By Features Editor Harleigh Wiesenbach
This is a story about pairs: twins, soulmates, love and heartbreak, truth and lies, art and reality, and life and death. This is a story presented in halves: one part residing in each twin. They must come together to get the whole truth of their story, to find each other through the fog of lies and secrets surrounding them both.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is a phenomenal young adult fiction novel surrounding the early and later years of twins Noah and Jude. The way Nelson decided to present the story was unique and interesting, and one of the many things that got me hooked on it. It was split up in long chapters, alternating between Noah’s point of view when they were 13 turning 14 years old and Jude’s point of view when they were 16 years old. This is intriguing because normally when the reader sees different point of views like this, there isn’t a time jump, and he/she is able to see how the characters develop through time. But here, the reader is presented who the twins were and what they have become, piecing together how they got that way through each chapter and experiencing what they end up becoming.
Through the switching point of views, I was also amazed at how different each character sounded. Sometimes, especially when it’s with more than two characters, switching point of views is a personal turn off. But, Nelson nailed it. Each point of view sounds so different; it’s exactly like two different people are telling the story.
The different point of views is only another one of the aspects that made me give I’ll Give You the Sun five out of five stars on Goodreads. It was one of those books where the reader is so caught up in reading it, he/she doesn’t realize what page he/she is on. It was a fast, captivating read. I will admit, however, that it wasn’t as page turning at the beginning as it was towards the end. But that isn’t a bad thing. What kept me going in the beginning was my anger towards both main characters.
Without giving away any spoilers, let me just say that both characters did things where it made me want to teleport myself into the book and slap each of them. While this may sound frustrating, it makes for good writing if done correctly. If the reader is able to feel deeply enough about two characters to get mad at them, then he/she must care about the book and enjoy the writing. This is how it was for me with this particular book. With Jude’s sections, the reader knows where they end up at 16, but the characters still make the reader root for the them and get mad when they don’t end up how he/she wants them to.
I’ll Give You the Sun was a quick, interesting, and fun read overall, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in reading it. It left me craving more with each turn of the page, and I would definitely consider giving up the sun for another book like this.