Once I got into it I absolutely loved it. Many, many feels.
It was rather metaphor heavy initially, which was rather jarring for my reading experience - because these were very expressive figures of speech.
“My heart leaves, hitchhikes right out of my body, heads north, catches a ferry across the Bering Sea and plants itself in Siberia with the polar bears and ibex and long-horned goats until it turns into a teeny-tiny glacier.
Because I imagined it.”
But nevertheless, I really got into the book about a third of the way in. Jandy Nelson has a gift for making you experience the truly gut-wrenching emotions, and my heart ached a little through the journey of Noah and Jude’s grief, hurt, anger, viciousness and redemption
As the blurb says:
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.
I’ll Give You The Sun deals with the complications of family relationships: families falling apart, family members finding happiness outside of the family unit, family favourites, and the cold calculated hurt that we can inflict on those we love the best, because we love them the best, and know exactly where to stab the knife.
The book also covers teenage sexuality, being the awkward outcast and perennial parental disappointment, the nature of art and artistic ability, and.. you know what? The book really manages to cram in so many facets of the teenage, and indeed human experience, that I can’t list them all here. But what’s great about the author is that she manages to cover all these topics gracefully, without turning it into an Issue Book.
Some quotes that really stood out for me:
"Doesn’t it bother you to have a girl fight your battles for you? Doesn’t it bother you to be picked last for every team? Doesn’t it bother you to be alone all the time? Doesn’t it bother you, Noah?"
I didn’t bring the bad luck to us, no matter how much it felt that way. It brought itself. It brings itself.
The light hearted moments of humour in amongst the general angst:
"I will bathe in vinegar, down some raw eggs, and start looking for a wasp nest ASAP to put on my head."
"I do not understand this," he says.
"To reverse the leanings of the heart. Ancient family wisdom."
He laughs. “Ah. Very good, In my family, we just suffer.”
And the sense of hope, of happiness at the end:
"You want us to live on a boat?" I ask.
"He wants us to live on an ark," Noah answers, awe in his voice.
I’ve queued some reviews and graphics, but will be around sporadically, depending on the strength of the wi-fi!
I have the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami on my holiday reading list.
See all you lovelies on the other side, and happy reading!
Yowza, that was a dark and vaguely disturbing read. But the madness? The madness is always more interesting.
The Young Elites proves that Marie Lu has a lot more up her sleeves - she’s no one-trick pony, and easily make the transition to other genres. This was a YA fantasy, deliciously dark and examining characters who really straddle the line between right and wrong.
Be true to yourself. But that’s something everyone says and no one means. No one wants you to be yourself. They want you to be the version of yourself that they like.
While there are other narrative perspectives included alongside our MC, Adelina Amouteru, I didn’t find it jarring since there were only about 4 chapters in total that were from the view of other characters.
Our MC is a malfetto, an abomination, a survivor of the blood fever which left children with strange markings, and in some cases, even stranger powers. These powerful few come to be known as the Young Elites. Abused by her father, Adelina finally flees from home, straight into the arms of (quite literally, in fact) Enzo Valenciano, a member of the Dagger Society, a secret society of Young Elites that seeks out others like them before the government can get hold of them and kill them.
While in the company of the Daggers, they try to teach her to get a hold over her unpredictable powers. However, Adelina has a darkness inside of her, borne of years of hurt and anger, that makes it difficult for her to decide if she even wants to control these powers, and how she wants to use them.
Loyalties are unclear and constantly shifting, people are used as pawns in the political game for power, and death and pain are very very real.
A fantastic start to what promises to be an exciting, shocking but well crafted series.
Motherfuckers will read a book that’s 1/3 elvish, but put two sentences in Spanish and White people think we’re taking over.
Look! It finally has a cover!