Chapter One or None: I'll Give You the Sun

I'll Give You the Sun

by Jandy Nelson

Chapter 1 = ‘The Invisible Museum’ Noah Age 13

I found this novel on my quest to find a book that was different to my guilty pleasure of reading cheesy Young Adult love stories. Jandy Nelson allows you to escape from the world, or in my case, escape from the noise and distraction of the Universal Cafeteria. ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’ immediately immerses you into the complicated and perplexing life of Noah, a new teen who is struggling to come to terms with what love means to him.

Nelson’s beautifully crafted words perfectly describe the feelings of all teenagers as they discover the confusing realms of attraction, defiance and individuality. Depicting Noah as a ‘newly minted human’ flawlessly surmises the transition from being a child to a teenager, making the first chapter highly relatable and irresistible to read. Through his love of artistry, Noah expresses himself in ways only he understands, an escape from the growing blackness that clouds his mind, the blackness he thinks shouldn’t be there at thirteen…the blackness that’s telling him he shouldn’t come out.

Jandy portrays the wonderfully messed up dynamic of a seemingly ordinary family as she makes Noah grapple with hiding his true identity from the world, even from his ‘perfect’ twin sister. From discovering his sexuality, to coping with being the school ‘freak’, Jandy conveys the decaying relationship between his parents. She expertly captures the turbulent nature of adolescence, where tensions within the family make you feel as though you’re drowning in your life. With the natural competition he has with his sibling and his want to ‘unzip the air and disappear inside it,’ Noah is the epitome of the worst and best time of your life. Where everything and nothing are possible at the same time. Nelson takes you on an emotional roller coaster, where you are propelled back to a time when everything mattered. She let’s you step into a world where embracing your uniqueness is your biggest asset.

Therefore, I 100% guarantee reading this book, I know I will be trying to finish it as fast as I can! The first chapter was enticing from the get-go, it had all the elements well-written novels are supposed to have, intrigue, complex characters and a dash of humour to lighten the tone. Grab a copy when you can, and let’s dive into the alluring, bewildering, mystery that is teenage-hood.

Author: Sathsara Radaliyagoda

Sathsara Radaliyagoda is a second year Journalism/International studies student at UTS and a UTSoC Junior Executive. Her accolades include: getting an Oscar from Madame Tussauds, and surviving the first year of UTS journalism. Sathsara also has a completely healthy obsession with dogs.