I'll Give You the Sun? More like... I'll Give You Death by Artistic Metaphor.
So, um, it seems like I'm in the minority on this one, but I did not lik...moreI'll Give You the Sun? More like... I'll Give You Death by Artistic Metaphor.
So, um, it seems like I'm in the minority on this one, but I did not like the writing style at all.
I guess it should be noted that I was also not a fan of the author's first novel - The Sky is Everywhere - which everyone but heartless little me seemed to love. Unlike many people I know, I picked this one up because the premise intrigued me and not because of a love for the author's previous work.
You may be thinking: this is a poetic novel about life and loss and love... how can you be so cold?! *sigh* You would not be the first. But while I appreciate that there are some good aspects to this book like the complex characters and the frank portrayal of teen sexuality in both a heterosexual girl and a homosexual guy, the style, the endless bloody metaphors and the way it became heavy on the romance... all of that just did nothing but irritate me.
There was a brief moment early on when I thought I might be reading a magical realism novel because of some of the bizarre things that seemed to be happening. But, as the story unfolded, it turns out that these are actually just overly ambitious artistic metaphors that turn almost every single paragraph into a purple and downright weird mess. Check them out:
“Mom picks up a knife and thrusts it into his gut, twists. Dad forges on, oblivious.”
“Jude barfs bright blue fluorescent barf all over the table, but I’m the only one who notices.”
“All the hornet’s buzzed out of her. And there’s no spider to her at all.”
None of these things are actually, literally happening, of course. When I read the first few paint-splattered metaphors (hehe, that's a metaphor too!), I did my single raised eyebrow face (it's epic, I assure you), but it was when I'd read over a hundred pages of constant flowery prose that I started to feel like I'd overdosed on cotton candy. I guess it's a certain type of reader who will fall in love with this prose - in short: I am not that type of reader.
I am the kind of person who forges strong emotional connections with characters; or at least I do if the book is working its magic. But I also find it really difficult to engage with characters - who would otherwise pull me in - when the prose is so nauseatingly bloated with metaphors. Do any of you remember Shatter Me? Bloody hell... do I remember Shatter Me *silently fumes*
And it's a shame because there were moments when I came close to feeling for these characters. Noah tugged at my heart strings because of his passion for art and how he wasn't allowed to pursue it fully; Jude's feelings of guilt and grief felt like genuine pain. But I never got into their heads because I was too busy being drowned by the metaphorical prose. Plus, I'm not even going to get started on the stereotypical way the British guy is portrayed... I'll just say that we really do not use slang words in every single sentence.
The reveal at the ending can easily be guessed from reading Jude's first POV and it was a little anticlimactic. Not just because it was guessable but because it was kind of blah. I still won't give this book one star because there were some touching moments that I liked but, overall, I was pretty disappointed.