let’s review: i’ll give you the sun

illgiveyouthesunThis book made me feel like exclamation points, in a good way. I’ll Give You the Sun is dynamic YA writing at its best, like every sentence is supercharged with full-throttle feeling. Jandy Nelson captures not just an adolescent’s perspective, but two sides to the story of twins Noah and Jude, supremely connected and then disconnected and “divorced” from each other after a whole lot goes wrong. Noah, an offbeat artist who hasn’t picked up a pencil in a while, is in hiding from his true self. Superstitious Jude cuts off her hair and turns herself invisible, keeping company mostly with ghosts. Both are wading through some serious sadness and a tough few years. They’ll need each other (and the other half of the story) to see the full picture in all its multicolored meaning.

I’ll Give You the Sun made me feel all the feelings. My heart tugged for Noah and Jude and the characters in their story as all the pieces come together (“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story”). Nelson writes convincingly with teen voices, the ups and downs and in-the-moment sense of extreme, the always and the nevers and the everythings. Her writing is hyperbolic and hilarious, while also tender and touching. My only critique is the sense of too much at times, like in the “do people actually talk/behave like this in real life?” kind of way. At the same time, I love that this story is so passionate and powerful–it’s loud and quiet and sad and exuberant and spilling over. This book is a burst of redorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet–a bright, beautiful, beaming story I’ll keep with me and save again for a rainy day.

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