I’ll Give You the Sun

by

Jandy Nelson

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Noah Sweetwine Character Analysis

Noah is the first of the novel’s two protagonists and narrators, roles he shares with his twin sister Jude. Sensitive, introverted, and closeted, Noah is thirteen years old at the start of the novel and uncomfortable everywhere except for the “invisible museum” inside his mind: an imagined space where Noah renders vivid but imaginary portraits of himself and others in order to make sense of the quickly spinning world around him. Insecure in his relationship with his father Benjamin, desperate for his mother Dianna’s attention, and smothered by but afraid of losing his relationship with his cool sister Jude, Noah turns to art when things get hard. Noah soon finds himself drawn to a new boy in the neighborhood, Brian, and as Noah experiences the highs and lows of first love over the course of several months, his relationship with his family is tested. In the novel’s “future” timeline, Noah is sixteen years old and has completely transformed himself after a series of deep traumas—the tragic loss of his mother, the crumbling of his relationship with Brian (who was not ready to come out yet), and a rejection from the prestigious California School of the Arts—have rocked his world. Now popular, outgoing, and prone to undertaking drunken high dives off the cliffs at the edge of his coastal hometown, Noah has changed—but not forgotten—who he is. As Noah slowly begins to come back to himself with the help of his concerned sister, he learns to cope with their shared grief, atone for the pain he has caused his sister and his father, and to once again have faith in his identity as an artist.

Noah Sweetwine Quotes in I’ll Give You the Sun

The I’ll Give You the Sun quotes below are all either spoken by Noah Sweetwine or refer to Noah Sweetwine. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dial Books edition of I’ll Give You the Sun published in 2014.
Chapter 1 Quotes

[Jude] scoots over so we’re shoulder to shoulder. This is us. Our pose. The smush. It’s even how we are in the ultrasound photo they took of us inside Mom and how I had us in the picture Fry ripped up yesterday. Unlike most everyone else on earth, from the very first cells of us, we were together, we came here together. This is why no one hardly notices that Jude does most of the talking for both of us, why we can only play piano with all four of our hands on the keyboard and not at all alone, why we can never do Rochambeau because not once in thirteen years have we chosen differently. It’s always: two rocks, two papers, two scissors. When I don’t draw us like this, I draw us as half-people.

The calm of the smush floods me. She breathes in and I join her. Maybe we’re too old to still do this, but whatever. I can see her smiling even though I’m looking straight ahead. We exhale together, then inhale together, exhale, inhale, in and out, out and in, until not even the trees remember what happened in the woods yesterday, until Mom’s and Dad’s voices turn from mad to music, until we’re not only one age, but one complete and whole person.

Page Number: 17-18
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Mom says Jude acts the way she does now on account of hormones, but I know it’s on account of her hating me. She stopped going to museums with us ages ago, which is probably a good thing, because when she did, her shadow kept trying to strangle mine. I’d see it happening on the walls or on the floor. Sometimes lately, I catch her shadow creeping around my bed at night trying to pull the dreams out of my head. I have a good idea what she does instead of coming to the museum, though. Three times now, I’ve seen hickeys on her neck. Bug bites, she said. Sure. I heard while spying that she and Courtney Barrett have been riding bikes down to the boardwalk on weekends, where they see who can kiss more boys.

(Portrait: Jude Braiding Boy After Boy into Her Hair)

Related Symbols: The Invisible Museum
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

He points to my pad. “So I guess you just talk in there, is that it?”

“Pretty much,” I say. We’re under a streetlamp and I’m trying not to stare but it’s hard. I wish the world would stick like a clock so I could look at him for as long as I want. There’s something going on in his face right now, something very bright trying to get out—a dam keeping back a wall of light. His soul might be a sun. I’ve never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.

I want to say more so he doesn’t leave. I feel so good, the freaking green leafy kind of good. “I paint in my head,” I tell him. “I was the whole time.” I’ve never told anyone I do this, not even Jude, and I have no idea why I’m telling him. I’ve never let anyone into the invisible museum before.

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Brian Connelly / The Boy from the Roof (speaker), Jude Sweetwine
Related Symbols: The Invisible Museum
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:

“When Castor died,” he says, “Pollux missed him too much, so he made a deal to share his immortality with him and that’s how they both ended up in the sky.”

