Review: I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson


I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Dial Books
Page Count: 371 pages

Summary: 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’ll Give you The Sun is the second young adult novel by Jandy Nelson, her debut being The Sky Is Everywhere. I enjoyed her debut so much; the imagery in her writing captures the emotions of her characters so well and the writing is beautifully poetic, which gives a certain feel to the words on the page. It’s almost overwhelming to read her prose and the emotions that are evoked. I can say the same for this one as well. She so easily makes my chest tighten for Lennie, Noah, and Jude.

In this novel, we’re given the story of family and heartbreak, all which surround two siblings, Jude and Noah, who are also twins. While they have an obvious connection due to this fact, one that is so precious to witness, they have their fair share of fights and troubles due to their constant battles for the attention and the love of their parents. They're full of passion and they love so hard and hurt just as much. Jude is a force of nature, trying her best to be what she believes she should be while Noah is hiding, fearing who he’s meant to be. The relationship between the twins and their parents was a little bittersweet to witness, but so crucial in their journeys. Then there are the other characters, like Guillermo and Oscar, who are also special  to the story and tied just as deep to this family and their journey.

Getting to see the story from both their perspectives during different parts of their lives (Noah at 13 and Jude at 16) was really interesting to experience, especially with how all their secrets are revealed. This is something that seems pretty tricky to do, but was executed really well here. I loved both of their point of views and seeing how they were each suffering in such different ways because of the tragedy that eventually shapes them so deeply. It really gives the reader perspective; you can’t choose sides, and be mad at one without being mad at the other. They both make mistakes and suffer individually, yet they still manage to come together in that special way they have.

The respective romances for each of the twins were so interesting to read about as well. I loved reading about Noah and Brian and their self-discovery with each other just as much as I loved Jude and Oscar. There was such a combination of light and fun flirting with heartache and drama without being too played on or misplaced. Everything worked together like little puzzle pieces. The use of art within the story was so well done as well. It's so obvious Jandy Nelson but everything she possibly could into doing this story justice, and it worked amazingly for me.

Overall, I enjoyed this one just as much as The Sky Is Everywhere, even more so because Jandy Nelson takes her skills to a whole other level. She’s enhanced her ability to capture her reader and I can’t wait to see how she does this with her future works. This is definitely something I'd recommend to others who enjoy contemporary books that are about family and personal growth.