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Wide Sargasso Sea
Jean Rhys
Heaven Is a Playground
Rick Telander
Not a Drop to Drink
Mindy McGinnis
The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson Might be closer to a 3.5 but I'm feeling generous. I'm a hybrid cynical optimist and as a result I thought parts of this were heartfelt and beautiful and parts were cloyingly sentimental and melodramatic. I was struggling with that until I realized that I saw The Sky Is Everywhere as a fairy tale. It felt much more magical than realistic and after I made that realization I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I really liked the first half because along with the gorgeous poignancy there was humor and a healthy (HUGE) dose of OMG!WTF! The second half fell into a more standard young love routine and although I liked it, I missed the complexity of the first half. A lot of the story had to do with love and while I would be lying if I said I didn't swoon over Joe, I really found myself interested in the other kinds of love that were explored to varying degrees in the novel. I was similarly repulsed, intrigued and sympathetic to Toby and Lennie's whole deal. Is there a transitive property to love? If Person A loves Person B and Person C is in love with Person B does that mean Person A and Person C love each other? How creepy and gross and stressful and beautiful is that? As for Joe and Lennie, I tend to cringe at the insta-love prevalent in YA novels. I'm usually firmly in the "No, kids--that's just hormones!" camp and while this book should technically fall into that category, I must have been in a good mood because I found it too charming to be that annoyed. Random notes: I grew concerned about the amount of litter floating around town (and nature!) available for Lennie to use as scratchpads. Also, I was a little bummed that readers didn't get to read THE poem after seeing all the others, but after getting a preview of a few snippets maybe that wasn't such a bad thing (ahem, see aforementioned penchant for the melodramatic). And finally, I really really loved the explanation of the title, especially combined with Bailey's "the toes knows".