Hauntingly beautiful story that will leave you thinking about it long after you’ve closed the covers

(Review from Dec 09, 2011 from my personal blog, RaeLynnFry.Blogspot.com)

I’d seen this title around, but never really had the desire to read it. The summary told me it wasn’t my typical type of book. Then I read Tahere Mafi’s review, and changed my mind. I consumed this book in 24 very short hours. It’s hard to describe the feeling this kind of book gives you. How it changes you as a person. It sounds so cheesy, but it’s true. This is a book about life. About people, and sadness and how loss can kill a person inside, how it effects everyone and the importance of family and loved ones.  This isn’t just a story, it’s a life and that life’s pain unfolding on each page.

Her words are so poetic and simple and real and oh, so powerful. The way she expresses the profound sadness and emptiness that comes with losing someone you love with all your heart was overwhelming. I felt everything Lennie did, I was riding this rollercoaster with her. I was crying with her, in the darkness of the closet amongst Bails’ clothes. I understand why she did the things she did, because while reading this story, I lost Bails too, and felt the need to do those same things. Make those same decisions and say those same words.

The poems in the books, the snippets of Lennie and Bails lives together was perfect and heart-wrenching and beautiful all at the same time. Jandy has a way with words that I have never seen before and I doubt I’ll see them again. There were so many times where she expressed something so complex in such a rudimentary, brilliant way. There’s a poetic element to her prose and narrative that is so fluid.

Every character, and I mean every character is real enough to touch. I wait for them to come walking down the street. I want a grandma like Grams, I want to live in their town, I want a crazy uncle who’s been married a bazillion times, I want to be able to play an instrument like Lennie or Joe can. I want to know them all. It’s just a great story and experience that you’ll have to have for yourself. Loved this book and will read it again. It definitely made it onto The List.

The toes knows.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from Jandy’s book:

“It’s as if someone vacuumed up the horizon while we were looking the other way.” Pg 3

“My sister dies over and over again, all day long.” Pg 9

“I wish my shadow would get up and walk beside me.” Pg 37

“But what if music is what escapes when a heart breaks?” pg 86

“Our tongues have fallen madly in love and gotten married and moved to Paris.” Pg 125

“My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes part of you,m step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.” Pg 257

There’s still time to pick this up and read it for our Read Along discussion on Twitter this weekend (#IDS_BookAddicts, Wednesday, July 11th @ 2 PM MST)

Read Along Selections

Alright! Everyone ready for our very first Read Along? The books we’ll be reading are below. Then we’ll have a little TweenChat about the books under #IDS_BookAddicts. Which book will you be reading with us? (You can do one, none, or all three 🙂 )

YA Contemporary (Rachel)

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

TweetChat: Wednesday, July 11th @ 2:00 PM MST

Romance/Paranormal (Pam)

Firelight by Kristen Callihan

TweetChat: Thursday, July 12th @ 2:00 PM MST Monday, July 16th @ 2:00 PM MST

Mystery/Suspense (Janice)

V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

TweetChat: Friday, July 13th @ 2:30 PM MST

Read Along Details

Here at the Book Addicts, we love to talk books. Discussing characters as if they’re family and arguing plot points and themes. Hating on villains (but secretly thinking they kinda rock) and rooting for the tortured hero. Most importantly, we love getting other people’s points of view on what we’re reading. More often than not, our eyes are opened to something new or we’re able to add another convert to our way of thinking to our list.

Here’s the deal: We’re going to host monthly Read Alongs. We’ll announce the book of our choosing (one for each of us) and you’ll read along with us. We’ll post updates on Twitter and the blogs about where we’re at and then at the deadline chosen, We’ll have a live chat via Twitter.

Sound exciting?

We think so, too. Keep your eyes peeled. We’ll announce the first Read Along soon (probably sometime in June). Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the book!

Happy reading, my friends!

Rachel