“I’d do that,” I say. “Totally.”

“Yeah? Must be a twin thing,” he says, misunderstanding. “Though you’d never know it from that Death by Window Maneuver.” I feel my face flush because I’d meant him, duh, I’d share my immortality with him. I meant you, I want to holler.

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Brian Connelly / The Boy from the Roof (speaker), Jude Sweetwine
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:

After a while, she picks up her fist. I do the same. “One two three,” we say at the same time.

Rock/Rock

Scissors/Scissors

Rock/Rock

Paper/Paper

Scissors/Scissors

“Yes!” she cries. “We still got it, yes we do!” She jumps to her feet. “We can watch the Animal Channel tonight. Or a movie? You can pick.”

“Okay.”

“I want to—”

“Me too,” I reply, knowing what she was going to say. I want to be us again too.

(Portrait, Self-portrait: Brother and Sister on a Seesaw, Blindfolded)

She smiles, touches my arm. “Don’t be sad.” She says it so warmly, it makes the air change color. “It came right through the wall last night.” This was worse when we were younger. If one cried, the other cried even if we were on different sides of Lost Cove. I didn’t think it happened anymore.

“I’m fine,” I say.

She nods. “See you tonight then if Mom and I don’t kill each other.” She gives a salute and is off.

I don’t know how this can be but it can: A painting is both exactly the same and entirely different every single time you look at it. That’s the way it is between Jude and me now.

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Jude Sweetwine (speaker)
Related Symbols: Rock-Paper-Scissors
Page Number: 118-119
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

A week after Dad’s forgotten birthday, with the rain beating the crap out of the house, Mom and Dad seat Jude and me in the frozen part the living room no one ever sits in to inform us that Dad’s temporarily moving down to the Lost Cove Hotel. […] Mom tells us he’ll be renting a studio apartment by the week until they can work out some issues they’re having.

Even though we haven’t spoken in forever, I can feel Jude’s heart clenching and unclenching inside my chest with mine.

“What issues?” she asks, but after that the rain gets so loud I can’t hear what anyone’s saying anymore. I’m convinced the storm’s going to bust down the walls. Then it does and I’m remembering Dad’s dream because it’s happening. I watch as the wind sweeps everything off the shelves: knickknacks, books, a vase of purple flowers. No one else notices. I grip the armrests of the chair tight.

(Family Portrait: Assume the Crash Position)

I can hear Mom’s voice again. It’s calm, too calm, yellow fluttering birds that don’t belong in this life-bucking tempest. “We still love each other very much,” she says. “We just both need some space right now.” She looks at Dad. “Benjamin?”

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Dianna Sweetwine / Mom (speaker), Benjamin Sweetwine / Dad
Page Number: 259-260
Explanation and Analysis:

[Mom] gets up, walks over to me, puts her hand under my chin, and lifts my face so I’m forced into the earnest hold of her eyes. “Listen to me. It takes a lot of courage to be true to yourself, true to your heart. You always have been very brave that way and I pray you always will be. It’s your responsibility, Noah. Remember that.”

Page Number: 281
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

“This afternoon I teach you to use the power tools. With these you must be so, so careful. The chisel, like life, allows for second chances. With the saws and drills, often there is no second chance.”

I stop walking. “You believe that? About second chances? In life, I mean.” […]

“Of course, why not? Even God, he have to make the world twice.” His hands take to the air. “He make the first world, decide it is a very terrible world he made, so he destroy with the flood. Then he try again, start it all over with—”

“With Noah,” I say, finishing his sentence.

“Yes, so if God can have two tries, why not us? Or three or three hundred tries.” He laughs under his breath. “You will see, only with the diamond blade circular saw do you have one chance.” He strokes his chin. “But even then sometimes you make a catastrophic mistake, you think I am going to kill myself because the sculpture is ruined, but in the end it come out more incredible than had you not made the mistake. This is why I love the rocks. When I sculpt with clay, it feel like cheating. It is too easy. It has no will of its own. The rocks are formidable. They stand up to you. It is a fair fight. Sometimes you win. Sometimes they win. Sometimes when they win, you win.”

