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.

I’m pretty sure all of Booklr has been trying to get me to read this book since the day it came out. Especially Christa in particular–it’s her favorite thing ever…if you ask her, she will tell you. I’m amazed it’s taken us this long to read it for AdultBooklr!

Jandy Nelson’s writing is spectacular.She uses split narration–13 yo Noel, and flash forward 16 yo Jude. They are twins, so you get a before and after look which gives a very unique perspective.

I almost felt like I could read this with my eyes closed. I’ll Give You the Sun is all about sensory overload–Nelson makes you want to swim in the colors and textures of the art she creates in the page. I swear if someone would have handed me a brush and palatte I would have painted Noah’s portraits. It’s a completely ridiculous notion, since I am a terrible painter, but the imagery is so vivid that I CRAVED them. Surely someone on Tumblr has done a fanart collection. I should go look for it.

I was bothered by the age difference between Oscar and Jude. Throughout most of the book, we don’t know exactly how old he is, only that he’s in college and she is 16. It’s clear he doesn’t know quite how young she is, but it’s still just a little skeevy, especially after he asks her to pose nude for him. This does get addressed toward the end of the book, but it’s just something that made me a little uncomfortable throughout.

I’ll Give You the Sun is a coming of age story in two parts. The two perspectives allows us to see multiple facets of a teenage life, without the awkward friend circle drama we get in a lot of YA trying to show the same thing. Nelson brilliantly gives us a look into sexual discovery–both heterosexual and homosexual, coming out, divorce, grief, puberty, and a few other things, wrapped up in a beautiful, moving book.

This actually reminds me a LOT of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, if it were written from Dante’s perspective. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but if you loved that book, you’ll love this one. I am super disappointed now that I only bought this in ebook form. I NEED THIS ON MY SHELF. It’ll be a regular reread for sure.

Oh and Christa, you owe me Patrick Rothfuss.

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