I’ll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)
Noah and Jude are twins who have been incredibly close their whole lives. When they hit their teenage years, however, their differences begin to get in the way of that closeness. Jude is wild and crazy for a certain surfer boy who is several years her senior. Noah is obsessed with his art to the point of being withdrawn from everything else, until he meets Brian, who becomes his moon, his stars, his sunshine, his everything. Both twins apply to an elite private art school at their mother’s urging – Noah is dying to get in and Jude could care less. As their relationship with one another and their parents becomes rockier, however, the twins turn against one another – saying and doing things that create an irreparable rift between them. I’ll Give You the Sun is written in Jude and Noah’s voices in alternating chapters jumping back and forth between the near past and the present, as they navigate the terrible tragedy of their mother’s death, and the revelations of their own closely held secrets.
This is a powerful and passionate book with beautiful, yet flawed characters who find themselves thwarted and wounded deeply by the people they most love and trust. They are not normal or ordinary, but they occasionally try to fit themselves into those boxes – with disastrous results. Ultimately, they are able to know and express themselves triumphantly. Inspiring and wonderful – you will want to unleash your own fire after reading this.
Reviewed by YA Librarian