Our second book club took place yesterday and the overall consensus on I’ll Give You The Sun was that we all highly enjoyed reading it. The prose wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the story worked and it gave us all the feels. Now if you want more Jandy Nelson, you are in luck as she also wrote The Sky is Everywhere a book with similar writing and themes and according to some even better than her second book. So get on that! But if you want to read books by other authors dealing with similar themes, we have two great recommendations for you, chosen by Maritza Dubravac. One book that will fit right in with the YA-theme and another that is supposedly for grown-ups, but awesome for everyone.
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
This book deals with very similar themes of first love and coming of age, but also grief and loss regarding family. In Love Letters to the Dead Laurel is trying to deal with her sister’s death. She feels responsible for May dying and is unable to let go. In English class she gets the assignment to write a letter to a famous dead person and she picks Kurt Cobain, because he was her sister’s favorite artist. Laurel continues in this fashion, writing letters to the dead, ranging from Janis Joplin to Amelia Earhart and Heath Ledger. In writing these letters Laurel can deal with the things that are going on in her life, like starting high school and meeting a cute boy and falling in love for the first time. But most of all she can start to deal with the loss of her sister and face the truth of what actually happened to May. This book might be a bit heavier on the drama than I’ll Give You The Sun, although that book didn’t shy away from bad things happening either. Love Letters to the Dead is written in actual letter form and tells a story as haunting and sad as Noah and Jude’s.
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
If you liked the magical realism of I’ll Give You The Sun and you enjoyed Jude messing around with ghosts, telling her what to do, this recommendation is for you. Allende’s The House of the Spirits is about the Trueba family living in Chile in the 20th century. The story spans three generations following the head of the family Esteban, his daughter Blanca who falls in love with a man he deems unworthy and his granddaughter Alba. Esteban is an important member of a political party, but the women in his family are destined to start a revolution that will completely work against him. The House of Spirits is definitely a story about family, but Allende also incorporates the politics and history of Chile, while not forgetting to add a dash of magic. Esteban’s wife Clara was touched by an otherworldly hand, meaning she has supernatural abilities. She can predict deaths, commune with spirits and move objects. This is definitely a book of epic proportions in which love, magic and fate all find their place.
Have you read these books and did you like them or are there other books you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments!