Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Walker Books
Reading Level: 14+
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker 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, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can't collide without Lennie's world exploding...
I've just now finished this book. It is beautifully written. I'm still processing it. The prose is actually quite beautiful. Lennie is mourning her sisters death, why does she now feel alive when her sister is dead? The book is about her mourning. It is sad, beautiful, shocking, and understandable.
There is a love story that blooms in the midst of all this turmoil, and Lennie screws it up. She is just so hurt and lost now that her sister is gone. I don't know what to make of it. It is well written and the character development is wonderful. I'm going to say it was a great book. Interesting. Thought provoking, and wistful. I know I'll be thinking about this book for days. I love books that make me think. I can't get this story out of my head.
"Life's a freaking mess. In fact, I'm going to tell Sarah we need to start a new philosophical movement: messessentialism instead of existentialism: For those who revel in the essential mess that is life. Because Gram's right, there's not one truth ever, just a bunch of stories, all going on at once, in our heads, in our hearts, all getting in the way of each other. It's all a beautiful calamitous mess. It's like the day Mr. James took us into the woods and cried triumphantly, "That's it! That's it!" to the dizzying cacophony of soloing instruments trying to make music together. That is it."