Tag Archives: Jandy Nelson
WELCOME BACK!! It’s time for another Swoony Boy Alert. First, some Joe Fontaine swoon. . .
Can we tell you how much we’ve missed these posts? And you, of course! *smothers* So what are Swoony Boy Posts? SBA’s are random and often incoherent posts in which we, and you, YES YOU, awesome reader, gather around a glass of something pink and sparkly and talk all about our favorite male characters in fiction. They can be old favorites, or boys we’re meeting for the first time.Read More »
From the book jacket: 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.
Lo sputters: I don’t even really know where to begin. I’ve literally just closed the back cover, heaved out the most satisfied of sighs, and then leaped up, sprinted to the computer, and started furiously typing. This book is, simply put, breathtaking.
I was nervous about reading it, and even though many people whose Book Opinions I put above all others told me I MUST READ IT NOW – still, I hesitated. My brother died in a car accident when I was fifteen, only days before his twenty first birthday. Now, I have a living sister whose life I treasure with this kind of terrified, adoring cling, and sibling death books haunt me. There are some lines in this book that felt so perfectly crafted that I almost hated them.
-I don’t have a clue what to do with my face or body or smashed up heart.
-My sister dies over and over again, all day long.
-I can’t shove the dark out of my way.
-When I introduced Bailey, I felt like I was presenting the world’s most badass work of art.
It’s hard to be reminded that there is someone who is gone before they made all of the wonderful memories of a lifetime truly lived, or that the memories that were made have been completely erased from the world’s Library of Memories. And this is the opening subject of the book; admittedly, it could hit a reader with a spiked mace of painful WHOMP.
But somehow, like Gayle Foreman with If I Stay and Where She Went, Jandy Nelson manages to convey grief without writing a book that feels repellingly leaden with its sadness. What’s more, without even one awkward seam, Nelson weaves in all of the other things that are happening at seventeen: fears, sexuality, longing, loneliness, inconsistency, confusion, misunderstanding, discovery, mistakes, lust.Read More »