Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Review: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Just one word will suffice: ka-effing-pow! 

This is my first time with a Jandy Nelson book, and just like that, she became one of my favourite authors! I'm giving 4.7 stars (★) for I'll Give You the Sun.

- - - - - - - - - -
Synopsis from Goodreads: At first, Jude and her twin brother Noah, are inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them. Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways . . . but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor. The early years are Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only half the story, and if they can only find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world.
- - - - - - - - - -

There are so many things that I want to say about this book, so many things that I wish I can express beautifully, as beautiful as Jandy Nelson's words. I admit that I initially bought this book because it has such good reviews, but what intrigued me to actually start flipping through the pages was the fact that the story involves the life of a set of twins. I have no idea why, but I have always have a soft spot for twins. I often wonder how it would feel to have your own twin, whether the person will be a mirror of you, or a contrast of you. Jandy Nelson showed that by being twins, you may experience everything twice as harder, you love harder, you hurt harder, and the siblings connection are stronger.


I think the plot is very beautiful, and quite relatable should I say. Not that I surf, or extremely good in art, but I can relate to being intimidated by your own sibling, and not knowing whether you will ever be good enough.

The story is told in two different times, by two different point-of-views: the earlier years are told by Noah, while the later years, by Jude. We are able to know what happened in the past, and what will happen in the future, except that we missed the things in between. We know that when the twins are thirteen, they are the closest a twin as they can get, but when they are sixteen, everything is broken. No more telepathy, no more comfort talks, no more hushed secrets. 

The story builds steadily in both timelines, and slowly we learn more about Noah and Jude. How they found each other, how they lost each other. It doesn't move slowly nor it moves too fast, but it was enough to keep you flipping through the pages to know more of what had happened between the two. It will make you smile, make you scream inwardly in frustration, and even make you tear up, but it will all be worth it. There's nothing more that I love than the way how things relate, and how it ends.


I have to say, it took a while for me to adjust with the writing of the story. It may have been due to my two-years of book slump, but I find everything too overwhelming at first. Jandy Nelson's language was too... flowery, too colourful for me at first.

But as pages went by, I find myself hooked to the book, and I fell in love and fell in love and fell in love deeper for the words. It was so artistic, so full of colours and expressions, they were vivid and almost exploding from the book. I have never dog-eared so many pages of a book before.


Noah and Jude are the very definition of twins that I always love: different, yet stronger when together. Even though at first, Jude is more of the daredevil, and Noah the safer and silenter twin, everything changed the moment they lost their mother. It is like a switch is flicked, and their bodies swapped places. Jude becomes scared of everything, pushing people away from her, and Noah becomes the daredevil of the twins instead.

Initially, when I know a lot more of Noah than Jude, I could not help but dislike Jude because of her "selfishness", but when Jude comes rolling in, showing how hard she had it too, I easily grew fond of her. I love Noah even with his quirkiness, his way of thinking is just so out of the world and so... so Noah. And I love Jude, because even after everything that happened, Noah is still the first person that she will look out to. Like I said, they may be different, but they're the same in so many ways, so much stronger together.


I love every single bit of I'll Give You the Sun. I've never realised how much I need a story filled with so much art and colours like this one before. It taught me not to ever live my life in a lie, and always be honest. Always be honest to yourself.

The tool roars to life. My whole body vibrates with electricity as I split the rock in two.
So that NoahandJude becomes Noah and Jude.
"You kill them?" Guillermo says in disbelief.
"No, I saved them."

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

1 comment