Review: “I’ll Give You the Sun” provides sunny look into clouded relationships

Sivan Nachum, Staff Writer

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permission Goodreads

Once a relationship has been destroyed, how can it be mended? Can it be mended at all?

In Jandy Nelson’s novel, “I’ll Give You the Sun,” she explores these questions through her characters Noah, who is quiet and reserved, and his twin sister Jude, who is outgoing and protective of her brother.

The twins’ lives and relationships transform throughout the novel due to family issues and personal developments. As artists, they show the changes in their lives and emotions through sculptures, paintings, and sketches. As Noah and Jude grow, they change and drift apart; the reader is pushed to continue reading to see if they are ultimately able to mend their relationship.

Nelson writes with alternating perspectives from Noah beginning at age thirteen and from Jude at age sixteen. Her writing includes plenty of description which makes sense because, as artists, Noah and Jude notice details. Nelson weaves a strong plot with abundant content from themes of love and sexuality to art and individual creativity.

This book contains quality writing that matches its wonderful plot which includes Noah and Jude each falling in love and making art amongst other events. However, the alternating narration accompanying the time jumps prevents the reader from viewing either Noah’s or Jude’s thoughts and emotions during their unassigned narration period which takes a potentially interesting element away from the book. Readers who enjoy LGBT literature may enjoy this book, as well as those who enjoy art and romance.