I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Summary: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.
I’ll Give You the Sun is both emotionally moving and beautifully written; filled with complexity and a variety of different layers not often seen used in the young adult genre. It touches upon so many different topics and won’t leave your thoughts for days once you’ve finished it.
If one twin is cut, the other will bleed.
13-year-old twins Jude and Noah are as close as any two people can be. They know each other inside and out; and are attached at the hip.
Fast forward three years, and, now sixteen years old, the twins are now barely speaking. What happened that set such formally inseparable people apart?
The writing is absolutely top-notch. Split into dual perspectives between Noah and Jude, Noah tells his side of the story when he’s 13, as and Jude spills her thoughts when she’s 16. As you piece the narratives together, you start to realize that neither twin has the whole story – and that maybe their anger at one another isn’t as justified as they originally believed.
The characters are the true strength here. They all have so much complexity and depth to them that it’s impossible not to see them as real people. Each character has their own motivations and distinct personalities, and it’s fantastic. My favorite thing of all, however, is how flawed each character is. None of these characters are perfect, and I adored that because it made them all the more realistic.
At thirteen, during the time of Noah’s narration, we find Noah is a bit of an outsider. He’s an artist and is LGBT; and the only place he truly feels he belongs is in an art studio. His innocent and compassionate heart reals him into a character that is hard to forget. Jude, on the other hand, is the life of the party – always outgoing and flirty; none too often being found wearing shorts or skirts that are too short for her own good.
By the start of Jude’s perspective, when the twins are now sixteen, the roles are completely reversed. Now Noah is the one who is constantly attending parties and social events; while Jude has morphed into someone much more introverted. This fact alone will make you want to turn the pages as fast as you can; trying to figure out what bridged the twins apart and changed them so drastically.
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.
Besides the character growth, however, another primary focus is on the romance; which I absolutely adored. Noah’s relationship with his fellow artist Brian is absolutely fabulous, and I adored it – not only for the diversity, but for the fantastic chemistry between them as well. Jude’s romantic relationship comes in the form of Oscar; and I adored their romance as well.
Even though it was a bit hard to get into, once you’re engrossed in the story you won’t be able to put it down. An absolutely wonderful story with unforgettable characters; and an inspiring message about – just to name a few – destiny, love, and family.
Quick, make a wish.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance.
Remake the world.