Reviews

I’ll give you the sun, by Jandy Nelson 🌻

Hi there! Today I’m bringing you my review for a book I’m very fond of, that I read a while back, but that’s been stuck with me ever since. It was a nice surprise, as I had never expected much from it.

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Genre:

Young Adult/ Contemporary/ Romance/ LGBT

Pages:

429 (paperback)

Praise:

  • Winner of the 2015 Michael L. Printz Award
  • Winner of a 2015 Stonewall Honor
  • “Will pluck at your heartstrings.”—People
  • “Told in poetic prose with the barest hint of magical realism . . . a compelling meditation on love, grief, sexuality, family, and fate.”—Horn Book
  • “A blazing prismatic explosion of color . . . I’ll Give You the Sun is that rare, immersive teen novel: To read it is a coming-of-age experience in itself.“—Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

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.

My rating: 5/5

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Review:

One of the best books I’ve read in 2015-or ever, for that matter. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it, as I didn’t like “The sky is everywhere”, Nelson’s other book that I’ve read, but “I’ll give you the sun” is, indeed, a masterpiece. Drama, tears, siblings, damned relationships and hot guys? You can’t say “no” to that.

The story’s told from two perspectives, young Noah’s and older’s Jude. They’re both in love with art. He draws. She sculpts. He paints images mentally (such a good characterization method to help with understanding Noah and his feelings):“Portrait: The Boy with All the Keys in the World with All the Locks”. She is superstitious and haunted by a ghost: “Write your sins on apples still hanging on the tree; when they fall away so do your burdens”.

The action is beautifully related, filled with comical moments and metaphors which give the book a magical vibe. The chapters fit like puzzle pieces, in the end everything wrapping up perfectly, even though a little hurried, and there are approached problems teenagers (and also adults) deal with: guilt, first love, the death of a loved one, first time making love- minus love, and even divorce.

The characters are realistic and relatable, original and charming, contoured in a way that allows the reader to enjoy both of them equally. Noah and Jude experience a lot of changes, they often walk away from the right decision, but their personal development is as exploited as it can be.

Even more, they’re not the only likeable characters. Guillermo Garcia, Jude’s mentor, is an intense and wise splash of colour, with a major role in the course of the events. Brian, Noah’s friend, is also a sympathetic and, from time to time, annoying guy that represents a big part of Noah’s life. And then there’s Oscar. Who’s a wonder of a boy. Most of the time.

“I’ll give you the sun” is the kind of book that needs to be read without knowing much about it. Discovering what had led to the separation of the twins was like eating a whipped-cream cake trying to get to its chocolate core; and despite the sharp ending, the reading experience remained savorous. Perfect book for fans of teary reads, deep plots and happy endings.

Meeting your soul mate is like walking into a house you’ve been in before – you will recognize the furniture, the pictures on the wall, the books on the shelves, the contents of drawers: You could find your way around in the dark if you had to.

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