I paid a visit to good ol' HMV whilst at home over Christmas and found out they were having a...
Blogs have been in abundance for a long time now, with the 'blogosphere' growing at an ...
"Lennie Walker, seventeen, Wuthering Heights obsessed, clarinet player, band geek. Als...
"Lennie Walker, seventeen, Wuthering Heights obsessed, clarinet player, band geek. Also hopeless romantic, prone to scattering poems all over town and as of four weeks ago, sisterless..."
Lennie's story is hauntingly tragic - we meet her just as she's lost her older sister, Bailey, with whom she was inseperable. The story follows Lennie's new, eerie life without her sister, her best friend - she can't quite come to terms with her overwhelming loss, her perpetually conflicting emotions, and the thick, heavy grief that surrounds her and her small family.
She conveys many of her emotions, experiences and memories of her sister through heartbreaking poetry, scribbled on any material she finds, and scattered about her North Californian town of Clover - a quaint, rural town in which she lives with her quirky grandmother, and eccentric Uncle Big.
Not only that, but Lennie also has to deal with the conflicting emotions she has towards her sister's boyfriend, Toby; the charismatic and animated new kid in her school, Joe Fontaine; her music class rival Rachel; and her newly fragile relationship with her quirky best friend Sarah. Nelson's characters are all so unique and vibrant, they're unforgettable.
The Sky Is Everywhere is so beautifully and magically written; the first time I read this, I cried countless times. You can feel Lennie's pain so clearly through Nelson's carefully crafted words - her story is guaranteed to break your heart multiple times. It's one of those books you can't seem to put down until you've consumed every word, and turned over the final page.
I first read The Sky Is Everywhere well over a year ago, in digital form, and the physical copy quickly made its way to the top of my wishlist. It's the kind of story that stays with you - it will both warm your heart and break it, multiple times over. It's tragic yet funny, compelling and bittersweet. This is the first books of Jandy Nelson's that I've actually read, and I've since been searching the Internet for anything else she may have written because her words are just so wonderful and gripping (I found another novel, entitled I'll Give You The Sun, but more on that at another stage.)
I'd give The Sky Is Everywhere a 5/5 - I absolutely adore this book.
HARRY POTTER - J.K. ROWLING I’m willing to bet that any kid born in the late eighties...
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - HARPER LEE
A couple of summers ago, I went on a mini book buying splurge and bought a bunch of the old 'classics' secondhand, for little over a euro or two each. None of them struck such a chord with me as To Kill A Mockingbird did - I wasn't expecting to fall so in love with this novel, yet here we are. TKAMB is told through the perspective of five year old Scout, and is set in Alabama, in the 1930's. It deals with issues of race, class, gender and rape, through the eyes of an innocent child. I loved Scout's feisty character, how we can see her grow and change in the novel through her own eyes, and of course - you can't really help admire her wise father and lawyer, Atticus Finch. (I've yet to read Go Set A Watchman, the sequel published last year, and judging by the reviews and spoilers I've read, I don't think I really want to...). Classic novels are often difficult to read because of different styles and more difficult language, but that's not the case with TKAMB. Just go read it, you'll love it.
DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL - ANNE FRANK
Another no-brainer when it comes to must-read books - Anne Frank's diary is one of the most famous books of modern history. Anne receives a diary as a gift on her thirteenth birthday, in 1942 and details her life from this moment, to the days where her family are forced into hiding to avoid capture, right through the two years they spend hiding in a 'secret annexe' in Amsterdam, to her final days, before her family (bar her father, Otto Frank) are captured by the Nazis and sent to various concentration camps. Again, the innocent perspective plays a big role here - it's enthralling to read of such a violent and horrible part of history through the eyes of a thirteen year old. You don't really get much closer to learning about life during WWII than this. Through it all, Anne's observations are often surprisingly witty, and she records the tensions and struggles of life in the annexe. We learn of her inevitable fears, anger, confusion and despair towards the bleak world outside of her hiding place. It's fascinating, really, and that's why it's made this list!