I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is the quintessential YA realistic fiction novel. With that said, I did still enjoy reading this book. I’ll Give You the Sun follows the life of twins: Jude and Noah. The story is told from both of their perspectives with Noah telling the earlier years and Jude the later. In the beginning, Jude and Noah are attached at the hip. Their relationship exemplifies the classic cliche: Jude is outgoing and gutsy and Noah is shy yet incredibly artistic. Without giving too much of the plot away, a series of life altering events devastate their lives. Through a series of twists and turns, the novel explores a number of themes applicable to the lives of many teenagers.
I’ll Give You the Sun is a beautifully written coming of age story. One of my favorite parts of the novel was how the narration was split between Noah and Jude. While they experience similar life events, their perspectives on these events are so different yet you are able to sympathize with both sides. It allows you to realize ulterior motives, the unsaid thoughts in their minds, the reason why they act the way they act. However, Nelson will occasionally lean too much into the YA, coming of age cliches making the novel seem far from realistic and many of the metaphors, especially from Noah, get irritating at times. Nevertheless, the story Nelson presents is beautiful, compelling, complex, and most definitely will tug at your heartstrings.