Summary: (from GoodReads)
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.
Every once in a while a book comes along that is so moving, so wonderful and so special that it becomes associated with the word "favorite". For me, this doesn't happen very often. I am quite cautious of claiming that a book is among my "favorites", because I read many books and when I say something is a "favorite" I want it to mean something.
Sort of the same as I feel about saying "I love you", I suppose.
The Sky Is Everywhere is a book that gets the "favorite" label. I gave it an absolutely glowing review that you can read here. It's also the only book I've read so far that I've given The Kat's Meow Award for Amazing Storytelling. Okay, truthfully? I decided to create the award because, to me, The Sky Is Everywhere is such a step above anything else I have given five hearts to that I needed some way to clearly distinguish how much I love it. I'm sure that other books will eventually become recipients of The Kat's Meow... But the bar has been set very high.
All of the reasons that I gave for loving The Sky Is Everywhere in my review hold true, and they are great reasons for loving a book. But the reason this book is special to me, personally, is because it made me recall a powerful memory from within my own life. It made me examine and deal with a situation that I thought I had faced and conquered a very long time ago. A situation I thought I had fully mastered, but which in truth I had simply buried and hoped would never resurface.
To me, that is what the best books do: they live for you as you read them. (take a look at what I said about how powerful the characterization is in my review...) Then, in turn, they make you live for yourself -- live more honestly, more clearly and more fully -- once you have finished reading.
I was once, many years ago, in a situation very similar (in some ways) to what happens between Lennie and Joe and Toby. And, alas, my story ended unhappily. Yet by reading their story, by experiencing their happy ending, I have been freed from remembering the sorrow of that situation. I can finally look at it and see the beauty of what was there. See why it mattered so much in the first place.
By watching Joe forgive Lennie for her mistakes, I am finally able to forgive myself for the mistake that I made. Does it mean the person I hurt has or will ever forgive me? No. But it means that, in at least some small way, I can move forward.
By watching Lennie learn to live with, if not accept, the loss of Bailey, I am finally able to accept the loss of someone that I thought I loved deeply. (Thankfully no one died in my situation, but losing someone sucks regardless of what form it takes.) Someone I didn't even realize I still missed quite so much until I got deeply ensnared within the pages of this story. Until my past caught up with me.
When something we watch, or listen to, or read somehow touches our lives, I believe that is when it becomes the most profound, powerful and real. I cannot tell you that The Sky Is Everywhere will do this for you. My goal in saying all that I have isn't to try and convince you that it should be one of your favorite books.
But hopefully from reading this, I have given others a glimpse of why it is one of mine.
Once again, if you haven't read my review yet, click here to read my thoughts about The Sky Is Everywhere.
Have you, by chance, not read The Sky Is Everywhere yet? I'm here to fix that for you. :)
I am giving away two (2) copies of The Sky Is Everywhere. I believe that the highest praise I can give a book is to increase the number of people who have read it. This book is so amazing that I'm doing that twice over. ;)
Here is How to Enter / How to Get Bonus Entries:
- To enter the contest, please leave your e-mail in the comments for this post. This contest is open internationally; I will be sending the prizes out from my home in Ontario, Canada.
- +1 If you follow my blog / Are a follower of my blog
- +1 If you follow me on Twitter / Are a follower of my Twitter
- +1 If you friend me on GoodReads / Are friends with me on GoodReads
- +1 If you tweet about this giveaway
- +1 If you mention my giveaway on your blog
- +2 If you recommend a book that you would like to see reviewed
- +2 If you blog about your favorite book
In total, this means, you can earn up to ten entries. (One regardless of what you do, and nine bonus chances available if you do all the bonus activities.) I need to know which bonuses you have done, if you choose to do them, so please mention them or include links (depending on which you do).
Entries must be in by September 15th, 2011.
To those who dropped by to read about my Best Book: August, thanks for reading. And for those who enter my giveaway, Good Luck! :)