It's been a while since I read "I'll Give You The Sun" by Jandy Nelson, but I remember being surprised by it. I went into in completely blind, and I didn't know what to expect. I figured it was going to be a contemporary YA novel about growing up, but the way the characters were presented and how the timeline moved really set it apart for me.
The novel is split into sections rather than chapters. These sections are way longer than chapters, but they frequently have breaks, so it's easy to read a chunk and stop for a while. Still, the plot is so addicting, I found myself not wanting to stop. The only problem with the long sections was that once I hit the next section, I really wanted to continue the section I had been reading previously. This is because it's broken up not only in point of view between the two narrators, but is also broken up by time.
The two narrators are twin siblings, so we get to see both of their sides of a narrative, but in different points of time. Noah's point of view is set when they're younger, and Jude is from when they're older. In a way, you get the past of the story from Noah and the present by Jude. The thing is, there are things left out on both sides because you can't get to figure it all out at once. It's hard to see what's in the other character's head during the section that isn't theirs because they've changed over the time. It's that much more realistic, by showing that people can change over time.
One of my favorite things about this story was how distinct each character's voice was. Jandy Nelson does a great job with writing in a way that's unique to each character. It could come off as a bit pretentious if you don't see what Nelson is going for, but I found it great. It really showed how both of the characters thought and what sorts of things were important to them. Even when I didn't particularly like a character, or didn't want to switch sections, the writing was compelling and entertaining.
I highly recommend this book. It's currently one of my favorite books of all time, and won't be taken off a special place on my bookshelf for a long time.