- Publisher: Penguin USA
- Format: Paperback | 275 pages
- Dimensions: 137mm x 208mm x 23mm | 272g
- Publication date: 22 March 2011
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 0142417807
- ISBN 13: 9780142417805
- Sales rank: 12,292
Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby--Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief--and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode. Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart. As much a celebration of love as a poignant portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often uproarious, and absolutely unforgettable.
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Jandy Nelson, like her characters in" I'll Give you the Sun," comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her debut novel, " The Sky Is Everywhere," was on multiple Best Books of the Year lists, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, earned numerous starred reviews, has been translated widely, and continues to enjoy great international success. Jandy has a BA from Cornell, an MFA in poetry from Brown, and another MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Currently a full-time writer, Jandy lives and writes in San Francisco, California--not far from the settings of "The Sky Is Everywhere" and" I'll Give You the Sun."
By Kate @ Fictional Thoughts 14 Aug 2013
I think I fell in love with Lennie Walker on the first page. She's grieving and confused but manages to keep a slightly sardonic tone throughout it all. Her sister - and best friend - Bailey dies without any warning and Lennie is left to try to move on without her. Her grandmother is slightly eccentric and her uncle perpetually stoned but somehow they are all trying to muddle though. When it seems like no one knows what she's feeling, Lennie finds a kindred spirit in Toby - her sister's boyfriend - and she knows it's wrong but he understands what she's feeling in a way that no one else seems to. If that wasn't confusing enough, Lennie meets Joe, musical genius Joe... If ever Lennie needed her big sister it was now...
This book is beautiful. The writing and feeling that Jandy Nelson manages to infuse her words with is amazing to read. Lennie is a typical teenage girl who has somewhat extraordinary circumstances. Her mother dumped her sister and her on their grandmother's doorstep when Lennie was a year old, her uncle, Big, is in love with falling in love and had been married - and divorced - numerous times. And her gram is a garden guru who goes around and prunes other people's plants but refuses to let anyone touch her own. These are characters that I enjoyed reading about. They're vibrant and three-dimensional in their imperfection. And that's how I view Lennie too. She's heartbroken and makes mistakes. Her behaviour regarding her romantic life may be somewhat unconventional and I can see why other readers may have a problem with it but to me, Lennie's actions are what I would expect of someone who is human and hurting. Not always logical but what I admire about Lennie is that she does take responsibility for what she's done.
One of my favourite things about this book was the character of Joe Fontaine. He's so enthusiastic and in the moment that it's hard not to fall a little in love with him. He wears his heart on his sleeve and his happiness is palpable - as is his heartbreak. Nelson describes his smile as if the way it makes Lennie feel like it's a physical sunbeam. It's kind of incredible. He contrasts nicely against Bailey's boyfriend, Toby - who is slightly damaged but well-meaning.
Another highlight of this book for me was the little notes and poems that Lennie writes. She leaves her mark wherever she goes leaving little notes and thoughts on leaves, flyers - anything she can get her hands and a pen on. I thought it was a beautiful way for her to be able to have a conversation with her sister when talking was no longer option. The is one that Lennie writes about grief being a house that really made me feel for Lennie. Her guerrilla poetry was a great way to give Lennie's relationship with Bailey a voice without Bailey saying a word.
This book is definitely one I recommend for fans of heartfelt and touching young adult literature. It's moving and beautiful with character that made me laugh and broke my heart. I loved reading it and it makes my list of top five YA books I've ever read. Five stars!
"This honest, complex debut is distinguished by a dreamy California setting and poetic images that will draw readers in to Lennie's world." -"Publishers Weekly", starred review "It+s romantic without being gooey and tearjerking without being campy-what more could a reader want?" -"BCCB", starred review