Sunday, 7 June 2015

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson review

Title: I'll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Published by: Walker Books
Publication date: 19th March 2015
Length: 371 pages
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Family, LGBT
Format: Paperback, Hardback, Audio book, ebook
Source: Kindle Edition
Find the Book on Goodreads

'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 book was a roller-coaster - that's the only way I can describe it. One second, you feel like you're on the top of the world, feeling happy with the characters, or just because the writing is so beautiful that you feel so elated just by reading the book. But then, your heart will be shattered to pieces by a mere paragraph, or sentence even, because the writing is so rich and immersing, or because something happens that causes there to be a gaping heart in your chest. (No spoilers, but Noah - oh my god).

I don't like roller-coasters (in the literal term) but I love this book. I don't think I've yet to read a book that's ever toyed with my emotions so much. From the second Jude and Noah's voices took over, I was hooked on the book, sucked into their lives, like they were confiding just in me - and from there, I was gone, and at their, and Nelson's mercy. Not that that's a bad thing at all - Nelson is one of my favourite writers, and it was a real joy to read this book - but my do tear ducts now need recharging, and my heart still hurts. Which, is of course - the sign of a truly brilliant book.

I'll be honest - out of both characters, I started off liking Noah the most. I loved how whimsical and beautiful his chapters were, a few pages inside his mind would either leave me wide eyed in awe of Nelson's writing, or leave me crying (for various reasons including the plot.) They also spoke to me a lot, as an artist and creator, so I loved that, too. Noah's sexuality was very well-written too, it was a part of his character that was important - but it wasn't the most important thing, and when it was discussed, it was so well done. I wish I could say more, but at risk of revealing too much about the plot, I'll leave it there. 
But, one reason why I loved this book is that by the end, my heart went out to Jude too, and she soon earned a place there, which now, after finishing the book, I know she should have had all along. Her dealing with love and grief made me cry even more, as they really tugged at my heartstrings and just made her an even greater character. 

Both Noah and Jude are also so similar and so different, with both very distinct and real voices, which, as the story develops throughout the book (the last few chapters were everything ties together are particularly mind-blowing) really adds another dimension to the book - because even when you are saddened and shocked - the familiar voices that spoke to you throughout the book will still be there, almost as a comfort, because by then they'll feel like old friends. That's the power of Nelson's writing - her characters will feel like friends, even family, making her stories even more powerful. The writing is so, so beautiful - there are so quotes from the book that will stay with me forever, either because they were just gorgeously written, or because they really speak to you. 

Please add this book to your to-read this. Go to your library or local bookshop and don't leave until you have a copy - because it's a rich, pure, truly magical book that will touch your heart in so many ways, and show you that no matter what happens, you have the chance to remake your world. 



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