Thursday, February 23, 2017

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

5 Stars

“They do make love stories for girls with black hearts after all. They go like this.”
Oh God, what is happening to me?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

“They do make love stories for girls with black hearts after all. They go like this.”
Oh God, what is happening to me?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Here’s the back story to me reading this so tune out if you don’t want to know even more about my boring life. About a million and a half years ago around Christmastime I was on the phone with a buddy and there’s the teeniest of chances one or both of us might have been drunk. Fastforward to me waking up the next more in desperate need of coffee and Tylenol when I discovered a message telling me my Christmas presents had arrived and to crank up my Kindle. What I found was a bevy of books from my “Want To Read” list and since I suck I still haven’t read most of them. I probably wouldn’t have read this yet either, but everything I was thinking about reading was of the dark and stormy variety and I had just finished Mystic River so I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down that road. I knew nothing about I’ll Give You The Sun aside from the fact that at some point I put it on the TBR due to seeing the “if you like John Green, David Levithan or Rainbow Rowell, you’ll probably like Jandy Nelson aiiiiiight” blurb.

Now that I’ve read it, let me tell you the first ten percent MINIMUM is quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever read in my life. We’re talking absolute gobbledygook. Gibberish. I have never been able to “DNF” before, but I was seriously thinking this would be my first time and I logged on to Goodreads to see if I could find a lifeline. What I found were several friends had also given up the good fight and one shining beacon of hope in the form of Allisa’s review. I’ve been friends with Alissa long enough to know her reviews don’t spoil anything and I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one having a WTF is this???? type of moment (which I’m pretty used to because I read stuff wrong all the time, but I’m pretty sure I read that first chunk right this time). Anywho, long story long I kept on keeping on. And this is going to go down in history as one of my favorite Young Adult novels ever.

Simply put, I'll Give You The Sun is a coming of age story about twins written by each in their own perspective at two different formative points during their adolescence. You’re either going to love it or hate it and it really won’t bother me one bit if you hate it because it is so difficult to love at first. But if you stay with it, you’ll find magic. Jandy Nelson is a wordsmith and (thankfully) not of the purple prose variety. Her turn of phrase would probably seem like nothing without the full context, but boy oh boy does she know about how “ass licking” life can be and when it comes to falling in love – and I mean real love, not the insta variety – she is spot on with “she said you would feel like family.”

One last thing should my children ever read this review: I promise you, when I die I most definitely will be your parachute and PLEASE give a girl an orange and you truly do need to “see the miracles for there to be miracles” and make sure to “make a wish. Take a (second or third or fourth) chance. Remake the world.”

Every star. I’m just pretending that first 10% didn’t happen.

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