Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Review: I'll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson @jandynelson

I ended up loving I'll Give You the Sun, but it was touch-and-go there for awhile.

The story is told from the alternating points of view of twins, Noah and Jude. Noah is a very talented artist, and is struggling with his homosexuality. Jude is a free spirit, and doesn't care as much about art. She's the popular one. They have the usual strong bond that twins have, but theirs is a bumpy road.

There are lots of issues and secrets among them and their family. The twin's bond is never broken, but it is certainly weak at times. The story not only changes points of view, but time frames. Noah tells his part from a couple years earlier. I had some trouble with this -- wondering why something happened, and them remembering, "Oh yea, he doesn't know XXX because YYY hasn't happened yet." It is a very unique way to tell the story.

At first, it seems like this story is going in about ten different directions, and it is. It's a good thing that Nelson is a brilliant writer, because honestly, I wouldn't have put up with the discomfort if not. I just felt like I was on the surface of this book -- not able to sink in. But, I could read Nelson's beautiful writing forever, even if there's no story at all. There IS a story in I'll Give You the Sun, but it doesn't become very clear until about the last 1/3 of the book. And then, POW, do things clear up!

The way everything and everybody end up entwined together is so entertaining. I don't want to say too much about the plot at all. You just need to experience this book as it unfolds. Be patient. Enjoy the prose, and it will all be worth it.

I think it's impossible that I will every love a book as much as The Sky is Everywhere, Nelson's other book, but I'll Give You the Sun is a book I will be recommending widely.

Published by Dial, September 16, 2014
Copy obtained from the library
371 pages

Rating: 4.5/5

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  1. I know what you mean about the book being a bit confusing at the start. I also didn't get the story at all at first, but it wrapped up perfectly in the end. Have to agree about Nelson's writing, it's impeccable as always. Great review and glad you loved this book! :)

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

  2. I'm a huge fan of Jandy Nelson and her writing. I think this one has Printz-worthy characteristics. Hope so, anyway.

  3. I have been curious about this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think it's always intriguing when an author chooses a non-conventional narration style.

    P.S. - I see you're reading The Baker's Daughter. That's one of my favorites. I hope you love it!


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