Here's a book that has been sitting on my shelf for YEARS. I bought it basically right when it came out, there was a lot of hype surrounding it and I wanted to get in on it. I remember starting it and reading the first couple pages, but for some reason I put it down and just never picked it back up again. Until 6 years later.
Well, now I've finally sat myself down and actually read the book and I have to say, I understand the hype. (A little late, I know). It's a very well written story, with beautiful, almost poetic writing. And the story itself is utterly heartbreaking. It follows twins Noah and Jude in different time frames. They used to be inseparable, but now they are estranged and barely talk. Noah narrates when they were 13, and the rocky road leading to their estrangement, while Jude narrates 3 years later, when they're 16 and barely speaking to each other. It's so sad to see them fall apart, and it's also heart wrenching seeing both sides of the story, because each twin has a story to tell and secrets they're harboring that are holding them apart.
“People die, I think, but your relationship with them doesn't. It continues and is ever-changing.”
The twins' relationsip is what I found the most appealing about this book. I love a good sibling dynamic. While it was a very central point to the whole story, I felt disappointed by the lack of actual interactions between Noah and Jude. We got some, but I wanted more. I loved seeing them together, and how they talked and acted with each other, in both timelines. Even when they are estranged you can still see how much they love each other. Honestly, though, the person-to-person interactions were pretty limited in this book in comparison to others. I'll Give You the Sun is a lot more of a narrative tale than one with a lot of dialog and interaction, which is cool to really see inside the twins' minds and the poetic way that they think and see the world, but also disappointing because interactions are always fun to read and help you really get attached to the relationships being displayed.
While I did enjoy the romance, I have to admit, it fell strongly into the category of instalove. Which is one of my least favorite tropes-- it's really hard to fall for a relationship when you don't get to see it build. Of course, with this book you do semi get to see the relationship build, but the feelings are there instantaneously. Plus, when you think about the timespan of Jude's story, it's not that long. So the intensity of the feelings is insane. So, while I did enjoy the connection, I can't say that the romance was world-endingly amazing. Instalove just has always been a turn off for me. I guess it's impressive that I even liked the relationship at all, because usually instalove romances lead me to not caring at all for the relationship or the book.
The one of the best parts of this book is its complexity. It weaves a tangled tale-- or two tangled tales, and there's so much going on. Dealing with love, loss, jealousy... you name it. It has a lot of depth, which can lead it to feel a little dense and heavy at times, especially since there's not as much dialog and interactions. It really hits you, with all the heavy themes it's hard not to feel like you've just been punched in the chest. Still, I wouldn't let that discourage you from reading the book seeing as that's what makes it so good-- just how impactful it is. Definitely an emotional read.
I'd give this book 7/10 stars. It was really good, and it made me feel things-- I hurt so much for these characters and just wanted what was best for them. It's a beautiful tale, and one I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for something impactful.
"We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story."
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. This radiant, award-winning novel from the acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.
Printz Award Winner Stonewall Honor Book.