Related Characters: Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Guillermo Garcia (speaker), Noah Sweetwine
Page Number: 301-302
Explanation and Analysis:

Dad drove us to the post office to mail off the applications. We couldn’t find a parking spot so Dad and Noah waited in the car while I went in. That’s when I did it. I just did it.

I only mailed mine.

I took from my brother the thing he wanted most in the world. What kind of person does that?

Not that it matters, but I went back to the post office the next day, ran all the way there, but the garbage had been emptied. All his dreams got taken out with the trash. Mine went straight to CSA.

I kept telling myself I would tell Noah and Dad. I would tell them at breakfast, after school, at dinner, tomorrow, on Wednesday. I would tell Noah in time so he could reapply, but I didn’t. I was so ashamed—the kind that feels like suffocating—and the longer I waited, the more the shame grew and the more impossible it got to admit what I’d done. Guilt grew too, like a disease, like every disease. There weren’t enough diseases in Dad’s library. Days kept passing, then weeks, and then, it was too late. I was too scared if I confessed, I’d lose Dad and Noah forever, too cowardly to face it, to fix it, to make it right.

This is why my mother destroys everything I make. This is why she can’t forgive me.

Page Number: 305
Explanation and Analysis:

I go outside and ask [Guillermo] to teach me how to use the diamond blade circular saw. He does.

It’s time for second chances. It’s time to remake the world.

Knowing I only have one shot to get it right with this tool, I wrap the cord around my shoulder, position the circular saw between Noah’s shoulder and my own, and turn on the power. The tool roars to life. My whole body vibrates with electricity as I split the rock in two.

So that NoahandJude becomes Noah and Jude.

“You kill them?” Guillermo says in disbelief.

“No, I saved them.”

Finally.

Related Characters: Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Guillermo Garcia (speaker), Noah Sweetwine
Page Number: 308-309
Explanation and Analysis:

“[Oscar] didn’t save my life and it doesn’t matter how high it is.” [Noah is] getting drunker by the minute, talking with two tongues now. “It’s Mom who keeps me up. It’s like I have a parachute on. Like I can practically fly.” He makes a slow swoosh with his hand through the air. “I sail all the way down so incredibly slowly. Every time.”

My mouth falls open. Yes, he does. I’ve seen it.

This is why he keeps jumping then, so Mom will break his fall?

Page Number: 322
Explanation and Analysis:

“Okay. So once upon a time, I saw this cubist portrait my brother did of you and had to have it.” I look at him. “Had to have it. It was love at first sight.” He smiles. “He and I were always playing this game where we’d swap parts of the world for others in a quest for universe domination. He was winning. We’re . . . competitive, that’s the nice way of putting it. Anyway, he didn’t want me to have you. I had to give up almost everything. But it was worth it. I kept you here.” I show him the spot where the picture hung by my bed. “I would stare and stare at you and wish you were real and imagine you coming to that window, just like you did tonight.”

He bursts out laughing. “That’s incredible! We’re absolutely split-aparts.”

“I don’t know if I want a split-apart,” I say honestly. “I think I need my own soul.”

Page Number: 335
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

I take him by the shoulders. “Noah.” My voice has returned. “It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t.” I repeat the words until I’m sure he’s heard them, believes them. “It wasn’t anyone’s. It just happened. This terrible thing happened to her. This terrible thing happened to us.”

And then it’s my turn. I’m being shoved forward, shoved right out of my skin with just how terrible—Mom ripped out of my life the very moment I needed her the most, the bottomless unconditional shielding sheltering love she had for me taken forever. I let myself feel the terrible, surrender to it finally instead of running from it, instead of telling myself it all belongs to Noah and not to me, instead of putting an index of fears and superstitions between me and it, instead of mummifying myself in layers of clothing to protect myself from it, and I’m falling forward with the force of two years of buried grief, the sorrow of ten thousand oceans finally breaking inside me—

I let it. I let my heart break.

And Noah is there, strong and sturdy, to catch me, to hold me through it, to make sure I’m safe.

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Dianna Sweetwine / Mom
Page Number: 348
Explanation and Analysis:

“Let’s go,” Noah says, and we’re running together into the woods like we used to, and I can see how he’ll draw it later, with the redwoods bowing, the flowers opening like houses for us to enter, the creek following behind us in winding wending color, our feet inches above the ground.

Or maybe he’ll do it like this: the forest a blur of green over our heads while we lie on our backs, playing Rochambeau.

