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This is the scent of my house lately. Mmmm …

I just finished an incredible book - THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, by Jandy Nelson.

Knocked. Me. Out.

Made me look at my own writing and go, “Phhbt. What am I playing at?”

Synopsis writing is not my strength – so rather than torture you (and diminish the book) by trying to put my reader’s euphoria into words, I will post the official description: “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.”

But even that description cannot capture the flood of poetic images and perfect turns of phrase that reach up from the page and make you gasp. Or laugh. Or cry.

This is Jandy Nelson’s debut YA novel – are you listening, 2011 Morris Award committee?

I had been planning to post snippets of reader emails I’ve received since FLASH BURNOUT was published. But now that I’ve been knocked down and helped back up by that gorgeous book, I really feel the need to revisit these kind words!

From a teen girl
Your book effected me so much, it made me feel happy and sad and so many other things all at the same time. Simply, all I can say is that I loved it and it really made me think about things.

From a teen boy
it was very good. and if i had the power to make it into a movie i definitely would do that its a great story.

From the mother of two teens. Also a writer?
Your book has inspired me to keep working on my own ideas... I thank you for that too.

From a teen boy
At first I worried it was going to be a "chick" book but as I started reading I instantly became hooked; it took me an overall time of three hours to read it. I was also the first person in my school to ever check it out.
I had some questions about it though. First, is there more books coming from you, because I think you have to be my new favorite author?

It's such a gift when someone takes the time to let you know they loved your book.

I think I need to go write a note to Jandy Nelson.

P.S. There's a topic on Twitter right now started by Sarah Mylnowski, who has a new book coming out about a girl who can call her younger self on a cell phone and give her advice.

My advice to my high school self was (in two tweets):

Stop trying to hook up w/ Steve. It'll never work. But don't worry, you'll have him in your life forever. (cont'd) Unlike his girlfriends.

What's YOUR advice to your high school self?


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Apr. 21st, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
I loved The Sky is Everywhere, too - just gorgeous writing.

As for my advice to myself? "Don't let them get to you. In roughly twenty years they'll all be trying to friend you on facebook anyway."
Apr. 21st, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
Love it!!!
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:52 am (UTC)
I have just started it. It is lyrical writing. :D
Apr. 21st, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
I'm almost finished with it, and yeah, incredible doesn't even begin to describe it. I DO hope the Morris Award committee is listening!!
Apr. 21st, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
That book is on my list To Buy and Read!
Apr. 21st, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Ohh, I loved The Sky is Everywhere! It's my favorite book of 2010 so far. So luminous and wordsmithy and wonderful. I just want to give it to everyone I know.
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Apr. 21st, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
I had to see if this is the same Jandy Nelson, literary agent, whom I met at the PNWA conference several years ago--and I'm delighted to say she is! I had a pitch session with Jandy and she was fabulously nice, smart and very encouraging.

Her book is going on the TBR list right now. It sounds awesome.

Apr. 22nd, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
I am going to order it right now.
my advice to my younger self - highschool is just a minor blip in your life. do not fret.
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