Nice to have you back! This week, I wanted to stop for a moment and give you some feedback I have on the buzz book I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson.
I’ll precede this by saying that I was intrigued, but unlike the rest of the world, I didn’t know anything about it. Regardless, I picked it up off the shelf.
Here’s the blurb:
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.
I’ll be downright honest: For the first 30 or so pages I disliked this book (bear with me). It felt out of the park, odd, over the top, and just not my cup of tea. In fact, I told a couple of writer friends as much.
However, I quickly changed my tune. And it changed dramatically. This is now one of my all time favorite books. Why? Voice. Once you settle into the novel’s unique and offbeat style, the voice explodes from the pages like nothing you’ve ever seen. So much so, that it’s the kind of voice that makes other writers jealous (nope, not ashamed to admit that!).
Noah and Jude both have riveting voices and I found that whenever I read one character’s POV, I wanted to go right back to the other character. Then the other way around. I couldn’t get enough of either of them.
The supporting characters don’t just support. They sizzle and have massive lives of their own. If I had to have one negative in this area? It’d be that I’d have loved to have seen the dad developed more, as he was kept pretty much in the background, and I’d have loved to have empathized with him more.
But this is a huge story of love in all its forms, and how Jandy Nelson fit such huge things into so few pages I have no idea. These are emotions that fill a lifetime, an era, and yet there they are in just a few hundred pages.
So, this might sound like I’m gushing, and that I’m not looking for negatives. But to be honest, it’s truly hard to find anything I didn’t like about this book. Not every book has to have a criticism thrown at it. So short and simply put…this book is a work of art.