I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Published: 16.09.2014 by Dial Books (my edition: Walker Books)
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Synopsis: From the author of The Sky Is Everywhere, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying – all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close – until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don’t realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.
I feel like such an outcast now. I DNFed this extremely popular book. I’m sorry if I let you down. Let’s talk about why I didn’t make it past page 133, shall we?
I have seen this book on so many blogs, and in so many YouTube videos! Everyone seemed to love and praise it, saying it was one of the best contemporaries they’ve ever read. So when the #Bookentine readathon came around, I thought it was finally time to give this a go.
This is the story of a twin brother and sister, Noah and Jude. It’s told through two timelines: when you read from Noah’s perspective, the twins are 13 years old, while if you read from Jude’s, they are 16. In Noah’s timeline, they are incredibly close. In Jude’s, they no longer speak to each other. You’re basically trying to find out what happened, what drove them apart.
I just wasn’t invested in this story. While I was reading, I was absolutely fine with the story. I didn’t mind reading it, but I didn’t love it either. Once I put it down, I just didn’t feel like picking it back up. I didn’t have the urge to read more of their story. To find out what happened. To be quite honest, I couldn’t care less.
If I had to choose one twin whose perspective I preferred, it’s Noah’s. He was the most interesting to me. Noah is an artist, who has always dreamed of going to art school. He’s also gay, something he knows at 13 but doesn’t really want to tell. He was kind, awkward and sweet.
I wasn’t attached to Jude at all. I didn’t really care for her perspective, as it was mostly her feeling bad for something that happened, and her talking to her dead grandmother.
Not only was I not invested in the characters or story, I also think Jandy Nelson’s writing just may not be for me. I liked that it was quite different, yes. For example, when Noah thinks of something to draw in relation to something that just happened, Nelson put the title of his drawing in brackets between the lines. That’s quite interesting! But to me, I think her writing just felt disjointed, and choppy. And I think that’s why I couldn’t connect to the characters.
All in all, this book just wasn’t for me. It’s not bad! That’s not what I’m saying at all. It just didn’t intrigue me. And I don’t want to read a book I’m not invested in.