Review: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll give you the sunTitle: I’ll Give You the Sun

Author: Jandy Nelson

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary (with LGBT characters)

Summary (from Goodreads)

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.

Review

I really didn’t think I was going to like this. It took me ages to get past the first few pages, and I was struggling with the viewpoint and the overly metaphorical language. Then I had a four hour car journey and nothing better to do, so I sat and read almost the whole lot in one sitting.

It’s definitely the way to do it. After a while, I got accustomed to the language and the character points of view – each is very unique and particular to their character, which is excellent writing, but because of the quirks of the characters a little tricky to acclimatise to at first – and really started to get sucked in to the story.

Nelson explores the ups and downs of teenage life, emotions and love in a really artistic and imaginative way. So much so that the book has been designed so the words literally explode off the page in places. It’s a joy to look at, as it’s been really well designed to echo the creative impulses of the characters without detracting from the readability of the text.

And the viewpoints that I struggled with became such a huge part of the characters and their particular hangups and world views. It really did feel like existing inside their minds for the pages that were dedicated to them – cleverly showing their character without having to beat you over the head with exposition: Noah is artistic, Jude is paranoid etc. etc.

And the way the story all came together was lovely and moving and didn’t feel too coincidental or authorial, which was great. I can’t really say too much more than that (when trying to describe what this book was about to the Boyfriend, I managed to talk myself in circles and make it sound really dull) you just have to read it. It won’t be for everyone – it very nearly wasn’t for me – but if you like it, I think it very likely you’ll absolutely love it.

Rating: 4.5/5

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