If bad luck knows who you are, become someone else.


Jude Sweetwine is the superstitious one, carrying a bible of anecdotal instructions to get of rid of bad luck; her fraternal twin, Noah, sketches in his mind. Both are artists, Noah paints and Jude sculpts and sews. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson begins with Noah, who at 13 is a shy oddball obsessed with drawing. Jude, at the same age, is a popular daredevil. Despite their differing social statuses, they are very close; they know each other’s thoughts and keep each other safe. They even lightheartedly divide the world between them, trading trees, flowers, and the sun back and forth for favors as if they are the only two people on the planet. Then something unthinkable happens. Moreover, in an instant, according to Jude, “our twin-telepathy is long gone….he hung up on me.”
The story unfolds from the point of view of each twin. Noah’s chapters take place in the past and Jude’s perspective is the present, age 16. In the present, the twins have stopped talking to each other and have inadvertently exchanged personalities. Jude has intentionally cut herself off from the world, is on a "boycott" from boys, and converses with the ghost of her dead grandmother. Noah used to love drawing, but now he is busy jumping off cliffs. The prose is lyrical, beautifully describing the bliss of creating art and the frustrations of lost relations. The self-discovery of each twin happens poignantly throughout the story. Secrets are unraveled in the alternating voices; telling a story of betrayal, grief, art and love.

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