*comes blinking back into the light* wha-what? Is it Sunday? Are we done?
I’ll admit, I didn’t participate in the Endless Possibilities Readathon as much as I could’ve. There was a Facebook page, all these questions and contests and things, that I pretty much ignored. Oops! But, I did read! Here’s a quick rundown of what I got done over the last three days:
Thursday, June 4th I started & finished The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. That’s 320 pages or so in a single day — way more than I was expecting! I’ll put my review below.
Friday, June 5th I tried my damnedest to read The Martian, by Andy Weir, in one day, but I just couldn’t do it. I read about 200 pages.
Saturday, June 6th We drove up to my grandparents house to watch the Belmont (yay, Triple Crown, for people who … care … about this…) I managed to read another 60 or so pages in the car, somehow. I was floored with motion sickness afterwards. I am not a car-reader. Oh, no.
I should finish this book today or tomorrow. Great story, though — it’s the logs of a guy accidentally left on Mars when his crew, during an emergency abort, thinks he’s been killed and decides they don’t have time to recover his body. It’s his attempts to survive along with NASA’s attempts to save him (once they realize, oh shit, he’s still up there.) I’m loving it so far. It’s a great mix of technical real-science, a survival story, a little humor (sometimes the dialogue is too cheesy and dude-bro for me, though, to be fair), and a bit of that Apollo 13, heart-swelling, the whole planet is rooting for you space drama that gets me right in the feely bits. (As in: I’ve already teared up several times for no actual reason.)
Anyway, I officially count that readathon as a success! I didn’t get to two of the books I intended to (The Martian snuck up on me out of nowhere) but (almost) two books in three days is a nice break from the reading slump that hit me in May. Let this trend continue!
And now, real quick, a mini-review of Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere:
The book was good, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as I’ll Give You the Sun. The Sky Is Everywhere is about a girl who has lost her sister to an abrupt and unexpected death, and is consumed in a whirlwind of grief that pulls two boys into her life – Toby, her sister’s ex-boyfriend, and Joe, a new guy in town. This is a love triangle, folks. Lennie feels inexplicably drawn to Toby, who shares her overwhelming sadness over her sister’s death, while at the same time she’s attracted to Joe, who is talented, unconnected to Lennie’s previous life, and is — for some reason — immediately and completely in love her with.
The romance aspects were the weakest part of the book for me — inconvenient, considering they’re the main part. I know Lennie is a hormonal teenage girl, but I felt like she needed to take time for herself to mourn her sister’s death, not immediately get swept up in this drama of kissing boys, getting caught kissing boys, worrying about which boy she wanted to kiss, etc and so on — she wasn’t processing her sister’s death, and with a random sideplot of trying to find her missing mother, the romance felt like a distraction from the main story, rather than something I was really interested in. (Plus, I wasn’t too keen on Joe. He revealed himself to have a pretty nasty temper and very little ability to forgive or communicate healthily. Once he was angry, he wouldn’t let Lennie defend herself or explain her side of the story, and, sorry, but that’s not really a quality I appreciate in a romantic interest. Eesh.)
All this said, I’m slightly outside of the age group this book was intended for, so if you’re someone who likes reading books about love triangles and lots of teenagers kissing each other, thinking they’re in love after a week of knowing each other, etc., you won’t have the same relatability issues as I had. This book was good, and compelling enough for me to read in a day. It deals with grief and death deftly, and I think would be a helpful read if you were getting over a loss. It has that vivid imagery and explosion of metaphors that made I’ll Give You The Sun such an emotional and visceral experience — but I would say I’ll Give You The Sun was belligerently wonderful, all the colors of the universe splattered on a canvas, while The Sky Is Everywhere was a painting much tamer and yet somehow, less focused. Definitely a good book, and if I hadn’t read I’ll Give You the Sun, I might’ve appreciated it more.
3/5 stars: A good, quick read that had some beautiful imagery and important things to say about grief. The protagonist is very much a teenager, though, so … be forewarned. And read I’ll Give You The Sun first. Because it’s awesome.
Welp, that’s it for today. If you participated in the readathon, how’d you do? If you were stuck on Mars, do you think you have any skills whatsoever that would help you to survive?? (Man, this book is making me appreciate how important math is. If, you know, you’re abandoned on another planet and have only your own math and science skills to help you survive.) Leave a comment, let’s talk!