It’s crazy that it happens…but it just does.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is everything at once. Everything.
This book is just made up of truth and real and raw and there is something spectacular speaking in Jandy Nelson, speaking through Jandy Nelson, and I want everyone to read this book. I think this book should be required reading. The book description will tell you one thing, but that’s not what the book is about. This book is about Noah and Jude and me and yes, even you, and how the most important, and the hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself and to be you without hurting anyone else.
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
I’m not going to have a lot to say about this book because I don’t want to ruin its beauty. It’s like a quiet beauty where if I talk about it too much, it’ll shatter. So I’ll just say three things.
1. I love Noah. I love his mind and his run on train of thinking, and if I knew how, I would buy a ticket aboard a train and never get off. I want to sAY things the way Noah just says them. Just says them because they’re there. I love it. These words from Noah really just T-boned me, and I thought about them for hours after:
[I] want to cry again. This time because I am sad. And scared. And because my skin has never fit this badly before.
2. Jude was a butterfly-turned-caterpillar-turned- and I won’t ruin the ending for you. I loved her as an artist, and got goosebumps when she really got into her work. I didn’t connect as deeply with her as I did with Jude, but she was amazing all the same.
We wish with our hands, and that’s what we do as artists.
3. This book is just life. It is life. It says all the things we feel and cannot say and say but cannot (or will not) feel, and for me, it was one of the best reads for this entire year. I cuddled with this book when I finished reading it, because I feel like there’s a soul inside of it. A soul called Wisdom, and that’s what makes I’ll Give You the Sun a tiny miracle.
Love does as it undoes. It goes after, with equal tenacity: joy and heartbreak.