Title: I’ll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
[[NOTE: I’m so confused – I had this review posted about a week ago and for some reason it disappeared off of my blog, and it’s no longer in the draft records of my posts. STRANGE. Anyway, I re-wrote it, because I genuinely loved this book and I want to keep a record of it on here for posterity.]]
I picked this book up back in… October? And fell immediately in love. It took me ages to write this review, initially, because I didn’t quite know how to put into words what I felt about this book, but I gave it a shot anyway.
A brief summary from the author’s website, first:
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, 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 one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
The story is split into two perspectives, Jude and Noah, and both of the twins have distinct writing styles. Noah’s chapters were my favorite because his words flowed like rivers and he saw everything from an artist’s point of view, so much so that his descriptions made me think about ordinary things in new ways. Also, I’m always excited to get a queer narrator in YA lit.
I struggle to think of a book where I’ve gotten so attached to the characters as I was with I’ll Give You the Sun. I wanted to love both Jude and Noah, and I got so involved with their stories that at some points I was almost shouting at the book because they were about to make stupid choices that would make me not-love them so much anymore. In fact, at turns, I hated both of them – though I always came back around in the end, because that’s real, and that’s life.
Their struggles with grief, with growing up, with growing apart, and with growing to understand themselves are 100% relatable for anyone who has ever… lived, basically. The twists and turns just kept on coming. And in the end, I looked back on the whole story and thought, “Wow, this was beautiful.”
I had a book hangover for days, and all I wanted to do was re-read it. It’s realistic fiction, but I’ve rarely read anything more magical. Please, give this book a shot. It just won the 2015 Printz award, if my words don’t convince you. But Nelson’s words will pull you in and feed you a story you’ll never forget.
5 out of 5 stars.