Publication Date: 16 September 2014
Publisher: Walker Books
Genres: Young adult
I’ll Give You the Sun was an emotional and inspiring read. It did not take me long to finish because I was so immersed by the story, and there was so much going on in each new part. There was a sad aspect to the story but did not focus on it greatly, rather on how the characters overcome it.
I’ll Give You the Sun follows Noah and Jude. They are twins who have been very close to each other growing up, but when several life-changing events occur, they are driven apart and no longer as tight as they once were. In Noah’s side of the story, he is thirteen-years-old, discovering his sexuality, shy, friendless, and dedicated to his art. In Jude’s side, she is sixteen-years-old, struggling with her artistry, on a boy boycott, and abiding by her strange dead grandmother’s bible. We learn what happened to the twins to make them loathe each other and what they could do to rectify their situations.
For much of the novel, the twins’ interactions are scarce. This was something that greatly made the story unique in comparison to other stories about twins. However, the love for each other that they shared was beautiful and made me highly adore this novel.
As the tagline suggests, ‘Love is only half the story’. I realised this was true after reading it. While there is some romance, it is mostly about the bond of a family and facing problems within your personal life. These overall themes of the novel made the romance quite special.
Out of the two point-of-views, I preferred Noah’s. The writing was more poetic and full of metaphors, which brought the story to life in a magical way. Here is an excerpt of how Noah thinks:
‘I sink back down. Jude looks at me. Her eyes are the lightest glacier blue; I use them mostly when I draw them. Normally they make you feel floaty and think of puffy clouds and hear harps, but right now they look just plain scared. Everything else has been forgotten.’
There were plenty of twists throughout that were somewhat surprising, though I managed to guess one of them before it happened. It was still an interesting idea and connected the characters in a way I could not have considered. The twist also improved the growth of the characters, as they seemed very different at the end compared to the beginning.
Even though I rated it 5 stars, I do have one criticism: Jude’s relationships with older men. It only happened twice, but the differing attitudes she had between them was surprising, as she treated one like a leper and the other like a saint, even though the interactions were consensual. I do agree that one was worse than the other, but Jude’s attitude toward the other man should have been the same, considering she was still quite young. The ending of Jude’s story did not wrap up in the way I thought that it should, but the ending of Noah’s story was pleasant and brought a smile to my face.
I loved I’ll Give You the Sun and would highly recommend it, especially to those who read young adult books.
- Have you read I’ll Give You the Sun?
- Did you enjoy it as much as I did?