I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

THIS BOOK.  Holy cow, it’s been a while since I’ve torn through a book in one day, but I’ll Give You the Sun was impossible to put down.  Art, mystery, family, love, grief–this book is absolutely beautiful, both in the way that it is written and in what it covers.  I’m still stunned.  This book shook me up, made me lighter, and weighed me down.  It even made me start thinking in contradictory metaphors.

I was skeptical of Nelson’s setup–she alternates chapters between twins.  This is a common writing device, but Nelson adds a twist.  The chapters told by Noah are from his 13-year-old perspective, while the chapters told by Jude jump ahead three years to when they are 16.  I didn’t know how Nelson could keep the plot moving if we found out in Jude’s chapters everything that was going to happen to younger Noah.  But I was wrong!  This worked out so well!  The hints and foreshadowing only made me more curious.  On top of that, Noah and Jude keep an incredibly amount of secrets from each other, and this makes their individual chapters all the more interesting.

I also worried, because at first, Noah’s voice was ten million times more interesting than Jude’s.  This fits with the plot and their character developments, but for the first few chapters, I wanted more of Noah and his technicolor art vision and less of Jude’s scared kooky perspective.  But they grow together, merge, change places, and eventually, in that weirdly amazing twin way, they find a common voice.

There are so many other things I could talk about, like how wonderful it is to read a book that emphasizes love between family as much as it does romance.  How much I appreciated the realistic view of love as something that brings both joy and heartbreak, something that isn’t an easy answer but it worth it all the same.  I loved the creative painting titles that show us Noah’s mind and the folklore that peeks into Jude’s.  This book was just so good.  So good.  Everyone read it immediately.

20820994Book Jacket

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close.  At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them.

But three years later, at sixteen, Jude and Noah are barely speaking.  Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways…until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else–an even more unpredictable new force in her life.

The early years are Noah’s story to tell.  The later years are Jude’s.  What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to each other, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Release Date:  September 2014


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