Jandy Nelson's second young adult novel is a marvel, and I recommend reading it.
"I'll Give You The Sun" has all of my favorite elements: twists, twins, ghosts, and other magical realism. After I finished reading it, the characters resonated with me for hours afterwards, chanting their lines and glinting in the Northern California sun where this story is set.
I mean, it's no Thirteenth Tale (the ideal combination of the elements listed above). But it's moving and compelling, and I couldn't wait to find out what HAPPENED as I sped toward the ending.
The story revolves around a set of artistic teenage boy/girl twins who are, for psychically connected siblings, awful communicators. They vacillate between love and hatred in the blink of an eye. But even their more ridiculous moments ring true for me. I must admit that between the ages of 14 and 24, swings of BLACK and WHITE emotion were just part of my everyday existence. And Jandy Nelson has captured that very well.
I also feel it's time for young adult authors to come out of the closet and admit that they are all just the TEENSIEST bit influenced by the "Twilight" series. Really, folks. Every time I read a YA book recently, I find a few Twilight-y bits.
When the fast-driving male love interest in this book talked about how he was enchanted by the smell of this clumsy 16-year-old tomboy, and how he couldn't stay away from her because they were prophesied to be together, I just said, "Come ON." Can we at least give Stephenie Meyer a little shout-out for starting this whole supernatural love extravaganza?
Well, anyway, it's a terrific book.