Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: "I'll Give You the Sun"

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
5 out of 5 stars

I love when I start off the new year with an amazing read. It just gives hope for the rest of the year, don't you think? Jandy Nelson's first book, The Sky is Everywhere, moved me in a way that a book hadn't in a very long time and her second did the exact same thing. I don't know what it is about her writing, but she ignites that spark of creativity like no other author I've ever read. 

How I went around from painting to painting asking each to eat me and each did. How my skin fit the whole time, didn't once bunch up at my ankles or squeeze my head into a pin.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once one grows up. -Picasso

(Kandinsky: "Composition 8")

The sky's gone blue: azure, the ocean bluer: cerulean, the trees are swirls of every hella freaking green on earth and bright thick eggy yellow is spilling over everything. Awesome. Doomsday's most definitely been cancelled.

This story weaves the past and the present of twins Jude & Noah into a heartbreaking story of creativity, family, and love. I don’t deserve a love story. Not anymore. Love stories aren't written for girls who could do what I just did to my brother, for girls with black hearts. 13 year old Noah tells his story of trying to survive as a creative soul in a normal world. He grows up in a family full of artists but still must conceal the most secret parts of himself. 16 year old Jude tells how she has broken apart from her twin in the 2 1/2 years since and has become a shadow of herself. The chapters are told in these alternating viewpoints and several times, I had to stop myself from skipping ahead to the next part of their tale.

All the characters, both main and minor, are woven into this past & present story as well and it is really interesting to see how the relationships have come about. They are father and son, just not by blood. I didn't know that family members could just find each other, choose each other like they have. I love the idea. Sculptor Guillermo is one of my favorite characters. His passion and pain just shoot straight into your heart every time he enters the room. And then there's Oscar...Oscar the British, bike-riding, model with the broken down face.
(stone angel sculpture in Milan)

I'm filled with something I can only describe as recognition. Not because he looks familiar on the outside this time, but because he feels familiar on the inside.

It's hard to say a lot about this book without spoiling the main points, but I hope I've brought out the heart and soul for you here. Jandy Nelson's books speak to my soul, in a deep and profound way.

(Chagall: "Carmen")

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