Ecstatic Book Review of I’ll Give You the Sun

Jandy NelsonWhen you see reviews describing an author’s writing as a tour de force, what does to mind? For me, what will come to mind now is Jandy Nelson’s wonderful I’ll Give You the Sun.  Reading this book is like experiencing an avalanche of words… you become rolled up in them and before you know it, an hour is gone and you have become lost in the world she has so expertly created.

The Sweetwine twins, Noah and Jude are both similar and completely dissimilar – and it depends on who is telling the story.  The both take turns narrating a difficult time in their adolescent lives – Noah takes the story at age 13, and Jude at 16.  The twins we meet in Noah’s chapters are almost unrecognisable in Jude’s – and their unshakeable bond is virtually non-existent.  The gulf between them is immense, and it has transformed the characters you are first introduced to completely.

Then over the subsequent chapters Nelson unpacks the past, revealing what happened in the Sweetwine family and how it could possibly be resolved.  At the centre are the two great loves of both twins – art, and family.  Jude sculpts and Noah paints.  Their views of the world through artistic eyes are magical – as is the passion for life and love both have.

This falls into the category of young adult fiction that will easily transcend into adult readers. It is complex and emotionally raw –  bittersweet and exquisitely savourable.  I loved this.


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