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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Healing is possible, even after a great loss. Take control of your own life. Decide what you really want, what is most meaningful to you. Be vulnerable with someone you love.
Positive Role Models
Readers may be inspired by the characters' attempts to move ahead, after a big loss. They are both emotional and honest with one another. They forgive their weaknesses as well.
Violence & Scariness
The death of the main character's sister stes the story in motion.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lennie has several intimate encounters with her dead sister's boyfriend -- he puts his hands under her shirt and down her pants. Later, she and Joe kiss on a bed and talk about having sex. She confesses that she's a virgin, but he's not.
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Pretty adult language throughout, but the characters don't swear at each other or in anger.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lennie's uncle smokes marijuana and Lennie and Joe get drunk on a bottle of expensive wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Sky Is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun), is a mature book in which the main characters are coping with the loss of someone they love. There's plenty of sexy material as well. Lennie has several intimate encounters with her dead sister's fiance -- he puts his hands under her shirt and down her pants. Later, she and Joe kiss on a bed, and talk about having sex. She confesses that she's a virgin, but he's not. Ther's some strong language, pot smoking, and teen drinking. There's a positive message about taking control of your own life. Ultimately, Lennie has to decide what she really wants -- and this means taking her music seriously again, and revealing her most vulnerable feelings to Joe.
Is It Any Good?
There are probably too many wacky characters and twists in this plot, but Lennie's authentic voice keeps the story grounded. As she struggles both with losing her sister and falling in love for the first time, her narration remains honest and poetic: "I've always been into the Big bang theory of passion, but as something theoretical... something that I might secretly want bad but can't imagine ever happening to me."
She doesn't always head down the right path (after her sister dies, for example, she hooks up with her grief-stricken boyfriend several times, then doesn't come clean to her new love); even so readers will understand her motivations and find it easy to root for her. The little poems and stories she writes and secretly scatters around her town not only fill in some of the narrative, but they give readers a peek into her sensitive soul.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.