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 Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding 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 B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens Deonn Tracy D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon 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 Jesse H. Reign John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters 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 Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels 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 Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez