Some books grab me almost immediately. Others slowly draw me in. In this instance it took me a little while to get into the story but by the end I was wishing for more.
Let me begin by saying that one of the reasons why I bought this book was because the American cover is so pretty. Sadly the UK cover is quite different as you can see below, and I feel that it somewhat lets the book down. Colour is a prominent theme in the book and the American cover reflects this perfectly. It’s just a minor complaint really but it’s still something that disappointed me.
I’ll Give You the Sun tells the story of twins Noah and Jude who were once inseparable but over the span of three years find themselves drifting further and further apart, all centered around a family tragedy. It’s about love, loss, self, understanding others, and how life and people change over time.
The book is split into alternating perspectives – Noah’s chapters are told from when the twins are 13-14 years old, and Jude’s chapters are set when they are 16. This results in a strong contrast between “then” and “now”. Before everything changes Noah is a quiet person who has no friends but has such a vibrant view of the world and lives and breathes art, whereas Jude is a chatty girl who just wants to be considered normal. Fast forward three years and they’ve almost switched personalities, with Noah abandoning everything that made him unique in order to fit in with his peers and Jude becoming the outcast whose life is driven by a book of superstitions passed down to her by her grandmother. At first you wonder what on earth happened to lead to this and how the two parts link to each other, but as you progress through the book you start to fit the jigsaw pieces together and the completed product is a thing of beauty (by which I mostly mean Noah’s mural which is revealed at the end).
There are some beautiful lines dotted throughout the book (a quick Google search will present you with many quotes) and I particularly liked the “remake the world” theme that runs throughout. One of my favourite features was Noah’s paintings – whilst they only exist in the book as titles I found it easy to imagine what each one looked like.
After a bit of deliberation I went with giving the book 4 stars on Goodreads, primarily due to Noah’s narrative as otherwise I think it would have gotten 3 stars.