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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.
“The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.”
AAAAAAH! My first review since…like…ever!!! I have MISSED REVIEWING!! Well, I’m finally back and I am so glad I chose this book to revive me in the reading world. It was just light enough, just angsty enough, just just just what I needed. I needed a shock to my system. It’s like this totally angsty book brought me back to life, a tad. Not to say I didn’t have a wonderful honeymoon and all that jazz, but…well….books. I missed them. They are like my right arm. I cannot function without them. So…to say I am sooooooo happy to be reading and FINALLY not stressed about planning anything (holidays, bday, wedding, honeymoon, OH MY)…is an understatement.
Later, as he plays and plays, as all the fog burns away, I think, he’s right. That’s exactly it-I am crazy sad, and somewhere deep inside, all I want is to fly.
This book…it was super weird. And I was kinda mad when everyone kept saying that in reviews. I was thinking-nah, people are just super judgmental (Anna-I SWEAR I’m not pointing at you-I love you too much…*side smirk emoji*). But, it really was just super odd. From the sex-crazed mourning main character, to the mourning boyfriend, to the type of writing-It made for a super interesting plot. I don’t think I particularly disliked anything. I just think certain things made me feel a little weird.
Grief is a house where no one can protect you
where the younger sister
will grow older than the older one
where the doors
no longer let you in
For instance, a lot of times, and at first I didn’t mind because it was one character speaking like this, characters left out words at the beginning of the sentence. They would leave out “I” or “It” or something that added extra emphasis on what they were speaking about, and being a perfectionist….by about 50% I was tired of EVERYONE talking in such a manner. I thought it was cool for a couple people, but when they ALL started to, it lost it’s poetic emphasis.
There were once two sisters who shared the same room,
the same clothes,
the same thoughts at the same moment.
These two sisters did not have a mother
but they had each other.
The older sister walked ahead of the younger
so the younger one always knew where to go.
Hmmm what else?? OOOH the big ol’ elephant in the room-If, and I do mean IF, I were to pass for some reason, I can assure you that my amazing sister and my especially (and sometimes asshole-ish) amazing HUSBAND wouldn’t hook up. Here are the reasons I know this to be true: A) It’s icky. B) I have the most loyal sister and he was the most loyal boyfriend for 8 years. C) It’s icky. Not that this doesn’t happen in real life but….It wouldn’t happen. Even in the past 8 years, I know for a fact my was-a-boyfriend wouldn’t have crossed that line. I hope I will NEVER know that grief-EVER-but I just don’t see myself immediately falling for the boyfriend of my deceased sister. I guess this is why it is labeled fiction. I might never know the answers to these horrific and complex questions. All I know is-If there was a boy (not the deceased sister’s boyfriend (yes this is a love triangle)) with a smile that was saved just for me and he made my heart burst with beautiful and hopeful emotion…I’d be hanging on to him with my very being.
I look into his sorrowless eyes and a door in my heart blows open.
And when we kiss, I see that on the other side of that door is the sky.
And this is where the fabulous, adorable, and talented Joe comes in. I loved his personality! He was so sweet and charming and wow was he in love with Lennie. He fell for her so quick and gave her his undying attention from the start. His mile long lashes would bat at her and her libido would go crazy. He was optimistic and always blushing when caught off guard when people called him out on his feelings-to say it was adorable would be underselling it. In fact, I don’t quite know how to sell Joe. I think I’m underselling him, hmmm…*Squinty-eyed emoji*….let’s leave it here-While there was a lot that made me skeptical in the beginning, Joe made this book addictive the minute he started coming around-It’s that simple. I really liked, almost loved, this story because of Joe’s adorable love/crush on Lennie.
He shakes his head like it doesn’t matter, and then to my surprise he doesn’t kiss me but wraps his arms around me instead. For a moment, in his arms, with my mind so close to his heart, I listen to the wind pick up and think it just might lift us off our feet and take us with it.
Like I said, there was a lot going on with this book-a lot that I still don’t quite understand-but it really was a great book for me to start out with. It was cute, funny, sad, witty, addicting….weird (just like me)….so it worked. I am so happy I finally read this-I had it picked out probably 5 years ago, maybe longer-I can’t remember, and never ended up buying it at the store. So, after all these years, I finally read it. And I think I have to admit something-I’m glad I
forgot waited this long….I don’t think I was as developed as a reader back then. Sure, I read a ton, but my preferences were narrow-minded and a lot of the same type of book on repeat. So, in essence, back then I probably would have hated it, whereas now I can appreciate the complexity of the story. I believe everything happens for a reason…and I am so happy I finally got to this book. ♥