He picks rock. I pick scissors. I pick paper. He picks scissors. He picks rock. I pick paper. We give up, happily. It’s a new age. […]

I roll on my side to face him. “So can you believe how weird I’ve gotten and how normal you’ve gotten?” “It’s astounding,” he says, which cracks us both up. “Except most of the time,” he adds, “I feel like I’m undercover.”

“Me too.” I pick up a stick, start digging with it. “Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. “Maybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time.” Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things.

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Jude Sweetwine (speaker)
Page Number: 353-354
Explanation and Analysis:

“How do you feel about moving? Not out of Lost Cove but to another house. […] A houseboat.” I can’t decide what’s more amazing: the words coming out of Dad’s mouth or the expression on his face. […] “I think we need an adventure. The three of us together.”

“You want us to live on a boat?” I ask.

“He wants us to live on an ark, ” Noah answers, awe in his voice.

“I do!” Dad laughs. “That’s exactly right. I’ve always wanted to do this.” Really? News to me. Um, who is this man? “I just did some research and you will not believe what’s for sale down by the marina.” He goes to his briefcase and pulls out some pictures he must’ve printed from the Internet.

“Oh wow,” I say. This is no rowboat. It is an ark.

“An architect owned it previously,” Dad tells us. “Renovated the whole thing, did all the woodwork and stained glass herself. Incredible, isn’t it? Two stories, three bedrooms, two baths, great kitchen, skylights, wraparound decks on both floors. It’s a floating paradise.”

Noah and I must register the name of the floating paradise at the exact same moment, because we both blurt out, imitating Mom, “Embrace the mystery, Professor.”

The name of this houseboat is The Mystery.

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Benjamin Sweetwine / Dad (speaker), Dianna Sweetwine / Mom
Page Number: 356-357
Explanation and Analysis:

I glance around the room, sensing Mom so much, certain this is what she wanted. She knew we each held an essential part of the story that needed to be shared. She wanted me to know she saw the sculptures and only Guillermo could tell me that. She wanted Guillermo and Dad to hear the truth from Noah. She wanted me to tell Noah about CSA and maybe I wouldn’t have found the courage if I hadn’t come to Guillermo, if I hadn’t picked up a chisel and hammer. She wanted us in Guillermo’s life, and he in ours, because we are, each one of us for the other, a key to a door that otherwise would’ve remained locked forever.

Page Number: 367
Explanation and Analysis:
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Noah Sweetwine Character Timeline in I’ll Give You the Sun

