Tuesday, 11 August 2015

#reviewsdaytuesday: I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I read this as part of the most recent booktubeathon and I absolutely loved it.

A photo posted by Vicki Maitland (@vickimaitland) on

It is told from two different time frames: Noah's from when he is aged 13-14 and his twin Jude, when she is 16. It leaves you to figure out what has happened in the interim. The story is saturated with imagery - it's a very visceral assault on the senses - and this is largely to do with the focus on art. Both Noah and Jude are very artistically minded, and the visual and textural elements of the story turn it into something very special. It also made it a little hard to get into, but as soon as I clicked with the voices of Noah and Jude I fell in love and couldn't put it down.

It's hard to pin point what this story is about. It's as much about love, lust and sexuality as it is about tragedy, family and art. All these things string together to create a beautiful story. Although the connection between the twins is a driving force of the story, the connections they form with others make up the forefront of the drama. The way they both talk about the boys they fall in love with broke my heart and put it back together again.

The time fracture in the story (caused by the death of a much loved family member) is what creates the intrigue in the story, without which the narrative would feel perhaps a little over the top. The love/lust emotions are so heightened that without the equally heightened pain/distress it would be a very uncomfortable, false read.

I have mixed feelings about the ending, as I personally prefer an open ended piece. That being said, I would have felt disappointed had the loose ends of the story not been tied. I wonder if there could have been a way to leave the story a little less packaged, whilst still hinting at solidity of the ending.

Overall, I loved this book. I couldn't put it down once I got started, which hasn't happened in a while!

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