Monday, April 6, 2015

Have you read I'll Give You The Sun?

I got a text the other day from a friend that asked, "Have you read I'll Give You The Sun? I would have loved to have had it when I was a teenager."

I looked on my Kindle and there it was, unread.

When I opened it up, the book began with four quotes:
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and righting, there is a field. I'll meet you there."         -Rumi
"I believe in the holiness of the heart's affections and the truth of the imagination"           -John Keats 
"Where there is great love, there are always miracles." -Willa Cather
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." -ee cummings 

So I sent a text back to my friend: "Ok... any book that begins with quotes by Rumi, Keats, ee cummings, and Willa Cather needs to be read today!"

I hope you think so too. 

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is magical and will leave you pondering the thin line between poetry and prose.

The story is written through the interchanging perspectives of teenage twins, Noah and Jude. It's about becoming who you are meant to be... all the identities you are meant to be, fleeting and eternal. It's about romance and new truths and art.

From the New York Times review:
"Art — its creation, its importance, its impact on identity and freedom — is perhaps the central theme of “I’ll Give You the Sun.” The book celebrates art’s capacity to heal, but it also shows us how we excavate meaning from the art we cherish, and how we find reflections of ourselves within it. I’ve always loved this line from Stendhal: “A novel is a mirror carried down a high road.” Done well, it shows us ourselves even as it moves us forward into new places and new understandings. “I’ll Give You the Sun” is a dazzling mirror, and many grateful teenagers are sure to find themselves reflected in and learning from its pages."

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Meeting your soul mate is like walking into a house you've been in before - you will recognize the furniture, the pictures on the wall,the books on the shelves, the contents of drawers: You could find your way around in the dark if you had to.” 
“Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. “Maybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time.” Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things.” 
“People die, I think, but your relationship with them doesn't. It continues and is ever-changing.” 
“You have to see the miracles for there to be miracles.” 
“In one split second I saw everything I could be, everything I want to be. And all that I’m not.” 
“This is what I want: I want to grab my brother’s hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.” 

This is definitely a book I would have loved to have had when I was a teenager.