Title: I’ll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: April 2nd 2015
From the author of The Sky Is Everywhere, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying—all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close—until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don’t realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
At thirteen Noah and Jude are as close as two siblings can be. They have different interests, different groups of friends, but when it comes down to it they will always pick each other first. By age sixteen the two are on opposite sides of the world emotionally; they lost their mother in an accident and since then they have barely spoke to one another.
Noah is a brilliant artist; it flows over into his everyday life and when, at thirteen, his mother mentions that she wants both him and his sister to apply for CSA Noah feels like he’s finally found his path to follow. His world becomes his portfolio for his application to the school, his world becomes his art even more than it was before. Then he meets Brian and his world becomes so much more. Brian is the first real friend Noah has, the two spend days in the woods searching for meteors fallen to earth, and Noah falls in love.
But there are things happening between his family that start changing everything for Noah, and between him and Jude. The more Noah spends time with Brian, eventually spending time with Jude’s friends, the more it seems to cause a rift between him and Jude. Later, as Noah struggles with his sexuality and his parents separate he discovers something about his mother which forces him to see her in a whole new light.
At sixteen it’s almost as if Noah and Jude have swapped personalities. Jude is the one who got into CSA not Noah, Jude is the introvert with no real friends and Noah is the daredevil, jumping off Devil’s Drop, a crowd of friends at his heels. The two have kept terrible secrets from each other, secrets which have torn them apart and convinced them the other will hate them if they ever discover the truth.
Jude believes the ghost of her mother, angry for her for what she did, is breaking all her artwork. In order to try and make something her mother cannot destroy, something that will make her mother forgive her, she seeks out the famous stone carver Guillermo and the journey Noah started at thirteen, peeking through windows at CSA, is continued by Jude at sixteen.
Noah lives very much in his head. His world is colours and art, and he paints everything and everyone in his head as he goes. When his mother mentions CSA it becomes Noah’s world, he sees it as his destiny and he wants to go there more than he’s ever wanted anything. While Jude is the apple of her father’s eye Noah connects with his mother in a way Jude doesn’t. His mother sees the artist in Noah and nourishes it.
When Noah meets Brian he is struck; he paints Brian as the borealis with stars inside his suitcase. Brian is so open and bright and Noah falls in love, but Noah can be insecure at times. He wants to be with Brian more than anything but Brian seems to prefer Jude and Courtney and Noah cannot help the jealousy he feels toward his sister. I adored the relationship between Noah and Brian more than any other in this book. The two were so sweet together but at times they do more to destroy the relationship between them than anything else.
Jude at thirteen is the quintessential popular girl, constantly surrounded by friends, open, bright and confident, but in her other’s eyes she is slowly becoming ‘that girl’. At sixteen everything Jude was at thirteen has disappeared; she wears baggy clothes to hide from the world, she is on a boy boycott and doesn’t seem to have any friends at her side. She carries her grandmothers bible with her, talks to ghosts, and researches and obsesses over all the diseases she could possibly have.
As Jude spends more time with Guillermo and Oscar she finishes the journey Noah began at thirteen. Like Jude Guillermo is broken but as the two of them work together to create Jude’s carving they seem to begin to heal one another. Jude’s relationship with Oscar seemed a little quick at times; while I enjoyed the way they grew together it seemed like one second Oscar was with another girl and the next he’s running after Jude.
Art plays such a large role in this book, both for Noah at age thirteen and Jude at age sixteen. Noah sees the world through the eyes of an artist and at thirteen the world is such a magical place to see through his POV. Everything and everyone he sees and meets he paints in his mind. The books starts off in Noah’s POV and as we see through his eyes everything between him and Jude and him and his parents it all seems so bright and happy. Later when we see the twins through Jude’s eyes at sixteen everything has become darker. There is no more light in the world, no more colours for Noah or Jude, not after what happened between them and to them both.
The relationships in I’ll Give You the Sun, between Noah and Jude, Noah and Brian, Jude and Oscar, were so amazingly sweet. Seeing their journey, following the twins from thirteen to sixteen was wonderful to read. I’d heard great things about this book and reading it I’ll Give You the Sun more than lived up to my expectations.
What did you think of I’ll Give You the Sun? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.