I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun

“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.” At first, Jude and her twin brother are NoahandJude; inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both o...

Title:I'll Give You the Sun
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0803734964
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:384 pages

I'll Give You the Sun Reviews

  • Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
    Apr 09, 2014

    Review originally posted at

    I don't think I can properly review this book without just throwing flails and gifs and

    into the air. It's that lovely, that exquisite that any review I write will just pale in comparison to the writing in the book. That said...I want you to read this book, so I have to try.

    P.S. I borrowed all the quote gifs from Penguin Teen, because who doesn't want to see more of that gorgeous cover?!

    Review originally posted at

    I don't think I can properly review this book without just throwing flails and gifs and

    into the air. It's that lovely, that exquisite that any review I write will just pale in comparison to the writing in the book. That said...I want you to read this book, so I have to try.

    P.S. I borrowed all the quote gifs from Penguin Teen, because who doesn't want to see more of that gorgeous cover?!

    Everything works - the writing is expressive and nuanced, with unique imagery. You can really tell that Jandy Nelson thought and thought, and thought again about every word in the novel. Every metaphor, every description fits in with the themes of breaking and remaking, family and relationships, art and inspiration. It's an incredibly tight novel, and it's one that could easily have been placed in the literary fiction section of a bookstore.

     This is a definitely a form-follows-function book - but it's done so damn brilliantly that you'll be in awe. The premise/form of the book is that Noah and Jude, fraternal twins, each have their own side of the story, Noah at age 13 and Jude at age 16.  As a reader, we see both sides and how mistakes and choices change and shape each of them. The brilliance comes through how each reveal is made - to the reader and to the characters. And what makes the book even more complex is how each of those reveals follows the themes of breaking and remaking, of splitting apart and coming together that shape the characters and the novel.

    I already mentioned the premise of the book, but let me just say that Noah and Jude are probably the most flawed and complex teen characters I've read EVER. I honestly can't think of more broken, fragile and alive characters that exist in YA fiction. We get every crazed, messed-up thought in their heads, all of their stupid actions, all of their esoteric behaviors...and it's just gorgeous to behold.

    This sounds weird to say, but in most YA I've read, I've never had to fan myself at a gay relationship - maybe that says more about what I read than what I don't read. This book, however, had what I imagine to be a very realistic gay relationship in its teens, and it's tumultuous and hard and beautifully steamy at a few moments.

    I am probably the worst artist in the world (I can't even draw a straight line), but I was amazed and gratified by how art shapes the characters, how it changes and hurts them, and how it strengthens them. Art is almost like a secondary character in this book, and the way that Noah and Jude create and destroy is not just a metaphor for what they do but it almost turns into a way of living for them.

    Here's the thing: when Noah and Jude meet their respective partners, it's pretty much instantaneous intrigue. It's not quite total insta-love, but it's close. You guys know how I feel about insta-love (and one of them is a bad boy!)...but somehow, Jandy Nelson's writing can break all my rules and make me believe. I'm just going to give you one unbelievable passage, and you tell me you're not intrigued and kind of in love:

     Guys, Jandy Nelson KNOWS. She understands why exquisite happiness is sometimes achieved only through understanding loss. She understands how grief can engulf and change and break a family, and how art can save and remake us.  I don't know how else to explain the mingled feelings of happiness, bittersweet joy, and infinite sadness that engulfed me while reading except to say that Jandy Nelson is the YA 

    .

    The Final Word: 

    I could go on and on about I'll Give You The Sun, but honestly, it won't hold a candle to the book itself.

    Read it now. Bask in the beauty. And then give it to a friend, because a book this good demands to be shared.

  • Emily May
    Sep 16, 2014

    This book should be called

    It seems like I'm in the minority on this one, but I did not like the writing style at all.

    I guess it should be noted that I was also not a fan of the author's first novel -

    - which everyone but heartless little me seemed to love. Unlike many people I know, I picked this one up because the premise intrigued me and not because of a love for the author's previous work.

    You may be thinking:

    This book should be called

    It seems like I'm in the minority on this one, but I did not like the writing style at all.

    I guess it should be noted that I was also not a fan of the author's first novel -

    - which everyone but heartless little me seemed to love. Unlike many people I know, I picked this one up because the premise intrigued me and not because of a love for the author's previous work.

    You may be thinking:

    *sigh* You would not be the first. But while I appreciate that there are some good aspects to this book like the complex characters and the frank portrayal of teen sexuality in both a heterosexual girl and a homosexual guy, the style, the endless bloody metaphors and the way it became heavy on the romance... all of that just did nothing but irritate me.