The timeline below shows where the character Noah Sweetwine appears in I’ll Give You the Sun. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
One day after school, 13-year-old Noah is being tormented by Zephyr and Fry, two neighborhood high-school bullies. The sophomores chase Noah... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
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Fry begins ripping up some of Noah’s drawings, but Zephyr tells him to stop. Noah knows that Zephyr is showing him mercy... (full context)
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Fry drops Noah’s sketchpad, but Zephyr then orders Fry to pick up Noah’s legs—Noah knows they are going... (full context)
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Zephyr orders Fry to leave Noah, and the two of them grab their surfboards and head back to the beach. Fry... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
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The next night at dinner, Noah, Jude, and their parents, Dianna and Benjamin Sweetwine, are gathered around the table. Mom announces... (full context)
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Dad speaks up to remind Noah and Jude to listen to their mother’s story “metaphorically,” but Mom ignores him and launches... (full context)
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...for his practicality and urges him to “embrace the mystery.” As everyone eats their dinner, Noah feels as if the tension between his parents is turning the air around them all... (full context)
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...the school is one of the best in the country. She excitedly suggests that she, Noah, and Jude start taking weekly trips to the local art museum and having “drawing contests.”... (full context)
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Dad and Mom, on the brink of an argument, order “NoahandJude” to take their plates into the other room and finish eating. The two dutifully obey,... (full context)
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This comforts Jude, who scoots closer to Noah so that they are shoulder-to-shoulder—this position, “the smush,” is how the two were positioned in... (full context)
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The following weekend, Noah and Jude are at an art museum with their mother—she won the argument, and the... (full context)
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Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
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...decides she’d be “the kind of ghost that interferes with everything,” and would never let Noah and Jude “be rid” of her. Though Mom is being lighthearted, the conversation scares Noah. (full context)
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Mom asks to see Noah and Jude’s sketchbooks and examine the work they did while going through the museum. Noah... (full context)
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Mom quickly closes Noah’s sketchbook and hands it back to him, declaring that drawing contests are “silly” and that... (full context)
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Noah reflects on a game he and Jude often play. The game is called The Drowning... (full context)
Chapter 2
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...Ellis, the clay instructor at CSA, begins facilitating Jude’s critique, Jude scans her classmates’ faces. Noah is not among them, and she knows that he belongs here, not her. No one... (full context)
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...this—she believes that Mom’s ghost is breaking everything she makes to remind her how much Noah deserves her place. (full context)
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...application. She made sure that no one ever saw them—but now begins to wonder whether Noah could have photographed them. She recalls how when she was admitted and Noah wasn’t, he... (full context)
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Jude heads down to the beach to wait in the brush for Noah. He comes here often to cliff-dive—a mutual friend, Heather, texts Jude to warn her when... (full context)
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Noah and his friend Heather arrive at the beach, and Jude watches as Noah jumps from... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Noah, up on the roof, uses Dad’s binoculars to scan the neighborhood and make sure that... (full context)
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Jude is still making her flying sand women, though, and Noah has been following her down to the beach to watch each time she goes. He... (full context)
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Noah uses his binoculars to watch a pair of ripped movers bring a black piano into... (full context)
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Since school got out for the summer two weeks ago, Noah has been doing “recon” at CSA—peering into the studio windows to spy on student artwork,... (full context)
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Noah peeps up through the window and sees that class has begun. The model this week,... (full context)
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After a few moments, the model notices Noah. He is visibly startled, and, in an English accent, asks what Noah is doing spying... (full context)
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Noah watches as the English guy heads back inside, but sees the teacher meet him at... (full context)
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As Noah walks home through the woods, he spots the boy from the roof. The boy asks... (full context)
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...from the woods and onto their street, the boy from the roof marvels at how Noah didn’t speak a word the entire time. He asks Noah if he “talk[s]” only through... (full context)
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The next morning, while working on a drawing of the boy from the roof, Noah hears Jude calling him from the hall. He quickly flips the page in his sketchpad... (full context)
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Jude sits on Noah’s bed and asks him who the model in the drawing is. Noah insists it’s just... (full context)
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Noah tells Jude he’ll give it to her—in exchange for the sun, stars, oceans, and trees.... (full context)
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Jude asks if Noah has seen the new “freak” on the block—she means the boy from the roof. As... (full context)
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...twins’ father appears in the doorway and asks if everything is okay—both of them nod. Noah reminisces about how, as a child, he was so close to his father—now, though, they... (full context)
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Dad leaves the room, and Jude asks Noah if he wants to play Ouija board—she has found one in Grandma’s old room. Noah... (full context)
