I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Nelson_givesunNelson, Jandy. I’ll Give You the Sun. New York: Dial Books, 2014. Print.

Genre: YA

Summary: This story about twins, Noah and Jude, is told through their alternating perspectives from different points in time. Jude tells the “future” when she and Noah are 16 and totally estranged. Noah tells the past, when they are 13 and inseparable. They mystery circles around what drove them apart. The suspense radiates out of the question: will they be able to reconcile and restore their once magically aligned worlds?

(Certainly not the book you want to be reading if, like me, you find yourself estranged from your own soul-twin and mate, forever wondering if your worlds will realign and be even more magical than before.)

Recipient of a few awards you might have heard of: 2015 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature; 2015 Stonewall Honor Book; YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults; A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; A Boston Globe Best YA Book of the Year…to name only a few.

Critique: The broken, fragment sentences that characterize the pulverizing teen voices of this novel are hypnotic. The romances singe and sizzle! The structure will stretch you across the most unbearable tenterhooks of tension as one narrative goes forward while the other probes back until they finally collide. The problem of perspective, its limited scope, our own ability to skew it, to keep ourselves preserved in the best light, is the pulse reverberating through the soul of this book, much as it is for Brian Friel’s Faith Healer. In both texts, devastating tragedies arise when people fail to see, understand, and accept a perspective that is not their own; to accept that they might have played the part of a villain without ever meaning to; that we are all capable (and guilty) of hurting worst the ones we love most; and that forgiveness is not only possible–it’s primal.

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