    There was a brief moment early on when I thought I might be reading a magical realism novel because of some of the bizarre things that seemed to be happening. But, as the story unfolded, it turns out that these are actually just overly ambitious artistic metaphors that turn almost every single paragraph into a purple and downright weird mess. Check them out:

    None of these things are actually,

    happening, of course. When I read the first few paint-splattered metaphors (hehe, that's a metaphor too!), I did my single raised eyebrow face (it's epic, I assure you), but it was when I'd read over a hundred pages of constant flowery prose that I started to feel like I'd overdosed on cotton candy. I guess it's a certain type of reader who will fall in love with this prose - in short:

    I am the kind of person who forges strong emotional connections with characters; or at least I do if the book is working its magic. But I also find it really difficult to engage with characters - who would otherwise pull me in - when the prose is so nauseatingly bloated with metaphors. Do any of you remember

    ?

    *silently fumes*

    And it's a shame because there were moments when I came close to feeling for these characters. Noah tugged at my heart strings because of his passion for art and how he wasn't allowed to pursue it fully; Jude's feelings of guilt and grief felt like genuine pain. But I never got into their heads because I was too busy being drowned by the metaphorical prose. Plus, I'm not even going to get started on the stereotypical way the British guy is portrayed... I'll just say that we really do not use slang words in every single sentence.

    The reveal at the ending can easily be guessed from reading Jude's first POV and it was a little anticlimactic. Not just because it was guessable but because it was kind of blah. I still won't give this book one star because there were some touching moments that I liked but, overall, I was pretty disappointed.

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  • Kat O'Keeffe
    Oct 21, 2014

    SO FREAKIN GOOD. This just became one of my favorite books of the year, and one of my favorite contemporary novels of all time! It was funny and romantic and touching and so beautifully written! I loved it. I literally just finished it and I already want to reread it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  • karen
    Nov 06, 2014

    i think this one was also a 3.5 for me. there were things i liked SO MUCH about it, and then there were things that bothered me a little. (and not just my fear of twins this time)

    first to the good.

    i enjoyed the unusual structure - the fact that it alternates between the voices of twins noah and jude where noah's story takes place when they are 13 and jude's takes place when they are 1

    i think this one was also a 3.5 for me. there were things i liked SO MUCH about it, and then there were things that bothered me a little. (and not just my fear of twins this time)

    first to the good.

    i enjoyed the unusual structure - the fact that it alternates between the voices of twins noah and jude where noah's story takes place when they are 13 and jude's takes place when they are 16. in the three years separating the stories, a number of circumstances have driven them apart to the point where they have gone from being spookily twinclose to barely speaking.

    both threads are compelling - in noah's, we see an introverted young artist falling in love for the first time; discovering that with brian, he is able to really be himself, gawky dorky bits and all. this is the first time in his life he has been able to make an emotional connection with someone he hadn't once shared a womb with, and their scenes are all giddy excitement and quiet uncertainty and incredible attraction. it is perfectly written. but things in his life are not all puppy love and romps through the woods. the twins have always been competitive for their parents' attention, and at this point in their lives, the feisty cliff-diving surfer girl jude is daddy's favorite, while the talented noah is the apple of his artist mother's eye. their parents are going through a rough patch, fighting constantly. jude is growing into a young woman and carrying her wildness and risk-taking into new realms, and she's in a reckless emotional tailspin as she begins to covet what little noah has of his own - his mother's affection, a spot at the art school he desperately wants to attend, and even brian.

    three years later, so much has changed. jude is living a life of self-imposed penance, dictated by superstitious rituals, wearing only baggy jeans and sweatshirts, talking to the ghost of her dead grandmother, and on a complete boycott from boys. she is attending the school of noah's dreams, but is wracked with guilt over what she has done to get there, and what has happened between herself and noah to drive them apart.

    the writing is very gimmicky in noah's thread. it is full of these little imaginative flourishes like

    and

    and

    and he captions every scene as though it is a painting:

    which can be cloying after a while if that kind of thing irritates you, but once you get past the first couple of instances, you just kind of roll with it and it didn't personally bother me overmuch. however, because of this writerly quirk, this is one of those books i hope they never ever try to make into a movie, because the temptation to film those bits would be there, and would be the worst kind of student-film indulgence to attempt to reproduce visually. seriously - big shudders when i think of it.

    okay, now on to the other stuff that i wasn't crazy about.

    oscar. oh, oscar. i assume we are meant to swoon over oscar, a boy who appears in both noah's 13-year-old and jude's 16-year-old storylines, but i just couldn't take him seriously. oscar is the boy who tests jude's boy boycot, and he's essentially just a collection of every stereotypical teen-girl dreamboy list.

