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REVIEW: “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson

ABOUT:

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 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.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

 

BOOK INFO:
20820994Title: I’ll Give You the Sun
Author:  Jandy Nelson
Publisher:  Dial Books
Pages:  371
Release Date:  September 16th, 2014
Purchase Links:  Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble

REVIEW:

This coming of age novel about twins Jude and Noah is so bright and captivating, I’d think it was in my dreams.

Each chapter is presented with alternating point of views between June’s 16 year old self, and Noah’s 13 year old self.   That’s quirky, right?  Yes. :) I’ll cut to the chase and say that the storytelling, in my humble opinion is really, truly outstanding.  There are reoccurring themes throughout which tie the story together, yet at the same time, it never halts – it never feels as though we’re covering the same old ground.  Each POV is blindingly distinct with narrative voices which are endearing, vibrant, heartbreaking, hopeful, devastating and, well, kinda perfect.  And thanks to the fact that both characters are artists, the story is presented with a persistent stream of sublime and electric imagery where words are used as illustrations.  How absolutely divine.

While reading, I kept asking myself: how is it possible that I enjoyed Noah’s chapters more, and yet I never wanted Jude’s to end?  Answer: A class, stellar storytelling.

Then I asked: how is it that I can’t bring myself to read m/f romance and yet I was entranced by a leading female character who was falling for a male character? Answer: Brilliant characterization.  These characters are engaging, interesting, curious and laugh out loud quirky regardless of their gender – AND I LOVE THAT!!!  So while Jude negotiates the trials and tribulations of teenage romance (while carrying the weight of death, subsequent grief and self blame) she is portrayed with depth that touches the core of what we are as human beings.  Sure, she’s sometimes girly, and yes, she tries to hide that part (for plot reasons), but, she’s portrayed as so much more.  Meanwhile, Noah’s self discovery and challenges are wonderful to watch.  In fact, both characters are wonderful to watch.  There is literally CHARACTER PROGRESSION TO THE MAX!!!

While the ending is sweet and hopeful there’s an element of ambiguity which suits readers (like me) who prefer a “choose your own ending” interpretation.  So with that, this is not a typical romance per se; and that makes it all the more wonderful, if you ask me.

 

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This entry was posted on June 15, 2015 by in Contemporary, MF / MMF / FF, Reviewer: Sue, YA / NA and tagged , , , , , .

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