Just finished reading I’ll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson and OH MY GOD what a story!
Jandy Nelson has written only two books so far and this was her second novel. This was the first time I read Jandy Nelson and I am already looking forward to reading her previous book and all the future ones. I simple loved the breath-taking way she penned down the whole story. There was something very airy, light and whimsical about whole of the novel. For me it was like getting lost in a cloud with rainbow on my head.
The story is about a pair of twin Noah and Jude and has been narrated in first-person from both of twin’s point of view. Noah’s part tells the story from when the twins were thirteen years old. Both are inseparable and each others best friend then. They both had artistic streak in them but nature wise they were poles apart. Noah was a quiet, shy boy with an extremely active imagination. On the other hand Jude was an outgoing, bold, beautiful girl with long blond hair and was a popular kid at school. Since it was the beginning of their teenage, both of them were also getting aware of their sexuality and were learning different aspects of their nature and trying to fit in.
While Jude’s part narrates their present situation when they are sixteen years old and complete opposite of they used to be. The incidents of the 3 years in between have totally changed them. They both avoid each other as much as they can. Noah is now a party kid while Jude is trying to stay invisible and on a “boys boycott”
What changed them so drastically and drifted them apart is a secret, you must only know through the book.
If you have not read the book yet, you may go through the quote gallery but don’t read beyond that, because it contains spoilers and I don’t want to be held responsible for spoiling your fun.
Okie coming back to the story I have a love and hate relationship with almost all the characters of the novel.
When the book started I immediately fell for the “poor Noah” and his struggle to accept his sexuality, ignore the bullies and worst of all his failure to hit his fathers standard of masculinity.
When Brian entered the scene I felt so happy for Noah that he has finally gotten someone who is weird in his own way and can relate to “lost-in-your-own-world” nature of Noah.
On the other hand I remained confused about Jude for almost half of the book. Although she was her father’s favorite but she always craved for her mother’s attention. Their mother, an artistic person herself clearly appreciated or may be you can say related to her son’s artistic sense more and somehow unintentionally neglected Jude which made her into the bossy stereotypical rude and confused teen. I blame the mom for being so ignorant of the changes her daughter was experiencing entering her teens. Being a woman herself she should have understood Jude and should have been more careful in dealing with her. On the contrary she also behaved like a stereotypical mom, one who gets irritated of the sudden changes in their teenagers and their sudden desires to look and behave like adults. But clearly she was lost in her own world and too fascinated with her son’s art to actually deal with Jude and her problems.
This in turn made Jude bitter and jealous of her brother.
Coming back to Dianna Sweetwine (the mom) I really didn’t like her at all. I understand her situation and totally support her in going for the person she loves no matter how long she had been in a relationship but her children were her responsibility and she should have first addressed their concern or may be should have taken them in her confidence.
I might contradict myself here but I also felt bad for Benjamin Sweetwine (husband and father of Noah and Jude) . He was distraught with his family falling apart. Although the ending showed that even he was not fully happy in his married life and moved on quickly as soon as he got to know that Dianne was not coming for him, when she met that fatal accident.
The problem in the parents’ marriage greatly affected the twins and the favoritism the father showed towards Jude and the mother towards Noah damaged the relationship between the two siblings.
Talking about Jude I felt so sympathetic towards her when she started finding solace in the grandma Sweetwine’s bible. That bible surely was something really interesting and cute. I loved the superstitious things it said and how Jude actually believed in them. It broke my heart to pieces when it was first mention that Jude thought her mother is still angry with her and breaks all her pieces. This is the time I hated Noah for hiding all that he knew.
Moving further the character of Guillermo Garcia becomes one of my favourite characters from the book. It’s really amazing how Jandy was able to describe the inner agony and turmoil Gracia was suffering from. I can actually feel his pain and the feeling of nothingness, he felt as he carved the stones. I adored him for how he supported Oscar and pulled him out of the life of darkness and simply respect him for the care and affection he showed to Jude before and after knowing whose daughter she was.
On the hand Oscar is probably every girl’s dream. I would like to see someone with two different eye colours in real life. But for now I can only imagine. My breath stopped when Jude saw all those images of hers in his room. That scene was totally magical and breathtaking. It’s cool how Jandy intertwined Noah’s, Oscar’s and Judes lives. The best part was when 13-year-old Jude fell in love with the picture of Oscar drawn by Noah and how 3 years later she fells in love with the exact same person.
The plot became very Bollywood filmy type when Oscar tellz Jude about his mom’s prophecy. I mean yeah romantically it is something, which I really enjoyed by practically Jandy, went a little overboard with all the superstition thing going on in the book.
The ending is just what I wanted. I am a person who hates tragic and sad endings. For me books and movies are a way to relax and sad ending really puts me in a bad mood for weeks. So the perfect happy ending is like someone offering me Chocolate Malt cake with extra chocolate (is that even a thing?) .
The most surprising part of the ending was the Mr. Sweetwine bouncing back to his normal life. All the while I thought he was mourning the untimely death of his wife but in the end I realise he just cant believe the fact that she was coming back to him. It kept kind of killing him inside because I think he knew there was not anything left in their marriage and was confused about what could bring Dianne to the decision of coming back to him.
The part which actually got me all teary and warmed up from inside was Garcia finally getting to know that Dianne said yes to the one question that has been torturing him for the past 3 years.
Altogether the book was a reader’s delight. I don’t know how many times I have said that I loved the way Jandy wrote this. There is something magical, artistic and fresh about the writing of this book. It’s like poetry in prose.
Have you guys already read it? Or are you someone whose curiosity has brought them up until the very end? Whosoever you are I would love to hear your thoughts on this book.
Also if I would love to have your suggestions on which book I should read next?
Until next time,
Love and Glitters