A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell
Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and 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 divisive ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. 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.
This radiant, fully alive, sometimes very funny novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once. – Goodreads
Oh. Oh this book. I will openly admit that this article will be hard for me to review, this is in part because I’ll Give You The Sun too me awhile to get into. It dragged for me and I didn’t see why one of my bookbffs loved and adored it. Then, I got to a pivotal moment and I understood. This book became part of my heart and I could not stop reading it. Nelson’s ability to weave imagery with words is breathtaking.
Told via alternating POVs, the reader sees two sides to the story: past and present, Noah and Jude. For two twins who meant everything to each other, the reader quickly realize that the two of them quickly know nothing about each other and it’s heart breaking. As someone who is still trying to figure out her relationship with her sibling (we’re 13 years apart..bonding? What’s that?) it hurt to see how close Noah and Jude once were and how far apart they became. I wanted to warn past Noah that life was going to get tough and that he was going to need Jude, even if he wasn’t aware of it at the moment.
The two characters keep so much from each other that for the longest time the book seems very disjointed and by the end you realize its not. Nelson actually made this beautiful, heartbreaking story, work. What also worked throughout the novel is the fact that the two point-of-views are constantly clear. There was never once that I questioned who was telling the story. I’ve lately read a lot of dual POV books and I was constantly flipping back and forth to figure out who was talking. Not once did Nelson make me question who was telling the story at that moment and I enjoyed that. I wasn’t ever taken out of the story.
Nelson also made art work throughout this novel. While she is a master with words and I’ll Give You The Sun is proof of that. But what Nelson also makes work, is art and pieces of art and describing art. It was beautiful and haunting and I did not want to let it go. But it had to end, and it ended on the right note and also left me wanting more from Nelson.