My Rating: ★★★★★
Genre: Young Adult
Plot: Lennie is used to hanging back and watching the show that is life, with her sister Bailey by her side for every moment. When Bailey dies, Lennie no longer has her other half around to help her see things straight in life. Suddenly, she finds herself very interested in boys– two boys in particular: Toby, who was her sister’s boyfriend; and Joe, the new kid in school who is also a musical prodigy who grew up in France. Lennie discovers that it’s hard to balance her feelings for the two of them– Toby is probably the only person who understands her grief, while Joe has only known her without her sister and accepts her just the way she is. Lennie must sort out her feelings and come to terms with her grief, and her newfound singularity, if she is to keep all hearts intact.
- It takes place in “nothern Northern California” (she actually says that), and I’m from Siskiyou County (basically as far north in California as you can get; people forget about us). I’m not sure where exactly this book takes place, if anywhere in particular (the town the book takes place in is fictional), but the eccentric people and the forest-y feel to the story made me really happy. I actually wrote Jandy Nelson to ask if she had any particular place in mind, but I’m not sure if I’ll get an answer any time soon, with her new book coming out in two weeks and whatnot. Ok I’m rambling.
- Grief happens. And it’s confusing. Everyone grieves in their own way. And that was very real in this book.
- Her stoner uncle, Big, was hilarious.
- She’s a band geek and a bookworm. Her favorite book is Wuthering Heights and she actually uses that as a foundation of her romantic knowledge and that’s adorable. I love it.
- The notes at the beginnings and ends of chapters.
- I think I got butterflies when I was reading about her kisses with Joe? It was just too cute.
- This book made me really, really happy. Even with the underlying sadness in the plot, it made me so happy.
- The hotel room in the middle of the forest. I want to go there. I wonder if that’s a real thing? I hope it is. If I ever get a reply from the author, I’m asking her.
- I wish there had been more about Big.
- Lennie’s friend was kind of a twat.
- What is walk-reading? Or read-walking?
- It gave me feels. Feels are gross.
- “You can tell your story any way you damn well please. It’s your solo.”
- “The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.”
- “I wish my shadow would get up and walk beside me.”
- “Each time someone dies, a library burns.”
- “The Color Of Extraordinary.”
- “Let me just unsubscribe to my own mind already, because I don’t get any of it.”
My Thoughts: As I inch my way into the world of YA lit (I was strictly adult fiction until just recently, unless I read enough 5-star reviews to convince me otherwise), I’m trying to find out which books work for me, and which ones don’t. If I only ever read YA books that made me feel like this book made me feel, I think I wouldn’t stop reading YA. This book was adorable. It was sad, it was funny, it was so amazingly raw and heartfelt. And it was real. The characters were so real. They could have been me or my sisters or my friends or anyone. And I love that. I think I recently said that about another book, but really, relatable characters just make me so… satisfied? I don’t know. Anyway. This book was really great, and I’m thrilled that she’s releasing another book this month. I might even pre-order it because I’m so excited about it. If you haven’t read this book yet and you’re into YA, read it. Seriously, you won’t regret it.