I’ll Give You the Sun has won just about any prize that exist (Printz Award, Stonewall Honor, YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction, Rainbow List Top Ten etc.) and I completely understand why. This book deserves all the love in the world! It’s not like anything I’ve ever read before. It’s poetic, gripping, heart-wrenching and so beautiful!
Storywise, I’ll Give You the Sun is a young adult coming-of-age novel, which follows the lives of non-identical twins Noah and Jude Sweetwine at the ages of 13, 14, and 16. The early years are written from Noah’s point of view whereas the later years are written from Jude’s. Up until age 13 the twins are best friends, so close that they are more or less the same person. Then something happens that turns them into bitter enemies. The story is not linear, instead the early and later years are mixed, to give us a hint of what might happen or how something Noah describes in the early years have consequences from Jude’s perspective and vice versa. It also gives you a much deeper understanding of how the schism between the twins happens and why.
It’s also a wonderful love story (or several parallel ones actually) and a story about becoming who you truly are. Noah is struggling with coming out to himself and to others about being gay and in love with the boy next door, the charismatic Brian. Jude on the other hand is on a boy boycott when she meets the arrogant and broken, yet beautiful Oscar. Then there’s the underlaying love story that isn’t completely revealed until the very end.
But what’s so completely different with this book is the stunning way it is written. Not just the beautiful language but there’s such uniqueness in the way the words are used and how art is integrated in the story. Especially Noah’s parts are written with metaphors and with paintings describing what’s happening and how Noah feels as an outsider, explaining in such an amazing way how he misinterprets social codes. Noah’s love story was so heartbreaking and emotional to read whenever things didn’t go his way due to his difficulty figuring out his sexuality and other people’s reactions. And Jude, I loved her fierceness and humor, and how she had all these fun dialogues with her grandma’s ghost in her mind, and also out loud sometimes.
As the story evolves it is clear that Jude and Noah have done so many things to hurt each other and others as well. Really bad things. Almost unforgivable things. And there are so many secrets that just have to come tumbling out eventually. So much misunderstandings and heart-aches. All of the characters have to overcome their pasts and learn to trust and forgive (each other as well as themselves). And to dare to love again and to allow themselves to be loved. The heartbreaking story unravels slowly but in a way that gets you so attached to these characters. I felt for them so so much! There were parts that I almost didn’t dare to read, being so afraid of the pain and hurt I suspected was coming the characters’ way…
I’ll Give You the Sun might just be one of the most beautiful, awe inspiring books I’ve ever read. It might take a little while to get into it and fully grip the language as it is so unusual in its writing, but it is so worth it!
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez