REVIEW || I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson


I'll Give You the Sun has been finding its way on and off my wishlist for the past few months. After reading the blurb, I was absolutely certain that I wouldn't like it, but everyone that I spoke to had me thinking otherwise - gushing review after gushing review, I was curious to see what the fuss was about; and now I know.

I was hooked before I started reading the first chapter.

One of the first pages of the novel is an open letter to the reader. This letter bears the cold hard truth of what it means to be a writer, wanting to take your characters, - these fictional people that you have befriended and grown to love - to places in the real world, it highlights the time and effort you spend bringing these characters (and the novel) to life, and most importantly not knowing whether you're writing the novel, or if the novel is writing you. From the moment I read this, I regarded Nelson with the utmost amount of respect, she laid everything down for the world to see and I felt like she got me. Well, got me as a writer.

What's it about?
The award-winning novel focuses on the lives of Noah and Jude, twins torn apart by tragedy, lies, and boys. However, the interesting part is that it has been told in two parts; The Invisible Museum, and The History of Luck, each told from a different perspective. The Invisible Museum follows thirteen-year-old Noah, who is trying to find his role in the world of life, love, and everything in between, all whilst painting the world, inside his head. The History of Luck is sixteen-year-old Jude's half, who is doing everything in her power to avoid the world of life and love and everything in between, amidst hanging out with her grandmother's ghost, and having her mother ruin all of her sculptures.

Each section has been written three years apart, Noahs based before the tragedy, whilst Judes is set sometime after, and alternates between the two. I found this to be fantastic in terms of a plot device, as often the answers to what we were looking for with one twin, were found within the other; many of the characters overlapped, and only by reading the entire novel - essentially two stories - can we understand the novel as a whole.

My thoughts
I absolutely adore the way the novel uses art, not just within the story being told, but in the way Nelson has painted the perfect picture with her descriptions. It feels as though Noah and Jude have become real people and are  cliff diving, painting, sculpting, kissing boys, painting stars, and falling in love within my head. I can only imagine how Nelson felt as she was writing, carving their story from her fingertips. Jandy Nelson is a genius.

I fell in love with this novel, not just the words, the characters, and the story, but the pages, the cover, and how it made me feel. After I finished it, I laid on my bed for at least half an hour, hugging the book thinking "now what?" I want to start reading another novel, but I am nowhere near ready to give up Noah and Jude - I love them, and reading anything else would feel like cheating. This is the worst book-hangover I have had in the longest time.

With a lot of other books I read, I can't wait to finish them, usually because I am excited about starting something else, but with I'll Give You the Sun I actually found myself reading slower because I didn't want to finish it. I put off reading the last section for two days, just because I did not want it to be over.

Should you read it?
Before I even finished this book, I was recommending it to everyone. It pulls you in from the very first page and spits you out wanting more.

If rumours are correct, Warner Bros optioned the novel in June, and a script is currently being written with hopes of a movie adaptation being released in the future. Let's just hope they don't fuck it up like most of my other favourite books that have been adapted into movies.

Jandy Nelsons other works include, The Sky is Everywhere, which I cannot wait to get my hands on!

You can buy, I'll Give You the Sun, here. And other places that sell books.

If you have read it, I'd love to know what you thought, leave a comment below!

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