I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

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Noah and Jude are twins whose mother, an art critic, has decided that they should apply to a high school for the arts.  Noah, who is very much his mother’s son, is ecstatic and dives into preparing his portfolio.  Jude, is less confident about her talent and expresses this by rebelling and turning away from her mother.  Unfortunately, as they each are grappling with their adolescent yearnings and unfolding sexuality, their lives are torn apart by a sudden family tragedy.  Will they be able to retrace their steps to find each other’s heart again?

This YA story is somewhat complicated and engaging, but a bit contrived.  There are a few clever plot twists that sneak up on the reader which definitely took me by surprise.  Unfortunately, there are also a few too many utter coincidences for it to be entirely believable.  It is real teenage struggle and angst tangled in a fairy tale plot.

On the other hand, what saves this book is the writing, which is full of striking imagery and gorgeous sentences.  The way the author ascribes colors and pictures to emotions is quite beautiful.  There is humor and sarcasm and a tenderness in all of the characters that keeps you caring so much about them through the whole book.

An enjoyable, light read with some great writing.

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