Noah and his thirteen year old twin sister Jude, could not be more close and yet more different. Jude is vivacious, popular and athletic while Noah is bullied, loves art and is in love with the new boy down the street. This time in their lives is his story to tell. Cut to three years later where Jude has become the introvert and Noah is wild and partying. She tells this story, now sixteen years old and can’t stand the sight of each other. Told in alternating points of view, jumping back and forth through the years, a story unfolds that paints a bigger picture than either of them realize.
I’ve read some good books and some that can be categorized as forgettable. However, every now and then a book really gets to me and hits me right in the gut. And heart. At the same time. The last time this happened was in 2013 with Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. This time, it’s I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I generally don’t read very fast, usually taking 5-7 days to finish a book. I read this in 2. I could not put this book down.
I’ll Give You the Sun is about love & loss, relationships & lies. It’s about bullying, and being true to yourself. That was what hooked me. Stories about bullying hit hard for me having been bullied when I was younger. So it stands to reason that this book, and Eleanor & Park, would resonate with me so much. Themes aside, Nelson’s writing is absolutely beautiful. Noah loves art, and the writing is a work of art – contemporary and poetic. The narrative is so compelling, and the voices of the twins so distinct. The way this story is told, giving the readers glimpses of what’s going on, 3 years apart, as it inches closer and closer to the answer is wonderfully woven.
I often find that the books I love are the hardest to write about. I can’t put into words how this book made me feel. I felt like my heart was aching, and breaking. I felt shocked, yet pleased, when I started to figure it out and puzzle-piece together what had gone wrong between these two once-close twins. I felt so happy to have picked up this book, yet even more sad that it’s over.
This book is great for fans of Rainbow Rowell or John Green, or those who love some teenage angst, sibling rivalry, and family drama thrown in with the mystery of how it all went wrong.