at her school play rehearsals- none of her family were there when she died.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Lennie is always called by her nickname rather than her actual first name, Lennon.
  • Parting-Words Regret: Lennie's last words to her sister were telling her that she doesn't care what shirt she's wearing.
  • Parental Abandonment: Bailey and Lennie's mother, Paige, disappeared one day and never came back. Gram insists that she will someday and that she simply has a 'wandering gene' in her DNA.
  • Please Wake Up: At Bailey's funeral, Lennie completely lost it and started shaking her sister, screaming at her, "TALK TO ME!" She had to be carried out by Uncle Big.
  • Promotion to Parent: Gram is effectively Bailey and Lennie's mother, though as Lennie finds out when sorting through Bailey's things, Bailey was still obsessed with tracking down their biological mother.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Bailey's relationship with Toby.
  • Serial Romeo: Lennie's Uncle Big has been married several times.
  • Supreme Chef: Lennie has a part-time job at a restaurant and loves to make lasagna there.
  • Verbal Tic: When Sarah gets excited, random animals pop into her speech.
  • The Voiceless: Lennie initially barely speaks after Bailey's funeral - Toby, Sarah and Joe eventually snap her out of this.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sarah calls Lennie out for making out with her dead sister's boyfriend and for neglecting their friendship, though it's a more downplayed version than usual.
    • Lennie gets a retroactive one to Bailey when it turns out Bailey was engaged to Toby and she was pregnant.