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That night, Noah can’t sleep. He goes up to the roof to see if the boy is up... (full context)
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Noah finds the new kid in the woods and, though he is nervous, introduces himself. The... (full context)
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When Brian doesn’t say anything, Noah gets nervous that Brian has become “freaked out” by his strange lies, but Brian makes... (full context)
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Hours later, Noah and Brian have not found any meteorites, but Noah is taken with Brian, whom he... (full context)
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At that moment, Zephyr and Fry wander through the woods, and begin teasing Brian and Noah for acting “romantic” with one another. Noah wishes he had the strength to tell Zephyr... (full context)
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Noah asks Brian if he plays pitcher in baseball, and Brian, smiling, says that he does.... (full context)
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Five days later, Noah is at his desk, sketching Brian. Every day this week, the two of them have... (full context)
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Noah attempts to shrug off Jude’s questions about his relationship with Brian, but at that moment,... (full context)
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Brian and Noah walk down the street towards Brian’s house, and Brian asks why Noah was so short... (full context)
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Noah and Brian climb up onto the roof, and Brian readies the telescope before showing Noah... (full context)
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Noah smells jasmine on the air, and remembers one of Grandma Sweetwine’s superstitions: that the smell... (full context)
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After a few minutes, Brian calls Noah over to use the telescope, and Noah is amazed by the stars. Brian tilts the... (full context)
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The next afternoon, as Brian and Noah emerge from their daily trek through the woods, they find a group of popular girls... (full context)
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...girls take turns trying on Brian’s hat as a way of flirting with him, and Noah is confused by the strange ritual. Though the girls laugh and joke with one another,... (full context)
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Back in the house, Noah goes to his room and watches Brian and the girls from his window. After a... (full context)
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The next morning, Noah overhears Dianna and Jude arguing in the hallway. They are preparing to go into the... (full context)
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The argument ends, and Jude comes into Noah’s room. She apologizes for trying to intrude on his evening with Brian and for generally... (full context)
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Later that afternoon, Noah decides to return to CSA and observe the life-drawing class. He draws the model for... (full context)
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That night, Noah blows Jude off to hang out with Brian, and continues blowing her off each night... (full context)
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One afternoon, Noah comes home and finds a note on the kitchen table—it is from Jude to Dianna,... (full context)
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...of going-away party for Brian, who is returning to boarding school the following morning. As Noah navigates the crowds in Courtney’s house, he feels as if he is in the “underworld.”... (full context)
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Finally, Noah spots Brian: he is following Courtney up a staircase. At the top of the stairs,... (full context)
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Noah greets Brian, and suggests the two of them leave the party. Brian, though, want so... (full context)
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Once inside, Heather tells Noah that they don’t have to do anything if he doesn’t want to, but he insists... (full context)
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Noah is paralyzed, and draws a self-portrait in the invisible museum of himself as a gutted... (full context)
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Noah’s mind wanders and he imagines Jude and Brian locked in a passionate embrace. Upset, he... (full context)
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When Noah gets home, he is disturbed to realizes that his camera is not where he left... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...her concentration is interrupted by the sound of voices and footsteps in the hall—it is Noah and his friends. Jude wishes she had shut the door to her bedroom as they... (full context)
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Noah asks Jude if she would be “cool” with him and his friends having a house... (full context)
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Jude calls Noah out for finding her embarrassing, to which he pulls several beans and seeds from his... (full context)
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Jude knows what was going on between Brian and Noah that fateful summer—she could see Noah’s “dreams [about Brian] outside of his body.” Now, Jude... (full context)
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Jude tells Noah to go ahead and throw the party. Noah asks her if she’ll come, but Jude... (full context)
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...one—Dad wanders the halls of their house like a ghost, hardly interacting with her or Noah and spending most of his time going on long walks to “think.” Every time Benjamin... (full context)
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The parrot next door begins squawking about Ralph, and Benjamin, Noah, and Jude roll their eyes in unison. Jude’s dad begins asking her a question but... (full context)
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Jude opens her bedroom window for some fresh air—she is worried about both Dad and Noah and how poorly they seem to be doing in the wake of Mom’s death. When... (full context)
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A week later, Benjamin is out of town and Noah’s party is raging. Jude wants to escape the chaos of the party, and decides to... (full context)
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Jude begins telling Guillermo about the game she and Noah played as children, in which they divided up the world. She explains that Noah wound... (full context)
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When Jude returns to her bedroom, she finds Noah there, sifting through her sketchpad. She confronts him and asks him what he’s doing going... (full context)
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...she’s planning on working on a sculpture of their mother in marble or granite, but Noah is barely listening anyway—his phone buzzes in his pocket, and he picks up the phone... (full context)
