It was always going to be difficult to follow The Sky is Everywhere, especially as I was reading both books back-to-back. I expected I’ll Give You the Sun to be quite similar, but even though both encompass similar themes – they’re contemporary young adult novels, wonderfully written, focusing on sibling relationships, teenage grief, romance and discovering who you are – they feel like two very different books. If you thought The Sky is Everywhere was poetic, the prose in I’ll Give You the Sun will blow you away.
I’ll Give You the Sun switches between two honest points of view: Noah and his twin sister Jude, from when they’re aged 13 and 16. At thirteen-years-old, they’re both optimistic, artistic and very close. They deal with sibling rivalries by diving up imaginary pieces of the world between them, but at aged sixteen, everything has changed. Noah and Jude barely speak and life has not gone the way they planned. I’ll Give You the Sun beautifully deals with growing up and many firsts – challenges, discoveries and, of course, love!
Although The Sky is Everywhere would be my favourite of the two if I had to pick – because it had such an impact on me and because I didn’t connect with Noah and Jude as easily – I’ll Give You the Sun is equally as well-written and encapsulates how complicated and challenging being a teenager can be, and how difficult it can be to express yourself clearly and openly to both yourself and those around you. Jandy Nelson gives the novel a unique voice. Art and creativity play a huge part in the book because the characters are artists (Noah loves to draw; Jude creates sculptures) and also because Noah and Jude are both coming to terms with the fact they don’t necessarily fit the mental portrait they painted of themselves as young teenagers.
I’ll Give You the Sun is a beautiful novel about a colourful family, falling in love with boys who don’t fit the mould, and a lot of self-discovery – add it to your pile of YA contemporary immediately! ‘I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.’
Published: 14th September 2010 (this edition 2nd April 2015)
Publisher: Walker Books (UK) Dial (US)
Source: Thank you to the publisher for providing this book for review!