Tag Archives: Jandy Nelson

Pub Date [10]: Earth-Conscious

Pub Date

I reallyHi, all! Welcome to back to our new feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!

This month’s theme: Earth, Nature, Organic (we’re basically keeping Earth Day in mind!)

It’s in my nature (see what I did there?) to be er… slightly lazy. Lazy? Let’s say I go for what’s convenient! It’s been a crazy-busy a couple of weeks with my husband’s parents moving out of their home and retiring down in North Carolina so I haven’t really had the time to peruse the liquor store for an organic/all-natural/nature-related beer. Instead, I cheat with what I have at home (okay, so you may notice this becoming a trend. Next month I PROMISE I am going to pick up something special!) and upon cleaning out Shane’s parents’ house, we ended up taking possession of cases full of craft beer that his friend had left behind there. We aren’t taking permanent possession (aka, we have to give them back) but a couple of those beers did take residence in my belly and one of those was my selection for today’s post!

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Unfortunately, none of the beers at our house were particularly natured-related (somehow) so I chose the one with the animals on the front (hey, that works, right?) — I present to you Apex Predator from Off-Color Brewing in Chicago. I first had Apex Predator when Shane and I were out to lunch a few months ago and ordered it because I was in my saison phase. It was different from what I was expecting (and really I don’t think “saison” when I think “apex predator”, naturally) but it was quite tasty! (And the glass that I chose was a wedding favor from our Shane’s friend’s wedding in Montana last year! SO cool. And very in-nature.)

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Again, stretching the topic again because I must (I don’t really own many earthy books… Although I guess I could have done The Princess Diaries with Mia’s support of Greenpeace… oops!) so I chose books related to the Earth (or well, things we can see from the Earth? Wow, this one is twisty) with Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere and I’ll Give You the Sun. I really want to re-read The Sky is Everywhere at some point in time! I read it back when I first started blogging and inhaled it in one afternoon, tears and all. I’ve had I’ll Give You the Sun since BEA 2014 (my “omg can’t wait” shelf on Goodreads really means nothing, apparently) and still need to read it! I really need to make this a priority soon!

Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!


Recent Beers 

  • The Mayor by 51st Ward Beer Company. Cream Ale // 5.20% ABV. This was in the case of beers that Shane’s friend left behind. It was pretty good, although whenever I think cream ale, I think of Spotted Cow (only one of the best beers ever). The Mayor was pretty good and definitely drinkable but really nothing can compare to New Glarus. Their beer is just always so FRESH and CRISP so naturally this felt a little lacking but I still really enjoyed it!
  • Punk IPA by BrewDog. American IPA // 5.60% ABV. This was pretty tasty! I’m always hesitant about IPAs because some are just more hoppy than I’m in the mood for (they’re always good in flavor but I’m not always in the mood for a very hoppy beer). This had a great flavor in addition to the hops so they worked really nicely together! I’d definitely be able to have a couple.
  • First Peach Ale by Blue Moon Brewing Company. American Pale Wheat Ale // 5.60% ABV. I admit that I’m having a hard time with Blue Moon’s beers lately. They used to taste a lot fresher (and better) before they really blew up as a company. They have their branding out there and so much more business but I feel like the quality isn’t as good. Anyway… First Peach Ale was good but a little TOO peachy for me. For some reason I also didn’t expect it to be a brown ale (Untappd says brown ale, BeerAdvocate says American Pale Wheat Ale… either way, a little too much)? I was thinking a lighter beer, something that blends a little better with the peach flavor. This was a tiny bit of a kick in the taste buds and it was a little hard to have more than one but my sister really enjoyed them! The overall flavor combination was a bit too much for me though.

** Beer styles and alcohol content from Beer Advocate **
** Drink responsibly ** 

Are you a beer fan? On the Untappd app? Add me as a friend!