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...molding a pair of  “round bubble bodies, shoulder to shoulder”—as she works on the new “NoahandJude” sculpture, she forgets about everything but Noah. After reviewing the model, Guillermo helps Jude make... (full context)
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...hammers into the stone, she remembers a day not long after their mother died—the day Noah almost drowned after jumping off a cliff into the sea. Jude ran into the riptide... (full context)
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...are Oscar’s, she turns around to confront him, but finds herself face-to-face with a “petrified”-looking Noah instead. (full context)
Chapter 5
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It is the day after Brian has left for boarding school. Noah sneaks into Jude’s room while she’s in the shower and sees a chat pulled up... (full context)
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Weeks later, Noah is in his room when he hears his father answer the front door, and then... (full context)
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After navigating through Lost Cove, Noah finds himself in front of a large warehouse space. As he stands on the street... (full context)
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...something the person on the other end says, he throws his head back, appearing to Noah to be supremely happy. Before he hangs up, he whispers “Hurry, my love” into the... (full context)
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As Noah walks down the street, beating himself up for thinking he could ever get into CSA,... (full context)
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On the drive home, Dianna tells Noah that there’s a dry-cleaner she likes on Day Street, and comes all the way out... (full context)
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...Sweetwine family’s roof is leaking. Despite the dreary atmosphere in town, there is one person, Noah notices, on whom it doesn’t seem to be raining—Dianna. Noah frequently catches his mother out... (full context)
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Since the summer, Noah has grown three inches. Jude has maintained her online communication with “Spaceboy” and become obsessed... (full context)
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...on the water and eat an extravagant meal. As they eat their steaks, Benjamin asks Noah a ton of questions about his art, and Noah is grateful to realize, at last,... (full context)
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...driveway back at the house, they see that Dianna’s car is not there. Benjamin tells Noah about a dream he had in which Dianna was walking through the house, pulling frames,... (full context)
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Back in the house, Noah goes into his bedroom—where Jude has kicked a bucket of water onto his carpet in... (full context)
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A week later, Dianna and Benjamin sit Noah and Jude down and explain that Benjamin is going to temporarily move into a studio... (full context)
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Later that evening, Jude and Noah stand at the window, shoulder to shoulder, and watch their father load a single suitcase... (full context)
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That night, Noah cannot sleep. As he lies in bed staring at the ceiling, his bedroom door opens,... (full context)
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There is a silence between the two, and then Jude sits on Noah’s chest and screams in his face that nothing happened between her and Brian in the... (full context)
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Jude asks if Noah will stop hating her now, and Noah says he never hated her. They apologize to... (full context)
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...of winter break, the smell of Dianna’s delicious baking wafts down the hallway and wakes Noah up. He is anxious—winter break means that Brian will be coming back to town soon.... (full context)
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Without warning, the kitchen door opens and Brian walks in. Noah involuntarily jumps up, then sits down—Dianna greets Brian, who admits that he could smell her... (full context)
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As Brian comes up for air, he admits he’s wanted to kiss Noah for a long time. They kiss some more, and Noah thinks about the guys he... (full context)
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A few days later, Noah and Brian are up in Noah’s room. Brian is watching footage of a meteor shower... (full context)
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Brian leaves through the window hurriedly. Noah stews in anxiety and embarrassment for an hour until Dianna knocks on his door and... (full context)
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Noah explodes in rage at Dianna, and tells her that it’s “all [her] fault” that Dad... (full context)
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The next morning, Noah wakes up early in a panic—he is afraid that Dianna is going to tell his... (full context)
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Noah tells Dianna that he doesn’t want her to mention what she saw to Dad, and... (full context)
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Noah follows Dianna to The Wooden Bird—a local landmark made from a redwood tree carved in... (full context)
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Noah runs away, and keeps running all the way home. When he is almost at his... (full context)
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Inside the house, Noah sits down with his sketchbook and draws a piece of art which he leaves on... (full context)
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Noah returns home, where Dianna is waiting for him in his room with his picture in... (full context)
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Noah’s mind reels and he accuses Dianna of abandoning their family. He asks if Dianna plans... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...she keeps thinking of Oscar kissing Brooke, of her mother’s and grandmother’s ghosts, and of Noah. After they ran into one another, Noah haltingly told Jude he’d simply been out for... (full context)
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...and moved back home, as she intended to. Her mother always seemed, to her and Noah, like she had “horses galloping inside of her”—wild, impulsive, and passionate. Jude realizes how little... (full context)
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Back in her room, Jude feels overwhelmed with emotion. When she’s feeling something, Noah is often feeling it too, and she presses her ear to the wall between their... (full context)
