“When people fall in love, they burst into flames.”
You know when a book just swallows you whole? You eat, sleep, breathe, all with it in your hand. You’re glued to it. You just can’t tear yourself away. I’ll Give You the Sun is one of those books.
You’ve definitely heard of this book. It came out in 2014, and was a huge success. It was a NYT bestseller, 1 on the Indie Next List, NYT Notable Book of the Year, Time Magazine Top Ten, and the New York and Chicago Public Libraries Best Book of the Year. That’s only to name a few awards. Personally, I’m always a little worried when it comes to bestsellers. Sometimes they tend to be overhyped by publishers and are flop. But I’ll Give You the Sun was definitely an exception. It was refreshing, unique, and relatable- the perfect combination!
Before everything, Noah and Jude were inseparable twins living in Northern California. Then Jude starts hanging out with older boys and goes to raging parties. She’s that girl. Noah spies on the boys, drawing them in his sketchbook, and anguishes over his sexuality. He can never come out. He needs to man up. Then, everything changes.
Their mother careens off a bridge. Noah meets a boy. Jude gets into the art school Noah used to dream about. They don’t speak anymore. They can’t. But when Jude meets a mysterious mentor and an even more mysterious boy, they may have found the closest thing they can get to a second chance.
“I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.”
Jude was one of the most powerful characters I’ve read in a while. Her grief over her mother and need to protect her brother was sweeping and absolutely magnificently written. Her exploration of herself as a teenage girl captures perfectly what being a teenage girl is about.
If you haven’t read this book, I really can not urge you enough to read this book. It’s a fantastic story of love, loss, art, and just being.