REVIEW: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I finally finished this and really enjoyed it!
It's a very character-driven book about (family) relationships, and especially the one between twins Jude and Noah. Once they were inseparable until something drove them apart and they hardly speak anymore. It's written in dual POV and we follow 13-year-old Noah and 16-year-old Jude whilst we try to put the pieces together and figure the story out. In the meantime, they, too, have things to discover and figure out.
I loved the writing style. It's a contemporary full of metaphors and beautiful prose. This is not everybody's cup of tea, but I really liked it. It gave the book something extra, made the familiar new again and felt almost enchanting.
The characters were real, original, raw and complex. I cared bout them all and felt them close. Their relationships were dynamic and well explored, the romance wasn't cardboard cut.
I'm a big fan of sibling relationships in books, and Noah and Jude gave me everything I wanted and more. It was fantastic.
Art was an important theme in this book, and it made me want to try it again. To learn how to do it and fail miserably, unlike them. I liked how it was a theme that stayed the whole time and brought something to the book. However, it wasn't done in a way that you had to know a lot about it, and you'd certainly also enjoy the book if you aren't into art. It was a nice (and delicate) balance.
"We wish with our hands, that's what we do as artists."
It dealt with a lot of complex issues, like grief, the burden of guilt, sexuality (Noah is realising he's gay), suicide attempt, sex and assault but none of them handled in a graphic way. They're surrounded with the same beautiful prose as elsewhere in the book. They're recognised and talked about. They're real and a part of life.
Since I listened to the audiobook and found it hard to commit like that, it took me a long time to finish it. If I had started in a paper copy, I would've read it within a week (and I'm definitely planning to still buy a physical copy). I think it's a testament to the book that it could still hold my attention over such a long time and I still highly enjoyed it. It was great.
“Quick, make a wish.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance.
Remake the world.”