Read with Me: Chapter One of IGYtS

READ WITH ME: Chapter One

Welcome to my first book club post on I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson! This will focus only on the first chapter of the book. If you didn’t catch what my “Read with Me” series is about or what this particular book is about, go ahead and check out my previous post. Read on if you’re all caught up!

“This is how it all begins.”

I don’t know about you, but I found this to be such a powerful first sentence. It fills my belly with the promise of something. It’s too soon to tell if this something will be good or bad, but you know the unremarkable is going to happen. It will alter the narrator’s perspective forever—is there any better place to start a story?

I immediately fell in love with Noah. Here’s a thirteen-year-old boy who’s an artist and a closeted homosexual (though he knows people—and the toaster—have their suspicions). His voice is so strong on the page. It wasn’t a voice I clicked with right away, but I knew I loved the character. The longer I read from his point of view, the more I liked him and his way of telling the story.

The only thing that didn’t grow on me within the first chapter were the little titled artworks in parethesis. You know exactly what I’m talking about: “(A Series: Boy Inside a Box of Darkness)” or “(Family Portrait: Mom Communes with the Dead at Dinner).” I totally get what Nelson was going for, and in some ways, I think it works effectively. But for the most part, it just pulled me out of the story. By the end of that chapter, I stopped reading them altogether. What were your thoughts on these?

One thing I LOVED about this first chapter was the family dynamic. There’s Noah, the underdog with powerful thoughts but a reluctant mouth. Then there’s Jude. She’s a little louder, more vibrant, and completely in-sync with Noah. Mom and Dad are polar opposites of each other. Where Mom is spunky and an obvious artist, Dad is a cold skeptic. He’s not a fan of Noah, and Noah knows that, which made my heart ache.

I thought the final paragraph of chapter one was particularly powerful:

“Jude and I play a lot of games…The Drowning Game goes like this: If Mom and Dad were drowning, who would we save first? (Me: Mom, duh. Jude: depends on her mood.) And there’s the other variation: If we were drowning, who would Dad save first? (Jude.) For thirteen years, Mom’s stumped us. We had absolutely no idea who she’d dredge out of the water first.

Until now.

And without sharing a glance, we both know it.”

Wow, if that doesn’t hint at a shifting relationship between siblings, I don’t know what will. Parents playing favorites, the underdog finally winning anything. And when you’re thirteen, what your parents think means a lot. I expect tensions will be high between Jude and Noah in his coming chapters…but what do you think?

I can’t wait to read chapter two from Jude’s perspective. Eager to see where the future takes them!

Much love,

Anne L.

Read with Me: I’ll Give You the Sun

READ WITH ME: I’ll Give You the Sun

Have you ever started a book, and right away, you know: this is going to make me cry. That’s how I felt when I got a few pages into I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. The voice is raw, the characters are flawed yet lovable, and the situations are tense. Within the first chapter, I knew it was going to be one of those books that held a heavy impact on my life—No pressure, Jandy.

I barely finished Chapter One when I had a new thought: I wish there was someone reading this with me. I’ve never been in a book club, and honestly, I read a bit too quickly for book clubs anyway. But this thought inspired me to start a Read with Me blog. Never heard of it? Me either, but I think we’ll have a fun time.

Here’s the basic premise: I’ll write a blog post for every chapter I read. Yes, every chapter! And then, you can follow along at your own pace. Read my thoughts, and then, comment your own. It’s okay if we disagree, just remember to always be polite. I’ll respect your opinions, and hopefully, you’ll respect mine. I think this will be the perfect book to initiate this project. We can laugh together and cry (sob like soap opera actors) together.

For those of you who have never heard of I’ll Give You the Sun, go ahead and crawl out from under that rock. Just kidding—but seriously. Here’s a quick synopsis from the book itself:

“At first, Jude and her twin brother are NoahandJude: inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy nex door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and does all the talking for both of them.

Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet devastating ways…but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor.

The early years are Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only half the story, and if they can find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world.”

Crying yet? It’s okay, me too. This powerful book is going to rock our socks off, so I hope you’ll join me in reading. I’ll start posting soon, so go ahead and grab your copy as soon as possible. I’ll leave a buy link below!


Buy Links:  I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson


Much love,

Anne L.