Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun is about a pair of twins: Jude and Noah. Growing up, they were best friends even though their personalities seemed worlds apart. After the death of their mother, Jude and Noah become distant-like strangers. The book flips back and forth between their earlier and later teen years, and readers find out that each of them only has half of the story. I’ll Give You The Sun is a novel about art, family and siblings, lies, and soul mates.
When I first began this novel, I felt so-so about it. Jude’s POV uses a lot of bible references and she talks to ghosts, which all seemed very strange to me. A couple chapters in, I began to love the way Nelson incorporates intense imagery in his writing. Jude and Noah are aspiring artists and art students. Noah refers to his own mind as an invisible gallery because he paints paintings in his head. Nelson’s writing style made me see Noah’s paintings as if I had entered his invisible gallery.
Interesting things that came up in this novel was sibling rivalry, lean guys with accents, and soul mates.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance. Remake the world.
Who’s the “Favorite”?
This is what I want: I want to grab my brother’s hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.
Although Jude and Noah love each other more than anyone else does, a rivalry trembles between them in everything they do. They fight for their parents’ love and attention and to get into the same art school (CSA). This rivalry is what ends up breaking them apart when they hide secrets from each other in order to escape from the guilt and shame of their actions.
Noah sees himself as a revolutionary. Aside from being homosexual, he believes he is different from the barbarians the town seems to be full of. He is an artist- one who can remake the world with his hand. This belief comes crashing down when he finds out that Jude gets accepted into CSA and he does not. Little does he know that Jude did not submit his application due to jealousy. Noah is someone who feels everything deeply, which is both a blessing and a sin. He falls in love with his new neighbor, and spends the rest of his teen years begging for his forgiveness after betraying him. He feels guilty for his mother’s death and he is burdened with her secret.
Jude is that girl – the girl who wore makeup too early, kissed too early, did everything too early – but she is brave, adventurous, and saves Noah from bullying and dangerous cliffs. Jude has a strange ability to converse with ghosts and for some reason, her clay sculptures keep breaking (ghosts!). She goes to seek a mentor, a famous sculptor, who ends up being a part of the crazy mess of her mother’s death. Jude is full of regrets. She regrets how she betrayed Noah. She is on a boycott. She wants to make a stone sculpture that will save her ass from getting kicked out of CSA.
It is so very interesting how Jude and Noah despise each other and love each other at the same time. Being twins, it is so easy to point out each other’s flaws just by existing. Yet at the same time, you know your sibling is like another half of you. Nobody but Jude understands Noah’s love. Nobody but Noah understands Jude’s art. They save each other, just like how their stories are only complete as one.
Siblings are competitive and I know this because I have a younger sibling myself. Even unintentionally, you get compared to each other. You wonder who your parent likes more and whether that position is fixed or if it changes depending on the situation. You wonder why you can’t do the things your siblings can. You wonder why people don’t treat you the same way they treat your sibling. You hate how they make you hate you, but you still love them.
Motorcycle, Leather Jacket, British Accent
No hot guy should be allowed to have an English accent and drive a motorcycle. Not to mention wear the leather jacket or sport the cool shades. Hot guys should be forced into footie pajamas.
Through her sculpting mentor, Jude meets Oscar. He is a leather-jacket-wearing-motorcycle-riding British dude with different colored eyes and a way of leaning against a wall that drives Jude’s heart insane. He is your typical bad boy with a sad past and even though his character is so, so cliche, I still loved him because how can you not love a male character that has all of the above attributes?
Meant To Be?
The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.
This story talks a lot about soul mates and fate and destiny. Whether their mother died or not, the famous sculptor and Oscar would eventually become a part of Jude and Noah’s story. Little signs and random events that occur throughout the book all end up connecting together in the end, as if it was all twisted together in the first place.
I believe in soul mates. I believe that there is one person in the world who was designed for you and you to them, but I don’t necessarily believe that fate or destiny will allow you to ever meet this person. I imagine it like this: there is somebody who was made to be with you, but they are all the way on the other side of the globe and you probably never end up with them and instead, you settle and find someone else who loves you and treats you right, but is not your soul mate.
So yeah, the story is kind of bogus if I really think about it, but I wasn’t thinking about it. I was just reading and falling into the whimsical and marvelous minds of Jude and Noah.