“During the day, everyone talks in colors instead of sounds. It’s so quiet.” This quote from the first chapter of I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson paves the way for the quietly brilliant story ahead, and the cover of the book paints an accurate depiction of what you’ll find within its pages: an explosion of color.
Nelson tells the story of fraternal twins Noah and Jude, detailing their lives at ages 13 and 16 (Noah narrates the younger years, his sister, Jude, the older). They begin on parallel paths that diverge and crumble as the reader follows their journey, both teens dealing with heartache and hiding secrets that eat them from the inside out. It’s only through a turbulent journey to reconciliation that the twins are able to truly piece their lives back together, healing from years of misplaced blame and self-loathing.
This book is a work of art, and it just so happens to be about artists. Its characters paint pictures, sketch and sculpt, and its author uses words to paint glorious murals inside the mind of the reader. A whirlwind of emotions will leave you feeling breathless, unsure if you’ve been sucker punched or given the surprise of a lifetime.
Although you’ll find I’ll Give You the Sun in the young adult section of your nearest bookstore, this is a book meant to be appreciated by all. It is eye opening and mind-blowing in its beautifully heartbreaking portrayal of love, loss and self-discovery.