Friday, July 10, 2015

[Review] I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun
Jandy Nelson
YA, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
Published: April 2015 (Walker Books)
Format: digital
Pages: 429
Rating: ★★★★☆
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. 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.

Warning: Spoilers!!
(Go to the TL;DR section for a spoiler free short review)

This story is one unlike I've ever read and maybe that stems from my low count of contemporary books, but one I ended up enjoying immensely. When I picked it up, I really wanted to do it for the high concentration of metaphors to make fun of the writing, but that plan slapped me in the face when I got involved in the story. Then I ended up liking it, dare I say loving it. Maybe I won't go that far yet. But guh!

I want to dive into the character of Noah first. He was such a different specimen. At first, I hated reading his point of view because of all the try-hard writing and his whining. It was so desperate to be different and purple, but after I thought about it for a long time, I decided this was the best way to go for his character. It really reflected the way he saw things, especially since he was an artist. I, myself, do not claim to be an artist; I feel that the crazy way he saw things and experienced them directly reflected the way his mind functioned. He was a prodigy and he wanted so much more than he had. He wanted to be the best he knew he had the capacity to be. I felt bad for judging him as dismissing him as arrogant and selfish. I had to remind myself of his age multiple times and how that factored in to the way he acted. In the end, I felt that all of him rolled up into a bundle was messy and imperfect and I loved him. I loved his relationship and cared about what happened to him.

Jude, I feel, was an okay character. I didn't dislike her or like her, really. I didn't enjoy her love story at all. I felt it entirely unnecessary. It was too sudden and chalked up to reasons that didn't make sense to me. I did like that she consoled herself with the idea of her grandmother. She was always seeing her and talking to her and I suspect this is a coping method. It seems plausible to me. I didn't understand how her mother was the one breaking anything and making Jude's life difficult. That seemed a bit silly to me, but overlookable. Jude as a character in her own skin was interesting. She was fearless and I loved to see that Jude reemerge. I dislike how her character seemed wasted on some lame love story with some lame guy, she had so much more potential. Her art skills were the most interesting part for me. It seemed to be a passion that she didn't feel comfortable pursuing, and at some point one she wouldn't let herself indulge in.

The writing! Woah! If you noticed up there, I complained about all the flowery prose and metaphors. Well, I am going to eat my words and say that was something that made me stick with the story. If you know me, you know that I love overdone writing. Usually I don't go for metaphors, though, I go for details. This probably was part of my problem to begin with. Some quotes were hard hitting to me and I really related. I even jotted a few down for safe keeping to look at when I want a brief admittance to the characters (Noah) again. I found that the writing depicted the mood extremely well and made you really feel what the character was feeling.

The pacing and flow was really nice. Every time the PoV would change, I'd find myself disappointed because I wanted more. The reveling of important details was never too early or late. The only time I find myself complaining is the ending of the book. It felt too rushed. I feel more pages would have sufficed. The ending also seemed too perfect and this really bummed me out. I like bittersweet endings with openings for thought to fill in.

Overall, I would recommend this book to all the disbelievers. I was one myself and now look at me. ٩(๑❛ワ❛๑)و


+ writing, dear lord! the writing!
+ compelling characters
+ feels, so many feels
+ progression
+ art is a big deal
+ words depict mood well

- ending parts
- Jude's love interest (no offense)

Final Rating: ★★★★☆