Jandy Nelson’s young adult novel, I’ll Give You the Sun, has received a lot of acclaim and I have heard only wonderful things about it. But I didn’t like it. I liked it enough it finish it, however something about the novel did not click with me.
The novel is about two twins: a boy and a girl. The story alternates between their perspectives. Noah narrates their younger years and Jude narrates their later teenage years. I found the prose to be beautiful and the story was compelling. There was something kind of off about this novel. It’s hard to quantify what exactly I didn’t love about this book.
Here’s an example of the wonderful prose:
“Because I can see people’s souls sometimes when I draw them I know the following: Mom has a massive sunflower for a soul so big there’s hardly any room in there for organs. Jude and me have one soul between us that we have to share: a tree with its leaves on fire. And dad has a plate of maggots for his.” (Nelson)