Jude and Noah are twins who share more than just the same birthday, they share the world. The two are incredibly close and share their secrets, friends, talents and more. A novel told from two perspectives, in two different times in the twins' lives, I'll Give You The Sun shows the rift that came between the twins, then shows the reader the trauma that began their separation.
In middle school, Noah and Jude prepare their applications for art school at the urging of their mother, an art journalist. When their mother praises Noah's art without even looking at Jude's the twins know who is her favorite, driving a wedge between them. The distance only gets farther when Jude kisses a boy that Noah likes at a party. The chasm is cemented when their mother passes away that summer.
In high school, Jude feels like an outsider at art school, unable to make her hands communicate what she wants to say. Her sculptures are all mysteriously broken, falling off shelves, cracking in the kiln. Jude it is convinced it is the vengeful spirit of her mother taking revenge on Jude for a past wrong-doing. Meanwhile, Noah languishes in pubic school. He has stopped drawing, and stopped talking to Jude as he slowly fades away.
Jumping between Noah's perspective in middle school and Jude's version of the story from high school, the twin's tale slowly unfolds to the reader. I loved Jandy Nelson's first book, The Sky Is Everywhere, for her complex storytelling and delicate handling of sensitive topics. This book cements Nelson as a masterful storyteller with plots and characters you won't find anywhere else.