Monday, 31 August 2015

REVIEW:: i'll give you the sun - jandy nelson

As promised in my last post, this incredible book has gotten a review post of it's own. Books are something that I tend to be very black or white with, not necessarily with considerations of aspects and issues addressed, but in whether I plough on through them, or they lie half-finished for months. This belongs to the former category- thanks to train journeys this novel got finished in a day: both a blessing and a curse. Sadly all good things must come to an end.

 GOODREADS SUMMARY: Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

I must confess to being skeptical prior to starting this book, despite being drawn to it with beautiful sounding quotes, it was possible that it would be nothing more than a shallow, vapid book (not that there's anything wrong with that occasionally) putting on a fake deep facade. Thankfully, this was not the case at all. The formatting of this book is essentially two stories in one, interwoven together, each dropping hints to the other. Every other chapter you are presented with a different twins point of view, at a different stage in their life, Noah at 13/14 and Jude at 16. Like so many that read this book, it appears, Noah's POV was much more engaging for me- not because I wasn't a fan of Jude: in fact she was one of the more relatable and three dimensional female characters I've read. However her section was dampened by the only character in the book who appeared to fall victim to being a checklist of tropes. The love interest is the most stereotypical bad boy one can fathom. In no way am I denying that she wouldn't fall for him, more questioning the fact that anyone like him can exist. Perhaps the liberties taken with reality, pushing Jude's section into the supernatural, extended to the guys. Though, I must again say, Jude's character development, and the contrast between her inner functions and how she presented herself, as a form of preservation, was splendidly done.

One feature in this book which succeeded in breaking my fragile heart was Noah's change/ persona he managed to construct for himself during the timeskip. Noah is (/was?) a genuinely lovely character; the author ensured the reader formed a connection with him by the time his apparent personality changed = READER HEARTACHE ENSUES!!!

I've read criticism of this book which basically complains about how overtly purple the writing style is; that fact is pretty hard to deny, but the story being told is the right one for that prose. At no point did it feel like serious things were being brushed over in favour of it sounding poetic- gritty moments were gritty, upsetting things were dealt with in a realistic way. When aiming to capture raw human emotions during the worst of times, some poeticism is realistic. Naysayers may complain but, like it or not, it's fair to say people on the whole are melodramatic when facing horrors. After that, possibly unnecessary and whingey, divergence, back to my point: read this book if you love to suffer. But also read this book if you love satisfying conclusions.

Read this book if you like to read; if you don't. I implore you. (Don't think I'm overselling it, right?)

If anymore motivation is required- read this book before the inevitable subpar film adaption. Warner Brothers already have the rights. Get scared.


'till next time
flo xo


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