I am in love with this book. That’s all there is to it. I mean, I knew going in that the odds were pretty high I’d like “I’ll Give You the Sun” since I totally and completely adore “The Sky Is Everywhere” by this same author. But still . . . there’s always that little bit of fear that you’ll be let down. But “I’ll Give You the Sun” didn’t let me down AT ALL. It was pretty perfect, actually.
I just don’t even have the words, really. Because Jandy Nelson creates two hot messes known as Jude and Noah who explode with passion and fear and shame and love and just generally feel all the feelings I want characters to feel. And, dang, can Jandy Nelson write. I mean, she can really, really write. She knows how to use all the words and emotions and descriptions to create prose that pulls you under and makes you wish you didn’t have to come up for air in the real world.
At its heart, I think “I’ll Give You the Sun” is equal parts a story about romantic love and a story about love for family. But it’s never an easy love. Never a love that can be taken for granted. The characters have to try again and again to get through the walls of hurt and fear that separate them from those they love, and I felt for them every single time they threw themselves at those walls only to crash against them rather than through them. But the thing is, every single time, they get up and try again.
And then there’s the small things, the things that made me smile. Like Jude’s aversion to oranges and affinity for onions and lemons. Like Clark Gable. Like Grandma Sweetwine’s bible. Like Noah’s self-portrait titles and the three words he wants to have with God. Like a certain parrot’s obsession with Ralph. Sometimes it’s the little things, as much as the big ones, that make a book for me, you know?
Overall, in case you couldn’t tell, this is one of my favorite books of the year. I kinda just want to carry it around with me all the time so I don’t have to let it go.
Rating: 5 / 5