Casting Call [1] – The Sky is Everywhere


Welcome to the very first ever edition of Casting Call, hosted by Tee @ YA Crush, Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks, Candice @ The Grown-Up YA, Dixie & Maggie @ Gone Pecan, and of course, me too! Each Friday we’ll take a couple characters from our favorite books and discuss who we’d think would be perfect for the roles! And of course this gives us the opportunity as well to rehash our favorite parts of the story and swoon over all those dream literary crushes of ours.

First up this week, we’re casting for The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson! If you haven’t read the book, here’s a quick summary from Goodreads and a link to my original review:

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.

My original review: The Sky is Everywhere

This week, we will be casting Lennie, Joe, and Toby and I had a specific picture in my mind for Lennie’s Uncle Big so I decided to cast him as well! Here are my choices:

Shailene Woodley as Lennie Walker

Lennie: This one was really hard for me. Who was my Lennie? I knew I was looking for a brunette (was Lennie even a brunette? I tend to use the character descriptions as guidelines sometimes. Sorry, authors), and I went back and forth on a lot of girls – I almost chose Kalia Prescott from The Hunger Games (District 3 female tribute, although I don’t actually remember seeing her in the movie) but if I’m correct, I think she was a model-turned-actress and I really needed my Lennie to be a bit more simple. Someone who had a more natural look and who could maybe fit the personality. Although I haven’t actually seen anything Shailene Woodley is actually in, I really like her look for Lennie and I’d hope she could pull off the roll! 

Justin Grant Wade as Joe

Joe: I don’t know why – I think maybe there was a mention of Joe wearing a Letterman jacket early on or something? – but for some reason I got this picture of Steve Holt (Steve Holt aka Justin Grant Wade from Arrested Development… Yeah, I don’t know) stuck in my brain and that was how I pictured Joe the whole time. I’m really not sure how that happened, but it did.Toby: The name Toby really doesn’t help me picture anyone good for this role (Toby is a horribly dorky name in my opinion (Sorry to any Tobys out there)) and to be honest, I kind of hated him for a long time in the book so I really didn’t want to picture him as anyone nice. I thought about this one for a long time and I finally came up with Matt Lauria from Friday Night Lights. To me, he’s somewhere in between a little dorky looking with the potential to look really nice, so I chose him as my Toby. Plus, I think he looks like the opposite of Justin Grant Wade which in one of my favorite quotes from the book, Lennie compares the two as opposites.

Jeffrey Jones as Uncle Big

Uncle Big: Again, this is another time that I’m not quite sure if I pictured it accurately from the character description in the book, but once I heard that Uncle Big had a big mustache, I immediately had a picture in my mind of someone (which I now think MAY be a cartoon character because it’s SO specific in my mind I cannot find the actor who actually looks like this) who has red hair, tall, built, and has a big burly mustache. I searched and searched to try to find who this guy was in my mind and I found nothing. So I did the second best thing and found someone to kind of look like that picture and that turns out to be present-day Jeffrey Jones (aka Mr. Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). A little bit scary, I know, and Uncle Big in my mind looked totally sweet and not creepy (like this picture), but it was the closest I could find LOL.

Now I want to hear your thoughts!
This week we each did a full cast for the book to help our special kick-off for Casting Call. Next week, we’re making you work for it! We’re splitting up the casting between us all for more of a “hop” between our blogs – Visit each one to get a full feel our our ideal cast!!

Do you agree with my choices? Who would you have put in these roles? And as for every week, be sure to check out everyone else’s choices! Catch who they picked and show them some comment love too!

Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA
Tee @ YA Crush
Maggie @ Gone Pecan

And don’t miss us next Friday when we cast the popular dystopian DIVERGENT by VERONICA ROTH!

*Disclaimer: In our development of this feature, we discovered that the book blog Lit Snit featured “Casting Call Fridays” back in 2010. Our Casting Call feature is in no way purposefully copying or stealing this idea and any similarities in  format, casting choices, etc are purely coincidental.

The Sky is Everywhere – Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere – Jandy NelsonTitle: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Publishing Info: March 9, 2010 by Penguin
Source: Library
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 15, 2012

Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode. Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart. As much a celebration of love as a poignant portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often uproarious, and absolutely unforgettable.

