Book Info: Published by Dial; 288 pages; hardcover
Source: borrowed from the library
Goodreads.com Summary: 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 transfer 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. This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.
I am so glad I read this book! It made me laugh, but it also made me cry. I even laughed through my tears. It seems like I’ve come across several books dealing with grief over the last year or so, and I think this is one of my favorites.
I really related to Lennie, especially when she and her grandma were talking about how they didn’t know who they were after losing Bailey. The way someone feels after losing someone close to them is so complex and varies so much from person to person, and I think Nelson captured this so well. All of the characters have lost someone and are dealing with it in their own way. While I didn’t always like the choices Lennie made, I still understood where she was coming from.
I especially loved the notes (written by Lennie) that are scattered throughout the book. It’s a great look at who Bailey was and her relationship with Lennie. It really made the book a lot more emotional.
And we have to talk about Joe! I loved him, and it’s easy to see why. Words cannot express how much I love him.
I just loved this book. So much, in fact, that I shall give it a 5 out of 5. And buy a copy for myself. It’s such a beautiful book.