If you read I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson, with the hope of finding one singular or dominant theme of the novel then I wish you good luck. I don’t think you will be able to. Art. Family. Blame. Death. Grief. Fidelity (in many different senses). Love. Coming of Age. I could go on. These themes aren’t all simply present. They all play major roles in the narrative and interweave with each other in interesting, unique, and relatable ways.
Similarly, I’d wish anyone looking to examine the book through a single literary trope good luck. Except this time I would know, not simply think, that this would be an impossible task. Twins. First Love. First Sex. Mother-son adoration. Mother-daughter jealousies and strife. Misunderstood, moody artists. Supernatural interventions from kooky, deceased relatives. Once again, I could go on. But just like with the multiple themes, there is nothing that feels common or over-used when it comes to Nelson’s manipulations of these tropes. They are subverted and twisted to fit this thoroughly unique story in both enchanting and unexpected ways. Continue reading “Book Review: I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson”