I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
My rating: 5/5 stars
A big thanks to the Danish publishing company Gyldendal for sending me the Danish edition of I’ll Give You the Sun!
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)
The shortest way to describe my feelings towards this book is to just tell you that I loved it. This book is fantastic. It is beautifully written, the characters are amazing and the plot works so well. The whole thing is just incredibly well done.
We follow two protagonists, the twins Jude and Noah. It switches perspective and time every chapter. Noah tells the story when the twins are 13 and Jude when they are 16. Both characters has changed a lot between 13 and 16, which is really interesting (and kinda sad) to see.
Noah is by far my favorite character in this book. He is so cute and relatable. Noah loves to paint and is really socially awkward. His classmates think he is weird and he deals with being beaten by the school’s bullies. Besides that he deals a lot with his sexuality. This story shows a lot of his struggles with being gay, or mostly just other people’s struggle to accept him being gay. Noah is from page 1 totally aware of the fact that he is gay and this is more about him discovering love than anything else. I really liked that. Yes, he is gay, but that is not what it is all about. It is about love.
He changes a lot between the age of 13 and 16. I found it so sad to see the development he had gone through, but it all gets better.
Then we have Jude. Jude is in the age of 13 a very outgoing girl. She loves to party, hangs out with a lot of boys and are in constant fights with her mother. When we switch to her perspective, she is in the age of 16 a completely different person. Since a close family member’s death she has changed a lot. She wears large dark clothes and do her best to stay invisible. She is very superstitious and is constantly carrying around an onion and some other things that are supposed to help her. She is like Noah very passionate about art, and she attends an art school. Jude struggles a lot with her art, which was my favorite aspect of her story. She decides that she wants to build a figure out of stone and becomes apprenticeship to Guillermo, a stonemason. Guillermo and her start building a relationship and she also meets a nice boy.
The two narratives and the time gap worked really well for the story. The first half of the book was most focused on Noah’s side of the story while the second was more focused on Jude’s. I by far prefered to hear Noah’s story, but I also really liked Jude’s.
Their parents were really well done. They were filled with so much love for their children, but they struggle so much anyway. Guillermo was also a fantastic character, and one of my favorites. I loved to see his and Jude’s relationship develop and how good of a father role he was for her.
Noah’s and Jude’s passion for art played such a big role in this book and it inspired me so much to start drawing. I loved hearing them describe their drawings and which ideas they had.
Due to Jude’s superstition, magical realism plays into this book. I liked it, but it kind of confused me, and I am still not sure whether the things that happened were real or imagined by the characters.
The only problem I have with this book is the ending. It was done well and all, but it was all told by Jude and I wanted to hear some of it from Noah’s perspective, so I really missed that.
Overall I just really loved this and I highly recommend for all of you to check it out! Obviously 5 stars.
Have you read the book? What were your thoughts?
originally posted on: https://bookwormwholived.wordpress.com
Published by Fiona Liv