To use protagonist Noah’s own favourite word, I find I’ll give you the sun revolutionary. It is a true masterpiece, as good as any of Noah’s paintings and Jude’s sculptures.
The powerful language that attempts to describe the always complicated feelings of love, coupled with the vulnerability of the characters, particularly Noah, is truly compelling. Personally, I found Noah’s own journey of discovery of his love for Brian to be more interesting and gripping than that of Jude’s. When reading this book, I fell in love with the character of Noah. He’s a private and reserved person, but one of the least boring characters I’ve ever read. He shares his thoughts only with those he feels comfortable around (essentially, only Jude and Brian), and his sketchpad. However, us as the reader are able to tap into his head and understand his insanely imaginative and creative own world. He narrates his love in such a unique and innocent way that I find myself never wanting to stop reading about his and Brian’s adventures. One of my favourite quotes of Noah’s is “Then I think about how many fingers I’d give up for one minute like that with him and decide seven. Or eight even. I could totally still draw with two fingers if one was a thumb”. This quote summarises the essence of Noah. When he passionately feels something, his emotions are intensified. Nothing in his world is more important than his art and the people he loves. The colloquial “totally” reminds the reader that he is still a child, a person of thirteen years old, and that this is his first encounter with love, so of course he’s going to be overwhelmed by even thinking about Brian. Interestingly, an idea that I picked up on is that Brian’s creativity and uniqueness that piques the interest of Noah is external. Brian’s appearance is unconventional. Noah describes Brian to have a “dark green hat”, like those found in “old gangster movies”, and “a bonfire of white light” for hair. His eyes are “such a light brown, practically yellow, or copper maybe, and all splintered with green”. The mention of colour in all of Noah’s descriptions suggests that he sees Brian in the same way he sees his paintings. Noah’s appearance is not explicitly described, however he is said to have dark hair that he tends to let grow long. Perhaps Noah feels since his art work speaks for itself in colour, emotion, and creativity, his appearance is merely a vessel that contains his ideas. Also, his constant comparisons of Brian to space starts to make even the reader feel like Brian is otherworldly, as Noah does. Noah is unapologetic about his sexuality, and this confidence is conveyed so well with the language chosen to describe his love for not only Brian, but also art.
Brian has a harder time admitting his feelings for Noah, especially to himself. He repeatedly attempts to mask himself to fit in with the others, seen by his flirting with “the hornets” and him brushing off Noah’s attempts to talk him out of playing the game at his leaving party. However, it is transparent that Brian is just as infatuated with Noah. That being said, Brian is outwardly a lot more confident than Noah about his personality, who is much more self conscious about his reserved personality than he is about his sexuality. Despite dismissing his love for Noah in front of others, Brian will not stand for anyone bullying or making fun of Noah. He may appear more charming and ‘normal’ on the surface, but deep down he is just as revolutionary as Noah. Something I love about Brian is that he recognises Noah’s oddness and individuality but addresses it instead of ignoring it. “Dude, you are the strangest person ever”. Even when he’s calling him out on it, you can sense the love and fondness in his words. I absolutely loved the stark difference of their interests and hobbies, showing that the only thing that draws them to each other is the connection they both feel. Brian is extremely passionate about science, particularly astrophysics. Noah has a remarkable talent for painting. Neither of them knows much about the other’s passion, yet they continue to support and encourage each other, showing the makings of a great relationship even from the early stages. Another thing I especially enjoyed about the book was that the pair are also shown to be having fun with each other instead of making declarations of love that is based on nothing except first appearances, which is displayed in so many other young adult novels. As a reader, you enjoy their jokes and conversations, as both are mischievous and have great humour.
In terms of Jude’s story, I much preferred learning more about her and just how strong her twinship is with Noah, rather than her relationships with Oscar and Guillermo. When we meet Jude in Noah’s story, I surprisingly did like her. Overlooked by her mother and overshadowed by Noah, I felt a great deal of sympathy for her and could fully understand why she fell into the friend group she did. I believe she is revolutionary, despite Noah’s conflicting opinion. He dismisses her as “shiny and funny and normal”, but she is more than that. She sees Noah and understands him silently. That’s revolutionary enough, Noah being as complicated to understand as he is. Additionally, in comparison to the hornets, possibly with the exception of Heather, she is easily the most interesting person. She’s also very talented at art, but because she’s not at her brother’s standards, which is that of a prodigy, she is disregarded. Despite this though, she still manages to get into art school. Jude tends to find solace in other people, particularly boys. She doesn’t get the attention she needs at home, especially her mother, so she looks elsewhere to people who are already vying for her attention. She doesn’t deal well with being alone, shown by the 16 year old Jude entries in the book. This adds to the vulnerability of her character, showing that the confident, bubbly girl on the surface isn’t necessarily all there is to Jude. She is revolutionary.
THANK YOU FOR READING!