(U.S. cover - right, UK cover - left )
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Dial; 1 edition (March 9, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0803734956
- ISBN-13: 978-0803734951
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.
Some say that this book was hard to get at first, or hard to get into. Beginning with the first page I found it quite easy to get into and I understood right away what was going on and the feelings that that Lennie had. Perhaps because I lost a loved one this year, but anyone who has ever gone through something similar, such as a friend moving far away or losing a boyfriend, will know the deep and intimate feelings and thoughts that Lennie had in this story.
This story made me cry. Let me say it again and emphasize, this story had tears streaming down my face almost every chapter! It was so beautifully written and so emotional, so heartfelt, so sad, happy, angry, in love, AMAZING. The characters drew me in and I absolutely fell in love with them. Even though we never actually see Bailey in action, I grew to know her and long for her presence through Lennie's scattered notes and memories.... and pure grief.
I had a love/hate relationship with Toby because I understand that he was a way for Lennie to saturate herself in her sorrow and mourn in a passionate way, but I hated him because he was Bailey's! If I ever died and could come back as a ghost (Bailey didn't, but just saying..) I would've murdered my boyfriend for messing around with SISTER. The strong relationship that Lennie and Toby made was heart wrenching so I loved Toby because of his sadness and his ability to fluster Lennie.
As for Joe, at first I felt he was quite smug and full of himself, but after he spent time with Lennie and pulled her out of her misery I absolutely adored him just like everyone else did in the story. Must've been those eyelashes... hehehe.
I loved the story, the characters, the stunning writing, and I cannot wait to hear more from Jandy Nelson. I highly recommend this read to anyone. I am definitely going to read it again and keep it as a part of my book collection.
I gave this book five out of five book geeks.