Release Date: June 7, 2010
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.
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.
Let me start off by saying that the reason I picked up this book finally is because of Whitney at WhittyNovels talked about this book in one of her videos. (You can watch that video here.) The way she talked about it, I just KNEW I had to pick it up as soon as I could. So thank you, Whitney!
So this book is about a girl named Lennie who is struggling with the loss of her older sister Bailey. She lives with her grandmother, Gram, and her uncle, Big. This story is about her struggle with the loss of her sister as well as other things which I cannot mention because spoilers. There is also Toby, who was Bailey's boyfriend. His griefs and Lennie's are pretty much the same. Then enters the new boy, Joe. Some things go down and it causes you to feel all kinds of feels. Haha. I can't say too much because I don't want to spoil anything.
First, I want to talk about each of the characters. Lennie is such a relateable character, in my opinion. She is going through so many things that people have to deal with each day. I feel like she grows and learns so much as the story progresses. Sure she makes some mistakes, but she learns from them and does what she needs to do to fix these mistakes. I really liked her character. Gram is such a likable character. Sure, she kept some secrets from Lennie but I think it was for her own good. Gram has a big heart and really cares about Lennie and her well-being. I found Big to be a very strange character. I mean what normal person thinks they can bring back to life?! Haha. I didn't really like or dislike him as a character but I think that's only because he wasn't present a lot in the story. I really liked Toby. I thought his character had to go through a lot because of Bailey's death, but I think he handled everything very well. Joe was my favorite character in the book. I found him to be smart, funny, romantic, and an overall great guy. I think that it was really cute how he made Lennie so happy. He was able to keep her mind off the loss of her sister. When Lennie was with him, she felt no greif. Joe came into her life in a time when she really needed someone that wasn't a part of her family or wasn't her sister's boyfriend.
I thought the author did a really great job with the plot, descriptions, and the world building. There were some parts in the book that I could really picture in my head the scene and what was happening. One scene for example is when she is taking Joe to this outdoor room that is owned by a hotel not far from her house. The way everything was described, I could picture about what this scene would look like if it were real. I really enjoy when I am able to picture things authors are talking about.
One thing that I liked about this book were all the notes Lennie had written on random things. These were shown in the beginning of almost every chapter. Because of these, I feel like I was able to see more of how the relationship between Lennie and Bailey was. I also feel like it helped me connect more with Lennie and the emotions that she was dealing with.
I feel like music played a big role in this book. Music was a way that Lennie and Joe connected. I feel that music actually helped Lennie grow throughout the book. Music not only connected he with Joe but it also helped he with her grieving and it helped her grow out of Bailey's shadow and into her own spotlight.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I think I may have to add it to my favorites list. I definitely recommend giving this book a shot. Just remember that if you do read it, you will be on an emotional roller-coaster. Prepare to feel all of the feels!