I’ll Give You The Sun

sunRadiant.  Blinding.  Searing.

Staring into the sun without eye protection will ruin your eyes.  Looking at a solar eclipse directly blinds you.  Seeing the reflection of the moon in still water enchants the soul.  All of which are also true when you read Jandy Nelson‘s latest  I’ll Give You The Sun.  Evocative prose, rich with finely crafted imagery, description, and metaphor; fully realized, flawed, and oh-so-human characters; gut-wrenching tragedy and heart-stealing love; and a dual narrative structure that moves back-and-forth through time and across perspectives combine to make you feel like you’re staring in wide-eyed amazement at whole sky full of stars.

NoahandJude – it’s how the twins have always thought of themselves.  Each the other half of the other, thinking, feeling, talking, and being one, even when they’re apart.  They’re also both artists – Noah can draw or paint anything with breathtaking skill and Jude secretly sculpts vivacious, ethereal water women in the sand of the NorCal beaches – and their art is not only what links them to each other but also to their truest selves.   In the summer of their 13th year, quiet, intense Noah falls in love with their charismatic neighbor Brian, but he’s wracked with shame over what these feels mean.  Loquacious, bold, intense Jude spends her 13th summer pushing the limits of her parents’ patience, throwing herself headlong into the party-surf scene of their small town.  Both Noah and Jude are also preparing their applications and portfolios  for entry into a prestigious arts high school while at home their parents’ marriage is failing and it seems that the only security they have is in each other.

Three years later, the twins couldn’t be further apart: Jude tries to remain as invisible as possible, failing her coursework at the arts high school, and has no friends other than the ghost of her grandmother; Noah, on the other hand, no longer paints or draws, is the star of the cross country team at the public high school, and has a popular girlfriend.  There doesn’t seem to be any way to cross the universe between them until Jude collides with an unpredictable new mentor and a broken, beautiful young man.  Perhaps there is a way to uncover the truth, heal the rift grief and betrayal have caused, and allow the twins to remake their world.

  • Posted by Cori

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