When I finished reading this, I immediately went to the CBR website to see what others had said about it, so that I could make comments on its awesomeness. I was quite surprised to see that there aren’t any reviews of this book up on the blog. I’m actually shocked that there hasn’t been more buzz about I’ll Give You the Sun. It seems such a perfect, “cannonball-ish” book. And it has such a pretty cover!
Noah and Jude are twins. They used to be as close as can be — they finished each other’s sentences, they would sit shoulder to shoulder for hours, they defended and protected each other — no matter what. At the start of the book, the twins are 13. Jude is gorgeous and blonde, a surfing daredevil who loves bikinis and boys. Noah is a bit of an introvert, but a very gifted artist. And he just might like boys. They live with their mom (an art writer and professor, who brings her joie-de-vivre into every last thing she does), and their dad (a bit of a tough guy, a scientist who definitely is not ready to welcome a gay son into his life). Oh, and Jude’s pretty sure that her dead grandmother speaks to her on a daily basis.
Their lives are filled with color and light.
And now they are 16. The twins barely speak. They can hardly stand to be in the same room with each other. Noah is popular and daring. Jude dresses only in baggy black clothes and has cut off her beautiful hair. They live with their dad, who isn’t so tough anymore.
Told in alternating narration between Noah and Jude, we find out just what has happened over the past three years.
We learn about the terrible tragedy that will define them forever. About the art school that tore them apart. The cute baseball player that lives next door. The gorgeous, but drunk, British art student that is waiting for an angel to save him. And about the artist who can help to bring them all back together.
I know, it sounds kind of corny. But I swear, it isn’t.
Reading it, I would get so involved in a specific character and what they were doing at that exact time, I would get mad when the chapter would end and switch timeframes and narrator. But then I would get wrapped up again, only to get mad at the end of the next chapter. I wanted more and more and more from both timeframes and from both twins.
That’s not to say that the book felt incomplete at all, because it didn’t. It had exactly the right amount of everything. It was lovely and sad and funny and uplifting and depressing and real. I can’t wait to see what Jandy Nelson does next.
4 1/2 stars.
You can read all of my other reviews on my blog.