There is a reason ‘I’ll Give You The Sun’ by Jandy Nelson has won more awards than we can count. Awarded ‘Best Book of The Year’ by Publishers Weekly, New York Public Library, and Amazon, amongst others, this book has obviously affected countless readers, on top of ourselves here at MP!
In short, it’s beautiful. If you’ve wondered how it is to read a painting, or put paint and colour into words, then this is it.
The story of twins, Noah and Jude and the tragedy that ripped the seam between them, is told in split perspective, Noah’s narrative set 3 years prior to Jude’s. This way of story-telling could have spun the story into a confusing series of “wait, what?”s, if Jandy Nelson had not been as talented as she is. But as Nelson is a first-class writer, you have a beautiful coming together of past, present and future, a oneness in the relationship of Noah and Jude, a oneness is who they are.
These characters are also lovingly crafted so much so that I wholeheartedly believed it when Jandy Nelson described visiting an art museum and momentarily wishing Noah and Jude could have come along as well. Well-developed, woven with both light and dark traits, these two will win your heart by the final pages, and the rest of the cast are as clear as portraits too. All the complexities of people and their motivations and fluctuating relationships are revealed in Nelson’s powerful narrative.
If it isn’t already obvious, we think Jandy Nelson is a beyond beautiful writer. Too often did we annoy friends and family with “wait, stop what you’re doing – close your eyes and listen” when we came across a particularly gorgeous line. The book reads like a surreal painting, some gorgeous work of art you might sigh at in a museum, particularly in Noah’s narratives, as he paints the world in his mind. Keep a notebook close for ‘I’ll Give You The Sun’. You’ll need to write things down – things like this: “His soul might be a sun. I’ve never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.”
If you love YA, then definitely pick up a copy of ‘I’ll Give You The Sun’. Hell, grab a copy even if you don’t like YA. You will not regret it.
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