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.
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.
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"A supremely interesting story to experience. Lennie, the protagonist, loses her older sister and through her grief, falls in love with the new boy in town, Joe Fontaine. Although the plot may sound ridiculous, after all, a teenage girl who has just experienced death for the first time is not supposed to be thinking about some boy with a smile "that could brighten the night sky". But that's the whole point of this book, the author and his protagonist both acknowledge that this is abnormal. Lennie's unorthodox method of mourning explains to the reader how people all deal with grief differently, and there is no "wrong" or "right" way to grieve. After all, who says cloaking one's self in black and crying into the night is any more effective than looking for the light, however less bright it is, left in life? Nelson further elaborates on Lennie's life, including the fact that she, along with her sister, had been abandoned by her mother as a toddler. This adds dimensions to the story, rather than leaving it as a bland, one-dimensional story of loss. Finally, Lennie's "voice" throughout the story is truly enthralling: quirky, humorous, real -- not a monotonous mourning melody. Maybe not for everyone, but teenage girls who have sisters should give this book a chance."
Basma (5 out of 5 stars)