Synopsis: I’ll Give You the Sun chronicles the teen years of twins Jude and Noah. The earlier years are told by Noah, who at thirteen is loves drawing, art museums trips with their mom, and the energetic, outgoing boy next door. The later years are told by Jude, who is struggling with superstition, hypochondria, and trying to distinguish herself as an artist. Once close, the twins struggle with actions, lies, and secrets that have been haunting them for years. Jandy Nelson, in showing both perspectives over a number of years, portrays a broken family in the midst of the breaking but also in the midst of healing.
Review: In this novel, Nelson proves to be a master storyteller. The two perspectives allow readers a unique opportunity to see events unfold in a way that creates tension, surprise, and plenty of emotion. She makes you care about Jude and Noah in the way they each see their changing, breaking relationship. As they fall away from each other, readers are urged to see the way they each fall into their own pitfalls and struggles.
Besides the storytelling craft that goes into this, Nelson also showcases her amazing writing skills. Though the writing took me a little while to get used to, as there are a lot of metaphors that sometimes don’t make the most sense, it eventually grew on me. Art, creativity, and superstition were such major themes in this novel, and the writing played these up in a way that any other style would have failed to do. The writing played such a large role in how this story was conveyed and felt. There were whole passages that I immediately reread for their fluidity and beauty.
As for characters, Jude and Noah were such broken, beautiful characters. They both struggle with remorse, grief, and the hardships and beauty of first love, but in such different ways. How they each deal with these things is both insightful and profound. Their story is a reminder of humanity and the beauty and wholeness that can come from brokenness. There was moments when I was laughing and crying at the same time. The entire story is heart-felt and emotional. From start to finish Nelson creates a family that you care about, that you want to succeed, and that you want to heal.
The romances were, like everything in this novel, full of passion, art-making, and heart ache. Each romance was unique and tugged at the heart strings in the best way possible. I liked Jude and Oscar were cute, but I felt like the real winning romance in this novel was that of Noah and Brian. I felt a little cheated out of their happy ending, which you’ll understand when you read, but the rest of the relationship made up for it.
This novel is raw, passionate, and moving. It will make you laugh, cry, smile, and feel a lot of things all at once. The writing allows you to really get into what the characters are feeling and for those emotions to echo in you. This novel is full of superstition and art that create a magical effect and feeling for readers. The entire novel itself is a piece of art that leaves you thinking about it for days.
I would highly recommend this novel, especially for those interested in reading more LGBTQ literature, for those who love art, and for those who are looking for a truly stunning, magical, and emotional read.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Cups of Tea
Your Pemberley Reader,