Thursday, August 4, 2016

Review of I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson, a New York Times Best Selling Author, is a winner of the 2015 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Literature, 2015 Stonewall Honor Book, and many more eminent awards. This novel is excellent and has been acclaimed by many esteemed critics. The setting of this book is Lost Cove, by the beach in Northern California. I'll Give You The Sun centers around Noah and Jude, hyper-competitive, yet close twins. The book focuses on Noah and Jude's bumpy relationship as a series of family tragedies and misunderstandings occur. A rift between the two is inevitable, but over time can be fixed. This novel shows each twins' perspective of certain situations from the ages of 13-16. As Noah and Jude grow up they face more difficult problems and encounter more questions about their own personal identities.

In my opinion, one of the major reasons I enjoyed I'll Give You The Sun was due to the writing style. I found it very easy to connect with the characters, almost as if the words had been written by teenagers themselves. At times the literature was very passionate, breathtaking, and moving. However, at other times it was extremely explosive, jarring, and exciting to read. I'll Give You The Sun was filled with vivid metaphors and comparisons. One of my favorite aspects of the novel was the descriptions of the artwork. The way the art was described throughout the book was beautiful and I could truly paint an image in my mind. It was intoxicating to read Jandy Nelson's lyrical and flowy writing style.

Another reason I loved this book so much was because of how much I was able to relate to the characters. I myself have a twin sister and found so many of Jandy Nelson's descriptions of twins accurate. I am an artist, so I was able to understand and appreciate all of the art references throughout the book.

Overall, I thought this book was very well written and told a very good story. It was intriguing to read and I loved every word even after rereading it several times. I can truthfully say that this is my favorite book and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Did you enjoy I'll Give You The Sun? If so, what was your favorite part?

My Adventures Through The World Of Hamilton

Hamilton is a hip-hop musical about the life of American founding father, Alexander Hamilton and the American Revolution. This musical has lyrics, music, and a book written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The show was inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by renowned historian, Ron Chernow. The musical made its Off-Broadway debut in February 2015, where it was sold out. Hamilton quickly transferred to Broadway in August 2015. On Broadway, Hamilton received enthusiastic critical acclaim. In 2016, the musical was nominated for a record setting 16 Tony Awards. Overall, Hamilton won 11 including Best Musical. Hamilton was also the winner of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

As many people know, I love Hamilton, but this was not always the case. In fact, the first time I heard about this musical I scoffed and assumed it was terrible. "A hip-hop musical about American history?" I thought this seemed like a delusional proposal. However, now I know I couldn't have been more wrong! I wondered how this musical could possibly be so successful, so I decided to do my research. I listened to the original cast recording and suddenly I was helpless.

Although I now love and understand the music and history of Hamilton, I was not always as educated on the subject of this brilliant Broadway musical. The first time I listened to the recording I was a bit underwhelmed and confused. Without the benefit of seeing the actors it was hard for me to get a good understanding of what was going on. However, I kept listening and very soon I got a sense of a story unfolding. Alexander Hamilton starts off as a tough-lucked orphan in the Caribbean. He finds his way to New York, where he discovers a rival named Aaron Burr. He also meets a group of friends and becomes tangled within the twists and turns of the American Revolution. Rapidly, Alexander Hamilton began to climb and create a name for himself. It is an appealing story which keeps the listener/viewer engaged.

Now that I understand the history of Alexander Hamilton through this spectacular musical, it is crystal clear to me why Hamilton has taken the world by storm. Hamilton teaches a history lesson, but it makes you laugh and cry along the way. Every song from Hamilton's swaggering self-introduction in "My Shot" to Eliza's ballad of betrayal in "Burn" is filled to the brim with emotion. What is your opinion of Hamilton?