Breaking It Down Further: Lennie Walker is lost without her sister and best friend, Bailey. When Bailey suddenly collapses and dies from a heart defect without warning, Lennie is left in the wake of her absence along with her grandmother and uncle (with whom she lives) and Bailey’s boyfriend Toby. Lennie always felt like the sidekick to her older sister, and now that she’s gone, she has to learn how to figure out her place in life without her and how to carve her own path in the world. Full of sorrow, heartbreak, romance, betrayal, mystery, and joy, THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE is a beautiful story about a girl and her family learning to cope with loss and move along after Bailey’s sudden tragedy.

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For some reason I’ve been encountering a lot of books lately where I start them and the story is good — not yet great — and then somewhere in the middle of the book, I fall in love. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE was no exception to that trend, and in no way is that a negative thing! Sometimes I get confused on how I should really feel about the book if the ending is so much stronger than the beginning, but isn’t that the whole point? The story gets better as you go along and who cares if the end result is that I loved it!

In the beginning of this story, I felt like we were very much getting the set up of Lennie, her wacky family (Gram & Uncle Big), and life after Bailey’s death. It was a necessary set up and immediately we are put into the “teen mindset”, with the narrative being told directly from Lennie and in a very much juvenile voice. I felt like that really helped me get into the characters and put a lot of emotion into the story since we get it streaming straight from Lennie. It actually made for a lot of fun at times as well because we also get the goofy over-excited gushing and lots of “Nuh-uh”/”Yuh-huh!” between Lennie and her best friend Sarah. It could have been annoying if it was overdone, but it was a nice balance and it made it cute and enjoyable! It’s kind of how much I loved If I Stay for how mature its tone was — I loved THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE for how realistic its teen voice was.

I think the story was particularly heartbreaking for me because it sort of put me in Lennie’s place. I’m the younger sister and I’ve grown so much closer with my older sister (the only sister I have!) in the past few years and she really is one of my best friends. It’s quite devastating to have to imagine myself going through that, so when I got so involved in the story, it made Lennie’s grief that much stronger as I was reading.

I actually liked the back-and-forth of Lennie going between Toby and Joe. Not in the sense that I agreed with it, but in the sense that it made sense to me. I feel like going through that kind of grief, it’s logical to go where you find comfort and at the same time Lennie almost felt wrong falling in love when she was in so much pain. It was a good story line in the book and just added that much more to the story versus just a straight-up whirlwind romance.

I absolutely adored the quirkiness of Lennie’s family! For some reason it had a very WALK TWO MOONS feel for me all throughout the book. I think it’s because of the relationship Lennie has with her grandmother and I pictured Big as the father-figure even though he’s Lennie’s uncle. It also had the missing mother element as well. I really think that made me that much more connected to the book since WALK TWO MOONS is one of my favorite books from my childhood.

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5/5 stars
It started off 4/4.5 but gosh darn it, I just fell in love with this book! It was really enjoyable and so bittersweet. I laughed, I was moved to tears, I reminisced — I just really made a connection with it.

QUOTES

  • p 41: “‘Never know…’ I say, trying not to sound as swoony as I feel. And I’m just going to try to pretend that sitting-in-a-tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g rhyme didn’t just pop into my head.”
  • p 98: “Joe crosses the room toward Toby: The sun on a collision course with the moon.”
  • p 103: “Whoa – Well that was either the dorkiest or sexiest moment of my life and I’m voting for sexy on account of my standing here dumbstruck and giddy, wondering if he did kiss me after all.”
  • p 120: “I had actually started to imagine trucking up the hill with Gram and Big in tow: the Munsters follow Marilyn on a date.”
  • p 152: “I heard this expression once: Each time someone dies, a library burns. I’m watching it burn right to the ground.”
  • p 257: “I will never stop grieving Bailey  because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other.”
  • p 268: “He beams at me. ‘You’re crazier than me.'” (Had to put this one in! A variation of this exact excerpt happened just yesterday with my boyfriend & me)

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BOOKS LIKE THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE

Re-Read: If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle Forman    Re-Read: If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle Forman