    - older man

    - english accent

    - motorcycle

    - scars

    - tattoos

    - dark past. says things like

    - bad boy vices

    -

    cheesy lines:

    - leather jacket

    - james dean slouch

    - tomcat tendencies but oh-so capable of troo luv if given the opportunity

    - tough-guy posturing but also soooo sensitive

    - orphan

    - enigmatic

    - unconventional good looks

    - charismatic and passionate speechifier:

    he's just a little silly, to me. but i am not a teenage girl, so that probably accounts for it.

    here is something else that bothered me:

    and another rant about something that seems to happen in every book ever and MAKES NO SENSE:

    there's one or two other things that bothered me - their father's transformation, the convenient arrival of oscar at the end, that other novelistic convention of characters making revealing speeches when (ostensibly) alone that other people overhear, a couple of other things i can't recall just now…

    but overall, i liked it. i don't think i looooved it as much as most people seem to, but the early scenes between noah and brian are themselves worth the price of admission. which in my case was free (thanks, nancy!) but you get my point. it's a sweet and sad little book that gets a little cloying in parts, but its heart is in the right place, and it's ultimately a charming little book.

    sigh. NOAH!

    you kick oscar's ass in the "romantic dude" contest.

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  • Brian Yahn
    Nov 23, 2014

    One of the best books I've read in a long long time, I'll Give You the Sun, gave me the chills, gave me a heart attack, gave me everything I ever wanted from a love story.

    (Self-portrait: boy in love with a book)

    The narrators have such fun voices, the writing and use of artistic metaphors is beautiful, and the pacing is amazing. Pretty much everything about this book is perfect. It's essentially Gone Girl meets Romeo and Juliet. The characters connect so cohesively with their incredibly dark-twis

    One of the best books I've read in a long long time, I'll Give You the Sun, gave me the chills, gave me a heart attack, gave me everything I ever wanted from a love story.

    (Self-portrait: boy in love with a book)

    The narrators have such fun voices, the writing and use of artistic metaphors is beautiful, and the pacing is amazing. Pretty much everything about this book is perfect. It's essentially Gone Girl meets Romeo and Juliet. The characters connect so cohesively with their incredibly dark-twisted histories that all collide into the craziest, most fulfilling love story ever.

    Jandy Nelson, thank you. I needed this.

  • Clau R.
    Dec 17, 2014

    NOT JUST 5 STARS, ALL OF THE STARS!!!

    This book was perfect and beautiful and everything.

    EDIT: 04/02/2015

    Quería editar este review porque aunque ya he hablado maravillas de este libro en mi canal, siento que también merece que diga aquí cuánto me gustó.

    I'll Give You the Sun es un libro muy hermoso y conmovedor, lleno de cosas que no me había encontrado en otros libros. Creo que la escritura de Jandy Nelson es la razón principal por la que este libro me pareció tan arrollador. Como he dicho ya e

    NOT JUST 5 STARS, ALL OF THE STARS!!!

    This book was perfect and beautiful and everything.

    EDIT: 04/02/2015

    Quería editar este review porque aunque ya he hablado maravillas de este libro en mi canal, siento que también merece que diga aquí cuánto me gustó.

    I'll Give You the Sun es un libro muy hermoso y conmovedor, lleno de cosas que no me había encontrado en otros libros. Creo que la escritura de Jandy Nelson es la razón principal por la que este libro me pareció tan arrollador. Como he dicho ya en mis videos, Jandy escribe de una manera única y llena de vida, sus palabras están cargadas de pasión y de magia y de electricidad pura. Además, tiene un talento increíble para cambiar de POV. ¿Ya ven cómo algunos autores utilizan dos perspectivas y ni siquiera se nota el cambio? ¡Con Noah y Jude se nota muchísimo! Cada uno tiene una personalidad y un estilo tan entrañable y especial que incluso si al inicio del capítulo no viniera "NOAH" o "JUDE" en grande, podrías saber quién lo está narrando. ¡Bravo por eso!

    También quiero decir que aunque la familia y la hermandad son la parte más importante en esta novela (por lo menos para mí), los romances me han fascinado. La relación entre Noah y Brian me tenía fangirleando, llorando y gritando de a ratos, y la de Jude con Oscore simplemente me quitaba el aliento, ese amor que tenían ellos dos era tan fuerte, que hasta lo sentía palpable.

    Además me gusta demasiado que el libro tiene su razón de llamarse "Te daría el sol", uff, lo recuerdo y se me pone la piel de gallina. No quiero spoilear por aquí, ¡pero simplemente me fascinó!

    Todo dentro de este libro me tiene enamorada. Vale la pena mencionar que Jandy Nelson le da al arte un significado más allá del que yo conocía. Claro, sé apreciar el arte, pero verla a través de los ojos de Noah y Jude fue una experiencia nueva para mí. Y ay, Guillermo, qué bello señor...

    Le recomiendo a todos este libro. En español se llama: "Te daría el mundo" y lo publicará Alfaguara este 19 de Febrero.

  • Christine Riccio
    Jan 13, 2015

    LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. IT MOVED ME SO MUCH IN SO MANY WAYS <3

  • Samantha
    Aug 09, 2016

    This was the perfect book to finish on my birthday. I adored Jandy Nelson's first book, and didn't think I could love this one just as much!


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