I’ll Give You the Sun is one of those YA books that is more appealing to the reviewers of YA than it is to actual young adults. The writing style is hard to follow until your brain adapts to it, which is usually too long for high school readers to stick it out. It is also a book that metaphors and peek-a-boos around the issues it wants to present — in this case it is the fact that one of the characters is gay. I thought he was, but I couldn’t be positive for pages and pages. Why? He knew he was gay, so why can’t I, the reader, know it? So annoying! That being said, if the reader sticks around long enough to get past the super secret maybe reveal that one of the narrators is gay, the story is really pretty good. It is overly mystical about love and art, but it has a satisfying way of making the world seem like a place where things happen as they should, even when human error or jealousy or death delay them.
I’ll Give You The Sun. Jandy Nelson
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Dial (first published September 2nd 2014)
A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell
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.
This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.
Twin brother and sister alternately narrate the events that tore them apart and the events that help them find each other again. While I enjoyed the story narrated by the female protagonist, Jude, I found the brother character annoying. Since he was the narrator that introduced the book, I wasn’t sure I could hang in there for very long, but when Jude took over, things got interesting. The writing style takes a while to get used to, and this reads like YA written for adults who like YA. I adapted rather quickly, but I think many of my high school readers will find it challenging, as they will the time jumps in the narrative. While I put the pieces together fairly early in this book, it was nice to watch everything come together in the end. I will warn you that it is all fated, mystical, meant-to-be in the end, but I kind of like that. It was an interesting read, and I finished it in an afternoon. There is mature language and there are sexual situations, so this is a tenth grade and up read. I placed it in my classroom library based on reader recommendations and acclaim, so only time will tell if this one really appeals to high school readers.