Sometimes, when I read a book, I’m reminded of how powerful words can be. How, with some simple sentences, we can be able to feel everything. Words can make us feel stronger, or break us down completely. I’m absolutely convinced that Jandy Nelson mastered the art of words. She manipulates them like brushes on a blank canva, and draws us a masterpiece.
THE PUZZLE OF A LOST RELATIONSHIP.
“Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”
I have no twin, but I have a sister I’m very close to, so I can safely say that I’ll Give You The Sun completely echoes with me. Jude and Noah used to be close, so close, the kind of twins that can communicate with their minds and separate the world in two, just for the two of them. Told in a dual perspective, we can perfectly grasp the differences between the twins, yet all the places where they meet, or, where they should be meeting. Right from the first pages, we’re immersed into Noah’s perspective of the world, at thirteen years-old. He’s still young, yet the world he paints us in a few pages is completely is own, and we can already see the overwhelming presence of art in his life, both in the characters’ mind, and in the author’s writing. Noah’s shy, he’s awkward, he quite doesn’t fit in, especially at first, yet this boy grows on you from the first pages. Then, after the first part, we’re thrown off in a different world. Jude’s world, at sixteen years old. In between, there’s a gap, a weird, strange period of time where we’re just left wondering, WHAT DID HAPPEN THERE. The whole book is structured in this going back-and-forth, between past and present, with this overwhelming, tempting yet scary gap between the two parts.
TWO TWINS…YET TWO DIFFERENT VOICES.
“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.”
Writing from a dual perspective is a struggle, sometimes, both for the writer and the reader. How can we identify, how can we, reader, be able to love and cherish both characters equally? How can the writer manage to create two very, distinctive, different voices, yet give them the same weight in the story? I’m thrilled to say – and still a little overwhelmed -, that Jandy Nelson managed to do that, perfectly. I’ve read that some people didn’t like Jude that much, and I can understand. But, personally, I found that the author created two distinctive, great, strong voices, with their own personalities, their own background, and their own ways of thinking, even despite the fact that those two characters almost spent their whole lives together. Both Noah and Jude are three-dimensionnal, both of them have their word to say, and I loved hearing it. They felt so real I wanted to take their hands.
WARNING: THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU FEEL THINGS.
“Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. “Maybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time.””
I’ll Give You the Sun is a story about grief, about forgiveness, about coming to terms with who you are, what you really want to be. As I read, I was trying to put together the puzzle of the relationship between the twins. WHY aren’t they being so cute together anymore? Just, WHY?! But, as I was reading, I got lost. Into the writing, into the story, but, most of all, into the characters’ lives. Both, especially Jude, are going through an amazing character development. Told in excellent writing, that I could sip like I sip tea -which means, almost ALL the time- I’ll Give You the Sun made me go on a roller-coaster of emotions, I’m still not sure I’m over it. A little dizzy, with a laugh beginning on my lips and a warm feeling in my stomach, I‘ll Give You the Sun gave me all the feelings a great contemporary book is supposed to give you. And even more. I want to read all the gorgeous quotes and plaster them all over my walls, just to never forget how a book can be beautiful and make you see the world like it’s art, too.
Reading this book reminded me of the very famous quote in Rainbow Rowell’s book, Eleanor & Park. “Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” Well, let me tell you. This book is beautiful, and it will make you feel everything. Go read it.
Final rating: It’s a HURRICANE!
Did you read I’ll Give You The Sun? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?! Do you want to read it? I NEED to talk about this book, so feel free to share your thoughts in comments! 💬
Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You The Sun, Published by Walker Books, April 2nd 2015 (first published September 16th 2014).
A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the D dimensioncharismatic 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.
This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author ofThe Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.