Well I have to be honest, this novel was pretty up and down for me. I really love a big portion of the book, but there is also a lot that I dislike. After much internal debate I finally settled on four stars because of one thing, Noah.
I'll Give You The Sun is about a set of boy/girl twins, Noah and Jude, who in part of the story are 13 years old and in the rest of the story they are 16 years old. The story switches off between when they are 13 and when they are 16. The story also goes back and forth between Noah and Jude's point of view. The early years Noah tells as he is falling in love with the boy next door while Jude is cliff jumping and being wild. Fast forward 3 years to Jude's side of the story and both twins are completely different and are barely speaking to each other.
My husband and I were reading this book at the same time and he asked me one night, "Do you know what the writing style in this novel reminds me of?" I couldn't quite put my finger on what, but I had been feeling like this was reminiscent of something too. So my husband says, "That book The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and I was like YEEEEEEEEES, that's it exactly!! The writing style of the two books are very similar. There is a very nonsensical, but almost poetic in a way, style to both novels. Which I don't particularly care for (some stuff was just corny as hell), but it's not the worst thing about this book.
No, the worst thing is every part of the book from Jude's point of view. Those parts just weren't as interesting as what was happening with Noah's character. I even HATE her name. I'm sorry, but Jude is a boy's name! I kept getting distracted just trying to remember that she is a girl. For the most part, Jude just extremely annoyed me. Like when she is talking out loud to her dead grandmother or doing all these really odd superstitions. I think it's meant to be quirky, but I just found it off putting. I also didn't like that they are twins, so close that they both always choose the same thing for rock, paper, scissors, and yet they never TALK to each other. Um, the whole point of the book is that each twin has only half of the story and so both of them have all these problems from it. Well as a mother of twins let me just say, I'm not fully buying it. So... twins as close as these are supposed to be, wouldn't just talk to each other at some point. Really?
However, there are plenty of things I DID like about I'll Give You The Sun. Like I mentioned above, Noah is my favorite thing about the book. His character is the most well rounded in the story and the most interesting. I found myself connected to the story during his parts and I needed to know how his story would turn out. The parts where Noah is trying to come to terms with being gay is realistic and moving. The writing here is excellent and I really felt Noah's emotions coming off the page. Noah's sections also have more personality and uniqueness to it than Jude's. I would have enjoyed the book more if it was only about Noah.
I'll Give You The Sun is definitely worth a read if you can set aside a few minor annoyances. There are nuggets of awesomeness throughout the book that had me cracking up. Plus, the end was satisfying and left me feeling good about the book as a whole.
I recommend I'll Give You The Sun for fans of YA contemporary fiction, anyone interested in GLBT fiction, for those who don't mind some cheesiness, and for anyone who likes books about twins.