I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

This book. This book. This book. I don’t know how to accurately convey my feelings about this book because there are just too many wonderful things I could say about it.

Jandy Nelson is without a doubt one of the most beautifully descriptive and imaginative authors whose work I have read. While her writing style might not be for everyone, I loved the way she was able to create two completely different characters and weave together their stories into one cohesive and dynamic novel.

I’ll Give You the Sun follows the stories of twins Jude and Noah as they navigate the ups and downs of growing up. Marketed as Young Adult Fiction, I think that this book is suitable for all ages. The novel alternates between the two twins stories of growth. We follow thirteen-year old Noah as he falls in love with the boy next door and struggles with societal and familial pressures. In tandem with Noah’s story, we¬†step forward three years and follow Jude’s story as she comes to grips with a terrible tragedy that has ultimately torn her and Noah apart. We see Jude grow and learn how to love and put her life back together.

I loved how this novel went back and forth between time and perspective, while telling a larger story about love, loss, and family. I couldn’t put this book down and thoroughly enjoyed every page, every line, every word that Jandy Nelson put on the page. Definitely worth a read.

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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It felt like an adventure, but it wasn’t so fast-paced that my anxiety was through the roof. It was well-written and beautifully thought-out.

After losing his web design job during the Great Recession, Clay Jannon enters into an old and mysterious bookstore searching for a job. At Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Clay works the overnight shift, which brings only a few very eccentric customers who only check out books from a certain section. As Clay gets to know the store and the owner a bit more, he discovers that there is much more than reading happening at this bookstore. Clay is thrust into a world of secret societies, age-old mysteries, and the battle between technology and books.

Again, I really really liked this book. The story line was engaging and thought-provoking. I’ve been thinking a lot about the intersection of books and technology and this book brought up a variety of thoughts and issues on how to bring those two seemingly different things together. Definitely worth a read.