I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Jandy Nelson’s ‘I’ll Give You The Sun’ is one of the latest books to be celebrated in the young adult fiction genre.

Two book reviews in a row but I promise these two novels could not be more different! After my review of Phillip K Dick’s ‘The Man in the High Castle’ I’m turning my attention to a contemporary novel of a completely different genre, swapping post war speculative fiction for a quick coming of age read.

Lately I’ve been finding Young Adult fiction less and less appealing. There was a time that I’d never have considered leaving the genre behind but apparently I’m starting to firmly outgrow it. Given that Jandy Nelson’s ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’ has been getting rave reviews lately, I thought it worth a go to rekindle my love for youthful, carefree fiction. Sceptical though I was, after reading the whole thing in two days I was, quite clearly, sucked in.

The book follows two twins, Noah and Jude, skipping forwards and backwards in time between a 13 year old Noah and 16 year old Jude. Though they were once inseparable, they become torn apart by a family tragedy and the quiet, artistic Noah and outgoing, sporty Jude seemingly swap places.Though I don’t think the plot was anything groundbreaking (and, to be honest, it’s exactly what you would expect from a teen novel) it wasn’t so predictable that I was bored at any point.

What I found telling about the skill of Nelson’s writing was how frustrated and angry I became when a certain truth was revealed. I felt quite emotionally attached to Noah and, as a result, I felt like I needed to look out for him. There were no tearjerker moments for me but it did make me feel a whole range of emotions and was really rather successful in drawing me into the story which, lets face it, should be the aim of most fiction authors!

Though this is a pretty small thing and, of course, has no effect over the story, I love that the pages in the book had doodles and paint spillages printed onto them. I think it’s great when books have details like these as the author clearly wants to cover all areas in putting character into their work.

Unlike a lot of teen fiction I read nowadays, I can actually recommend I’ll Give You the Sun as a light but gripping summer read and I’d like to read Jandy’s other work, ‘The Sky is Everywhere’. Have you read any of Jandy Nelson’s work?