“This is what I want: I want to grab my brothers hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.”
Jude and her twin Noah are close until a tragedy drives them apart. Now they are barely speaking – and both falling for boys they can’t have. Love’s complicated.
I picked this book up at the library on a whim. It was on a pretty display and in all honesty that is enough of a recommendation for me. I’ll Give You The Sun is the story of Noah and Jude, twins who couldn’t be closer until a terrible tragedy mingles with jealousy and their relationship falls apart. This is a magical story about grief, love, jealousy and art.
Throughout the book we flit between two perspectives and two timelines. Noah at the age of 13 shows us the beginnings of the trouble in their relationship; a battle between Jude and Noah over their mothers time, a jealousy forming over friendships and a challenge to get into art school begin to chip away at the intimacy between these twins. Jude at the age of sixteen shows us the aftermath of a great tragedy, the hardships of feeling distant from those you love and a desperation to rediscover who you are. These two timelines folded together perfectly to create the story, each one unfolding the secrets in the family at a perfect pace. In the past I’ve found flitting between two timelines confusing but Jandy Nelson managed it wonderfully so each perspective enhanced the other.
One of my favourite things about this book was the use of art. Both Jude and Noah are artistic yet in very different ways. Noah is a painter, he paints or draws everything he feels and if he doesn’t have paper? He paints in his mind. Jude is a sculptor, she thinks of it as wishing with her hands. Yet she struggles not to break the things she creates, putting it down to the ghosts of her past destroying everything. Their art was an insight into their complex personalities, their desires and their passions. It was such a fascinating invitation into the characters mindset and gave such a deep insight whilst filling your mind with beautiful images.
The most interesting part of this book was definitely the characters. Noah and Jude go through an incredible journey in this story; both together and individually. Their relationship matures as they do and their complexities make a relatively simple journey beautiful.
I would thoroughly reccommend this book. It is a beautiful story that ties art with grief, family with jealousy and doesn’t shy away from the truth of what you lose along the journey of growing up.