I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

Ill-give-you-the-sun“This is how it all begins. With Zephyr and Fry – reigning neighbourhood sociopaths – torpedoing after me and the whole forest floor shaking under my feet as I blast through air, trees, this white-hot panic. 

‘You’re going over, you pussy!’ Fry shouts. 

Then Zephyr’s on me, has one, both of my arms behind my back, and Fry’s grabbed my sketchpad. I lunge for it but I’m armless, helpless. I try to wriggle out of Zephyr’s grasp. Can’t. Try to blink them into moths. No. They’re still themselves, fifteen-foot-tall, tenth-grade asshats who toss living breathing thirteen-year-old people like me over cliffs for kicks.” 

Noah and Jude are twins. Whilst they couldn’t be more different they both strive for the same thing from the same person. As they grow older the changes in them become more apparent, and when tragedy strikes they are blow apart. They no longer talk, they are no longer friends, but whilst they couldn’t be more different to each other and to their former selves, they are both falling hard for boys they can’t have. Love never runs smooth. 

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This book was heartbreaking and beautiful, much like Jandy Nelosn’s first, and honestly kept me hooked for hours! With a story told in two parts, by two different people, three years apart, it fed the reader exactly what they needed to carry on, without giving the whole story away right at the start.

The first thing I have to mention about this book is the stylistics within it. I studied stylistics in university and for those of you who don’t know its partly to do with the effect of using different fonts and styles of writing within a book. This book featured whole pages of written type font in thick brush strokes, it featured snippets of notes and images reflecting dedications in books and all sorts. It had raindrops and drips of paint and smudges on the pages. What I loved was that the ‘messy’ pages, with those raindrops and stuff on them were noah from when he was 13/14 and they reflected who he was at the time. He was at artist and a free spirit, he was messed up but not too messed up, it was normal teenage stuff at that point. Jude’s chapters were cleaner and more controlled, which interested me because it was mostly in these chapters when things were really falling apart. I loved the contract the pages made between the characters too.

The story was brilliant and I adored the way it read as a kind of before and after, but until later on in the book you don’t really know what the ‘after’ is. You know there’s a tragedy and who that tragedy involves but you have to unravel the reasons why and what really happened to make the two characters who they are now. It was a brilliant way of telling the story especially because of the events which happen later and the differing maturity levels of the characters between the two time periods.

It’s not secret that I am a massive fan of Jandy Nelson’s work, I think she’s fantastic and The Sky is Everywhere broken my heart into a thousand tiny pieces. I didn’t like I’ll Give You The Sun as much as her first book but it was definitely more than worth a read and I will be keeping my copy for future readings. I think that many people will love this book because the story isn’t just about romantic love – which plays a part in the story – but is about the love between family members, between an artist and his art, and about the love that can damage because it means that you are blocking things out or hiding things from people.

I’ll Give You The Sun was published on April 2nd by Walker Books. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
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