Title: I’ll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Dial Books
Check on this book on Goodreads.
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. (Source: Goodreads)
I am at a total loss for words with this book. It was the most mind-blowing and breathtaking book I’ve read in a while. This book shook me to my core and ripped me to bits and put me back together and kicked me down and helped me up and made me feel everything in the entire world. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was so consistently perfect and moving and full of feeling and full of amazing lines. This entire book is so quotable I can’t even possibly pick a quote (okay, probably not true, there is one that for sure stands out in my mind because I am such a sucker for a love story).
The language in this book is incredibly beautiful. I admit, I found it a little difficult to sink into at first, but I adjusted and it really carried me away. Like I said before, this book is quotable. So quotable, it’s full of the most beautiful lines I’ve ever read. The voices of Jude and Noah are so distinct and clear, each of them makes such an interesting and unique narrator. The styles of their voices create such perfectly articulated voices and these two distinct individuals really drive the whole book. The emotional range between Jude and Noah really makes you feel everything. The point of views alternate between 13-14-year-old Noah to 16-year-old Jude as they try to piece together what exactly went wrong in their lives.
The story is captivating. Books about siblings, especially twins, really strike a chord with me because I have a brother so close in age we were raised like twins. Reading about Noah and Jude really shook me and made me feel so much more than I had expected to feel. I think the story works well with the alternating perspectives because then you have to build all of these connections and understandings of events, often times knowing more than the narrator which is really interesting.
In terms of characters I think I alternated a lot between liking Noah more and then Jude more, probably attaching to which ever perspective I was getting. Eventually I just loved them both the same, loved them for their amazing parts and their wrongdoings. Nelson created such full, deep characters with so much right and wrong in them that they speak to you from inside the book. Basically every time I put the book down Jude or Noah would call me back for more. Their parents are hugely interesting characters too, with as much depth as Noah and Jude and with a whole range of emotional investment in them from me. There are three other key characters: Oscar, Brian, and Guillermo. Three of the most swoon worthy, heart squinching, amazing characters ever. I think I fell in love with all three and hated them just as much. They were people. That’s what I loved about this book, everyone was so human and so real, they all have these huge faults that make them full and real and wonderful. I think Oscar was probably, for me, the most swoon worthy (here, okay, here’s the quote:
“I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.”
So there.) While Oscar is swoon worthy, Guillermo feels like…home. Just as he feels like home and comfort to Noah and Jude he feels like the person you run to when you need something. He’s so solid and real and warm. I don’t know how to sum this up other than to say, thank you Jandy Nelson for Oscar and Guillermo and Brian and Noah and Jude and all of them and all of it.
I think the final point I’ll make is that the cover art of this book is perfect. It’s very simple but it’s also eye catching. The cover is what drew me to think book initially, the story kept me around, and the whole thing has me singing its praises and urging you to please, please, please read this book. This book gets my highest recommendation and will hold a place in my favourites from now on.