Jandy Nelson’s YA contemporary novel I’ll Give You The Sun looks at love, loss, and how we cope with death. I have read a few contemporary’s over the years but this one, in particular, captured me as I read it. Switching between the years and the points of views of twins Jude and Noah, I’ll Give You The Sun encapsulates the high-speed, emotionally intense washing machine that is the teenage years.
The way Jandy writes feels like moving snapshots of paintings as she expresses these feelings with a strange and unique mix of words time and time again. Through Noah’s painter’s eyes, you see the world in a swirl of artistic metaphors. One moment he’s in a spiral of intense and bursting colours, the next it’s drained, faded to black, white, and grey.
A combination of unreal metaphors, with a series of strange superstitions, stirred into the heartaches of first love, and the despair of true loss, I’ll Give You The Sun provides a contemporary feast of words that sting and burn.
Now check out these 14 short quotes from the book that will convince you to make it your next read!
14 Excerpts From I’ll Give You The Sun
- “The fog’s barely lifted and the volume of the world’s down way low – just me in the hush.” p.63
- “This is what I want: I want to grab my brother’s hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.” p.71
- “Oh, my body’s tightening into a wrung towel from thinking like this. And all the colour’s spiralling off everything.” p.77
- “Plus, now that colour has refastened itself to everything, it’s supernaturally amazing to be in the trees. People think people are in charge, but they’re wrong; it’s the trees.” p.79
- “I start to run, start to turn into air, the blue careening off the sky, careening after me, as I sink into green, shades and shades of it, blending and spinning into yellow, freaking yellow, then head-on colliding into the punk-hair purple of lupine: everywhere.” p.79
- “We walk and walk through the grey ashy dusk and the forest starts to fall asleep. The trees lie down side by side by side, the creek halts, the plants sink back into the earth, the animals switch places with their shadows, and then, so do we.” p.89
- “His soul might be a sun. I’ve never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.” p.90
- “What if he realizes I’m me?” p.103
- “This is wishing with your hands. I don’t know how much time goes by as I and a handful of enormous stone couples watch him work, watch him rake his hands, dripping with wet clay, through his hair, over and over again, until it’s not clear if he’s making the sculpture or if the sculpture is making him.” p.184
- “Every morning she used to stand on the deck staring out at the water. The wind would stream through her hair, her robe would billow behind her. It was like she was at the helm of a ship, you know? It was like she was steering us across the sky.” p.223
- “The rocks are formidable. They stand up to you. It is a fair fight. Sometimes you win. Sometimes they win. Sometimes when they win, you win.” p.345
- “I look up at the shining silvery coin of a moon rolling around in the sky and think I might be seeing the miracle.” p.370
- “Our eyes meet and hold, and the world starts to fall away, time does, years rolling up like rugs, until everything that’s happened unhappens, and for a moment, it’s us again, more one than two.” p.407
- “Take a (second or third or fourth) chance. Remake the world.” p.426