It’s been awhile since I’ve wanted to stay up all night just to finish a YA book (Eleanor and Park was the last YA book where I did just that). Although I did not spend all night reading I’ll give you the Sun, (this would make for some interesting teaching days…) it was the kind of book that I never wanted to put down.
Jandy Nelson does a fantastic job of storytelling. The story flip-flops from twins, Noah and Jude’s, point of view throughout the entire story, eventually coming together at the end.
The story begins from the viewpoint of 13-year-old Noah. Readers gain insight to his struggle with his sexuality and the fact that he’s not very popular, but immensely talented at painting. His bond with sister Jude weakens when tragedy strikes and from there, betrayal and mystery unfold.
Jude is 16 when readers first hear from her. Thus, three years have passed since readers first heard Noah’s version of events. At first, readers will want to hate Jude just based on her brother’s description. However, after learning her side of the story, it becomes difficult to choose a twin to side with. Jude was the quintessential popular girl until tragedy struck, making her reflect on her decisions, present and past.
While the story is somewhat far-fetched, that’s precisely what makes it a superb YA book. Teens enjoy being over-dramatic, so to them, this book hits a home-run. I specifically like that I’ll give you the Sun, doesn’t shy away from the topic of homosexuality, as it’s portrayed in a very real light, which is relatable to experiences many teens are likely going through.
I would recommend this book for students 8th grade and up, as there are some descriptions of sex and mature language.