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...news, her first reaction was to put her hands not over her own ears but Noah’s—she feels the same instinct to protect him now as she wrestles to get him out... (full context)
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Jude reflects even more deeply on what happened in the wake of Mom’s death. Noah became despondent with grief, and after he tried to jump from Devil’s Drop and got... (full context)
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For weeks, Jude told herself that she would come clean to both Noah and her dad. But every time there was an opportunity to make things right, she... (full context)
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...if she has awoken from a deep slumber. She knows now that whether or not Noah decides to hate her forever, she needs to do one thing for him: “uncrush his... (full context)
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...feeling free at last as she plans to give up her spot. She then texts Noah and tells him they need to talk. (full context)
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...time in years. Though she knows she has some hard conversations with both Dad and Noah ahead of her, she feels like she is finally making peace with herself and taking... (full context)
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...armor of her hoodie and beanie, she goes up to Fry and asks him where Noah is. A voice behind her—Zephyr’s—tells her that Noah took off. (full context)
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Jude asks if Noah went home, but Zephyr points up to a bluff that is at least twice the... (full context)
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...saying Sweetwine over and over again. Jude and Zephyr push through the crowd and see Noah standing ten feet from the cliff’s edge, an empty liquor bottle at his feet. Jude... (full context)
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...wonders if she is hallucinating—the first thing she sees is Oscar lying on top of Noah, whom he tackled before the latter could reach the edge. Jude is confused as Noah... (full context)
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As Jude and Noah talk at and over one another, Oscar realizes they are brother and sister, and is... (full context)
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Jude prods Noah to thank Oscar for saving his life, but Noah insists that it’s Mom who saves... (full context)
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Oscar helps Noah up and begins walking him and Jude home. On the way, Jude and Oscar’s hands... (full context)
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In a flash of realization, Jude realizes that Oscar is the guy from all of Noah’s drawings—the dream-guy whose likeness once hung on the wall of her room. She pulls away... (full context)
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As Oscar continues looking around Jude’s room, he picks up a photograph of her with Noah and her parents. As he studies the photograph, Oscar’s face falls. Jude assumes that Oscar... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Noah is at home, mixing paints in the sink, searching for the perfect angry color. Just... (full context)
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The phone rings, and Noah answers it—a man with a gruff voice asks if he’s reached the residence of Dianna... (full context)
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Noah, feeling anxious, looks over to Brian’s house, and wishes Brian were up on the roof.... (full context)
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The day after the funeral, Noah leaves his house—still full of mourning family and friends—and heads down to Day Street, to... (full context)
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In the midst of all his emotions, Noah is struck by a new thought: if it weren’t for this man, he realizes, Dianna... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...her to leave immediately. Jude is confused—and is even more confused when both Oscar and Noah burst into the studio. As the four of them look at one another with fear,... (full context)
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Noah points at Guillermo and states that he killed Dianna. Oscar protests, asserting that no man... (full context)
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Jude asks Noah to explain—Noah tearfully confesses that Dianna was on her way to ask Dad for a... (full context)
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...at last understands why her father has been so preoccupied all these years, and why Noah’s grief after Dianna’s death was so intense. She is angry with Noah—but also realizes that... (full context)
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As Jude and Noah make their way home through the woods, Jude realizes that Grandma’s last aphorism from the... (full context)
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Jude admits that she has something to tell Noah, too, and at last comes clean about destroying his application. Rather than being angry, though,... (full context)
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...there is a mural painted on a cement crumbling wall—there are images of her and Noah, of Brian, of Mom and Guillermo at the Wooden Bird, of Dad, of Heather, and... (full context)
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Noah promises Jude he isn’t mad at her, and the two of them, ecstatic to at... (full context)
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...Jude wonders if that’s what love is: whether it “does as it undoes.” Jude tells Noah that they have to get home—and that he has to tell Dad the truth. They... (full context)
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Later that evening, Noah and Dad make dinner. Noah and Jude have made an agreement—she is going to stop... (full context)
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Jude reveals that after Noah told Dad the truth, Dad received the news calmly. He seemed almost grateful for things... (full context)
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...her skin, she is reminded of the time Brian walked into the kitchen and spooked—and excited—Noah all those years ago. Jude introduces Oscar to Benjamin using his full name, Oscar Ralph,... (full context)
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The next day, Jude and Noah approach Guillermo’s studio. Jude reflects on her feelings about Guillermo—she has gone back and forth... (full context)
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As Jude and Noah walk into the warehouse, Jude is shocked by how clean everything is—as they stand together... (full context)
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Guillermo sets Noah up with canvases and paint, and then goes to check on Jude, who is working... (full context)
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...the ocean. As Jude looks across the street at the woods, she sees Brian and Noah emerging from the forest hand in hand—last week, Noah finally got a response to his... (full context)