Nelson, Jandy. I'll Give You the Sun. Dial, 2014.
Jude and Noah are twins who live with a very straight-laced, scientific father and a free-thinking artistic mother. Both are talented artists, and their mother is hoping to get them into an elite high school. Then something happens and Jude and Noah are no longer as close as they were. Told in alternating chapters - Noah telling what happened in the past, when they were in junior high, and Jude telling what is happening currently - their stories intertwine to paint a picture of love and redemption.
This book has a lovely lyrical quality to it that perfectly matches the artistic natures of the two narrators. The story of Noah and Jude has enough twists and turns in it to keep the reader wondering if they've found out everything yet, and strong readers will enjoy watching Jude and Noah discover information that they themselves have already figured out. The alternating chapters have enough of a unique voice that it is easy to transition between the two characters. This book made me laugh, made me cry, made me wonder, and made me think. The lyrical quality of the writing would make this book a good read-alike for fans of novels in verse or teens who are waiting for the latest John Green novel to be returned to the library. Recommended.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: some language, one rape-ish / kid too young to consent to sex scene, underage drinking, a male model for the art school also gets very drunk
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Read-Alikes: The Fault in Our Stars, Two Boys Kissing, Ask the Passengers