Title: I’ll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Rating: 4.5-5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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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.
Words, words, words. They are impossible. I’ve tried to write this review several times, but I can’t seem to write enough coherent sentences. I think, really, the only words you need to read are Jandy’s. They are powerful, beautiful, strung together like tiny miracles. They had me in awe of her talent. Not since a Melina Marchetta book have I been so utterly captivated by the writing and at the same time awash in emotions. Because, oh man, did these characters tug at my heart and demand my complete attention. I fell hard for Jude, Noah, Oscar, and Brian, and all their tangled histories with each other. There is so much heartbreaking pain wrapped up in their story, but there’s always hope on the other side. I will never forget the way this book made me feel, even as I acknowledge that there are no exact words to convey what I felt or the depths of those feelings. This is one of those few times as a reviewer that I will simply say: you have to read the book to experience it for yourself, to know exactly what I mean. You won’t regret it.
The reason I didn’t give I’ll Give You the Sun a full five stars is a personal qualm of mine. Heavy spoilers (highlight to read) –> The entirety of the plot hinges on Noah and Jude’s mom’s infidelity, which was difficult for me to swallow and accept. Judging by Jandy’s other book, The Sky is Everywhere, this seems to be a common thread for her, and it just makes me uneasy. I didn’t like that, without her cheating on her husband, most of what takes place during the book wouldn’t have come together (especially Jude and Oscar’s romance).
Note: I received an ARC of this book at BEA. However, this did not influence my review in any way.