Jandy Nelson’s “I’ll Give You The Sun” may well be my favourite Y/A-novel so far. I first discovered it when my High-school English-teacher lent it to me when I was around 17. She thought I might like it, so there I was, reading this book for the very first time. Of course, my teacher was right about me enjoying it, though at that time I couldn’t exactly pin down why it got to me the way it did.
Now, that some time has passed and I’ve reread I’ll Give You The Sun multiple times I feel more confident in explaining why I love this novel.
First of all, Jandy Nelson did a great job in displaying how it feels to be an outcast in Highschool, who is more interested in art (whatever form it may be) than in playing sports or generally participating in things the popular kids like to do.
Also, the general structure of the book was a huge plus-point for me, since having both, Judes and Noahs points of view makes the story a lot easier to understand and in addition to that, points out the misunderstandings, which have huge impacts on each life of the twins, greatly. With that I’ll Give You The Sun is to me the proof that talking to one another, being empathic and trying to see the world from the others point of view is so, so important since it makes life a lot more bearable for all of us.
That’s the main message I’m taking from the novel, but there’s also the moral to be taken, that no matter what others say, stay true to yourself and be who you are, because trying to be someone who you definitely not are on the inside will never get you to where you actually want to be.
Other than that, I’ll Give You The Sun also manages to cover quite a few issues the teenager of the 21st century is concerned with, such as being gay and coming out to oneself and the loved ones, losing one’s virginity and regretting it afterwards, falling in love so deeply it seems like the world would fall apart, the difficulties figuring out what you want to achieve in your life comes with, the list goes on and on. Plus, the topic of losing a parent at a very young age and the effects it has on the remaining family is very well put. Furthermore, the difficult situation of divorce and the sheer endless emotions that go hand in hand with it, are written about in a relatable way.
All in all, I’ll Give You The Sun is a great read for teenagers as well as adults, who long to get lost in a fictional world and who want to have the feeling that everything will be alright in the end.