I get it now.I understand why nearly everyone in the book-loving community raves about Jandy Nelson’s writing, why each and every one of her words are like water after walking in a desert, like candy for a child. Why her words – quoting my good friend Willa – “kills your heart and heals you at the same time”.Seeing I’ll Give You the Sun on multiple people’s top ten favorite books of 2014, I knew I had to read it. I haven’t read Nelson’s debut, The Sky is Everywhere, but this one definitely seems to be the more popular one. I am so incredibly glad I ended picking this one up; I can happily say that the hype did not disappoint me whatsoever. I’ll Give You the Sun is, without a doubt, landing on my all-time favorites shelf.
The beginning was like a slap to the face. Jandy Nelson’s writing style is decadent, one that cannot simply be read quickly. It has to be savored slowly in order to absorb all of its metaphorical goodness. Her writing style is like chocolate cake. You have to take it in slowly in order to enjoy it. It was a little flowery for me at the start, but I soon became used to it and I really got into the story afterwards. By the end, I was head-over-heels for more of her words.
What first attracted me to this story was the twin aspect. If you don’t know by now, I’m a twin. Not fraternal twins like Noah and Jude are in the story, but nonetheless I thought I could still relate. The synopsis peaks the reader’s interest with how the twins grow apart – because aren’t all twins supposed to share an unbreakable bond? Thus, I had to read Noah and Jude’s story.
Without going in-depth with the plot, I’d like to preach all of the things I loved about Noah and Jude’s story. Aside from Nelson’s writing style that I already
cried fangirled raved about, the dual perspectives in the story was done gorgeously because of the way the reader gets both insights from Noah’s 13 year-old and Jude’s 16 year-old perspective. Crazily enough, their stories intertwine in a way that I am mindblown by because – how? How did Nelson do it? IT’S SO PERFECT AND EVERYTHING HURTS. And like most other contemporaries, I’ll Give You the Sun deals with all different forms of love, but more so, this story dealt very specifically with sibling love. Nelson really digs deep within the bond between Noah and Jude, and it’s so heart-wrenching and realistic. As a twin, I totally understood Noah and Jude’s motivations and actions. Lastly, the art aspect in this story is intense. It plays a heavy role in the story, and it’s like Nelson wrote this book for me. I guess what I’m trying to say is: this book is so relatable to my own personal experiences. The twin aspect, the painting, the art, the competition between siblings, all of it.
I’m not sure what else I can say about I’ll Give You the Sun, except for the fact that it’s one of those books where, when you finish, you kind of just want to collapse down on the bed and think for a good long while. It’s that good. I’ll Give You the Sun is utterly perfect.