I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and 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 divisive ways…until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. 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.
Review: I'll Give You the Sun is a beautifully written novel. I had to read the 2015 Printz Award winner for my YA Literature course and that ended up being this one. I was very excited as I had heard wonderful things and I knew I wanted to read this book. I'm so glad I had the perfect opportunity to do so as it was well worth it.
When I read the summary, I assumed the first half was Noah and the second half was Jude, since Noah tells the story at 13 and Jude tells it at 16. That's not exactly the case though; there are sections back and forth between the twins, giving the reader a chance to really get to know both of them as well as figure out what happened to push them so far apart in just three years.
At 13, Noah is quiet and wants to desperately attend a local art school. He loves to draw and is desperate to get better. He meets the new kid next door, Brian, and falls in love. As for Jude, she loves to surf and wear bright lipstick and short skirts. She's not entirely sure who she is and she feels very far from her mother, just like Noah feels far from his father.
At 16, Jude is quiet and hides herself in baggy clothes. She's on a ban from boys and she misses her brother. Noah cut his hair, stopped drawing, and hangs out with the 'cool' kids, not telling anyone he is gay.
Both Jude and Noah have secrets. There are things they need to tell each other to truly start to heal and there are aspects of their personalities they need to stop hiding so they can be truly happy.
I'll Give You the Sun is a fantastic book and I would love to have my own copy for the shelves. These characters felt real and I so wanted the story to continue when I came to the end. I know I now need to read Nelson's debut novel!