In a world that is constantly changing, author Jandy Nelson writes the perfect story to help readers realize that they are never truly alone, especially in the face of tragedy. “I’ll Give You the Sun” is a novel that everyone can relate to on some level. Nelson follows the story of twins Noah and Jude as they deal with the aftermath of a tragedy that falls upon them and finding out who they want to be. This is not your typical coming-of-age story packed with teen drama and gossip. “I’ll Give You the Sun” is truly a remarkable read.
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, could not be closer. Noah is an artist who by the age of 13 begins falling in love with the boy next door. Jude is a cliff-diving daredevil who wears bright-red lipstick and speaks for her and her brother. Something tragic happened three years later that causes the once inseparable siblings to be barely speaking to each other. The novel is split between the twins’ perspectives. The early years are told by Noah while the later years are from Jude’s point of view. Neither of them realizes they each have only half of the story. If they find their way back together, they can piece their world back together, too.
I first picked up this novel in my junior year of high school when my English teacher picked it for our monthly book club. At that stage of my life, young adult novels were not really my thing, but I trusted her judgment. The first few pages instantly drew me into the mind of Noah and the emotional journey he was taking. In my opinion, what makes Noah so relatable is the way he internally and externally works through finding his identity and how he wants to be seen. Jude is a character that a lot of us can connect with because she appears confident on the outside but is suffering on the inside. Even if you don’t have a twin or sibling, we all have that one person who is supremely confident, yet sometimes those relationships fall apart. Jude and Noah’s story reminds us that no matter what, we all need that person who will support us through anything and everything.
Rereading a book is not something I typically do, but “I’ll Give You the Sun” is one that I would read multiple times over, and one I’d recommend to anyone.