"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, at sixteen, 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 each other, they'd have a chance to remake their world."
Let me have a moment to collect myself before I begin.
You see, I'll Give You the Sun is an excellent book. Emotionally gripping, suspenseful and simultaneously jarring, I found it utterly captivating. I found myself sinking into the story, caught up in Jude and Noah's shared drama, without even thinking about it. To put it simply, I was enthralled by Jandy Nelson's novel.
I'll Give You the Sun is excellent for a number of reasons, not least among them for the amazing story Jude and Noah weave; however, I absolutely love the characters that Nelson crafts, especially her narrators. Jude and Noah, for all their flaws, are unique and beautiful. Although they are twins, their vices are singularly unique, so much so you can actually recognize the different threads of their personalities.
Moreover, I love that Noah and Jude are so full of heart and life and love. They are wonderfully dynamic, constantly growing and maturing and evolving as individuals, accumulating new facets of their personalities. As Jude aptly points out:
"[Maybe] a person is just made up of a lot of people. [...] Maybe we're accumulating these new selves all the time. Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things."
I'll Give You the Sun is such a beautiful story. It's partly a coming-of-age tale; however, it's also a story about grieving and healing, art and beauty, love - and knowing that your sibling for all your differences, for all your similarities, will always be there.
Honestly, I have no complaints. I suppose my only problem was having to skip between narrators. I constantly wished to return to the previous narrator and pursue their story, and I just couldn't decide which story I'd rather read.
But I think that's more of a personal problem, rather than an issue with the book.
Growing up is difficult, no matter who you are, but Jude and Noah have always had one another to rely upon - and then, suddenly, they don't. It's heartbreaking to see how their lives fall apart, how their inexplicable bond starts to degenerate. It's hard to read their turmoil, even harder to endure it as they learn to grieve and cope and heal.
Becoming an adult and picking up all the pieces has never seemed so difficult.