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Saturday, March 19, 2016

I'll Give You The Sun

A few months ago I read my first book written by Jandy Nelson: The Sky is Everywhere. A book that was gifted to me by my parents for Christmas. But there was another one in it, one that my eyes had laid on first: I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. It was the first book that I saw written by this author and was mostly attracted to it because of its cover. Yet the synopsis made me want to read this book real badly...



Jude and Noah, the twins, always have had a very close bond. Jude is the open minded one, the daredevil and loves the social life. While Noah is more the introverted guy at the age of 13 and rather draws and loses himself in the boy next door. Yet the perfect family is falling apart and Jude and Noah are growing apart. And now it's Jude who's becoming the introverted one and Noah who rather has the social life. None of them really know what caused this but are absolutely certain that they want to find each other again. Author's note: What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

It did take me a few pages to really get into this book. For me it was a little harder to figure it out and to understand it. I don't know if it was because I was tired or because I read late in the evening, but sometimes I just couldn't follow with what was happening. Yet that didn't stop me from reading this book that turned out quite beautifully.

Another thing that was absolutely great in this book is the fact that, as said in the synopsis, the book has two parts in it. The first part are the younger ages told by Noah and the second part is told by Jude, those are the older ages. The border between these is the death of a very beloved person. The two different parts are also intertwined in the story. It's not that the first 150 are Noah and the last 150 pages are Jude. They just alternate each other and it's also easier to see the contrast between those two.

The first character I'd love to discuss is Noah. Why? Because I was a big fan of him if I had to pick one of the twins. I just could relate most to Noah, being a little more shy, being the observer of everything. Yet this character also shows you his imperfections, his doubts and his insecurities since he feels like he doesn't belong anywhere. I think there are a lot of Noah's in real life and really could see the realistic aspects in this character.

He's also very artistic which is what I loved most about him. He pictures everything in his head and gives his painting a name. For me it was a great asset to his character because the author made sure you could imagine how the painting would look. You'd use your own imagination, just like Noah, to form a painting. Which made it feel for me as if I was participating in the book.

As for Jude. I don't know. I just wasn't as glad with her as I was with Noah. It might be because I recognized myself more in Noah than in Jude. She was quite the popular girl when she was younger and always tried to hide her brother because he was "nerdy" and "normal" and "himself". She had a tons of friends, she was loved and she belonged. This already shows us a big contrast between the twins.

Yet this is only their character in the ages around 14, the part that Noah tells. When they're both older it's as if their characters are switched. Now Jude is the artistic one but not the kind that loves drawings and paintings like Noah, but sculptures. It's now Jude that locks herself up in her room while Noah is being the party guy and dates everyone and has a tons of friends and calls Jude "embarrassing".

It's really nice to see this big change when they're older but the reader is kept in the dark for quite a while to when this sudden change happened and why it happened. It's not that they've changed a little, their whole personalities have changed. They're the total opposite of what they once were! Above that it's as if the twins switched personalities. Though I did feel sad that my favorite character wasn't himself anymore, I absolutely loved to see the changes. And to be really honest, Jude grew on me eventually but it took me a while.

The plot will also be talking a lot about the rivalry between the two siblings. Both want to be the best and be seen as the best by their parents. This causes a lot of harshness between the two. They even try to prevent the other to win or try to disturb each other in their competition. It's since the younger ages that they had this rivalry and it's absolutely shown in the book. 

But I thought the rivalry was something that reflected the reality because a lot of siblings feel like they need to be better than the other to get most attention from their parents. I only read two books by Jandy Nelson, and correct me if I'm wrong, but to my opinion (I think a lot of other readers will be with me in this), Jandy Nelson shows very realistic aspects. Aspects that everyone can relate to and that's something I really like about her writing style. It's also those aspects that makes these books so beautiful and full of life and emotion.

However the most surprising was that the younger ages left clues and the older ages tried to refer back to the younger ages. It was a constant play between those ages and I never thought I'd like it that much. My first thought was "oh god, this will be so confusing!" but it's absolutely not, it only makes you want more. You want to go back to the younger ages to find out what Jude is talking about, but when you're in Noah's retelling you want to go forward again because Noah leaves clues that might or mightn't be answered with Jude. 

So I think it's clear that the plot was absolutely crazy! The changes between the age where Noah talks and the age where Jude talks is absolutely mind-blowing. There's just so much more than you might think in this story. With every superficial thing they say there's a deeper message. I was absolutely fond of this book! 

Noah leaves you in the dark so much and that causes you to feel like Jude in the older ages because Noah hides things for her too. Yet in the older ages Jude also leaves you in the dark and then you feel like Noah because also he doesn't know it.

And all these little parts make sure there's a mind-blowing ending to this story. I just can't put it into words, I absolutely loved this story. Not only because of the things you don't know and because you can relate to the characters so much but also because there are so many themes in this book. Going from friendship to love and back to family and art. The twin aspect is also something that's going to be a such an important part and I was really happy to read a book where this was important. 


I just really liked it that the main thing in this book was about the twins. About finding each other again after all that time of being apart from each other. And mostly about showing your weaknesses even though you don't want to. 

The plot just really surprised me and sure, it took me a while to get into the book and into the story but it was so worth it! You really felt like you were a part of it. It wasn't only that, some parts were absolutely hilarious only to bring you full of tears near the ending when everything comes colliding together. This book, ladies and gentlemen, will absolutely blow your mind! Jandy Nelson her writings can be read very easily yet have a serious and realistic tone to it. Also you can relate so much to the characters, and even if you don't like them they'll eventually grow on you. I absolutely recommend this book for everyone who likes art, family tragedies and family business, combined with some realistic themes like friendship and love. You'll absolutely love this book!

"His soul might be a sun. I've never met anyone who had the sun for a soul."




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