Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (DNF)

I'm actually a little hesitant to write this review.  You see, I didn't finish I'll Give You the Sun, but I felt like I was supposed to like it.  I've seen it everywhere and on people's lists of favorite LGBTQ books and the like.  It has a lot of elements I find appealing:  LGBTQ, twins, contemporary.  But, it just did not work for me.  I kind of want to know how the story turns out, but I just don't want to read it.

Noah and Jude are twins.  We get their story from when they are 13 and then 16.  Something happens in between.  At least as far as I read, Noah tells the story when they're 13 and Jude when they're 16.  I have a hard time reading them both.  Noah's narrative is flooded with imagery, which, as he's an artist, isn't odd, but his grasp on reality is.  So, we're going along with life happening and the narrative is peppered with things like, "I've waited on the roof, totally deranged, my head a few feet above my neck, for his garage to open so we can plunge into the woods again and become imaginary..."  This sort of writing simply doesn't appeal to me.  And it's all the time.

Jude's narration is a little bit better, but I still don't enjoy it.  She's clearly seriously depressed, which doesn't mean I can't appreciate the book on its own, but the tone of her narration is so down and avoidance oriented that I can't get into it.  She spends her time talking to her dead grandmother who talks back (which also isn't a deal killer for me, but isn't helping things here) and avoiding.  Her narrative is sprinkled with sayings from her "bible" which was written by her grandmother and her reactions to these sayings, which I found disruptive.

So, I'm setting aside I'll Give You the Sun and moving on.  I'm glad it's resonated with so many, but it's just not the book for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment