Contemporary is a strange genre for me. It used to be what I read most, which is why the novel I’m trying to get published is a contemporary YA. But now, it has fallen a little behind genres such as fantasy and science fiction, which is what I enjoy reading most.
Reading contemporary feels like a break to me. It feels easy and fun, comfortable, relate-able. But after turning the last page, I often find myself saying, “That was nice.”. Nice isn’t bad. Nice is nice. The problem with nice is that the book doesn’t stay with me. It was a nice break and now it’s time to get back to the good stuff, the stuff I get really excited about. That’s sad. It’s sad for the author, it’s sad for the genre, and it’s sad for me. Why can’t everything be great?
It just can’t, and that’s okay. But I found that this happens the most with contemporary books. And as an author of a contemporary story, I’m scared. I’m scared my book will just be nice.
I’m scared my book can never be as good as I’ll Give You The Sun is.
Because this book was fantastic. I haven’t been this excited about a contemporary since…gosh, I don’t even know. Since I finished mine, I suppose. But I’m biased, of course I am. This book wasn’t nice. It was incredible. It was awesome, and hilarious, heartwarming and surprising. It was everything I could have wanted from a contemporary story and so much more I never thought I needed.
I’ll Give You The Sun follows twins Noah and Jude, first when they are 13, and later on, when they are 16. Something happens in between that completely changes who they are, to the point where, if you would read the sections separately, you would not believe they were the same people. It tears them so far apart from one another that they barely speak to each other.
This is the story of how they found their way back together. This is the story of fierce, world-splitting love, of tragedy and heartbreak, of friendship and family. It’s a story about self-discovery and acceptance. Of the world of art and what it does to you.
Jandy Nelson writes beautifully, and I love and hate her for it. I hope I can be as good as her one day. She reminded me that YA contemporary can be extraordinary and now I want to read more. Not just because I want a break, but because I want to read a really good book.
Read this book if you enjoy this genre. Read it if you’ve never tried a YA novel, or if you fell out of love with contemporary, like I did for a while. This will rekindle that fire, I promise you.
You can purchase this book using my affiliate link. Many thanks.