I'll Give You the Sun

by Jandy Nelson

4.3 of 5 stars 22 ratings • 9 reviews • 49 shelved
Book cover for I'll Give You the Sun

Bookhype may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Full disclosure.

I'll Give You the Sun

by Jandy Nelson

4.3 of 5 stars 22 ratings • 9 reviews • 49 shelved

From the critically acclaimed author of The Sky Is Every where, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying - all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver.

From the author of The Sky Is Every where, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying - all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close - until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don't realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.

  • ISBN10 1406361739
  • ISBN13 9781406361735
  • Publish Date 19 March 2015 (first published 1 September 2012)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country GB
  • Imprint Walker Books Ltd
  • Format eBook
  • Language English


Avatar for terrimleblanc

I’m pretty sure my heart’s still breaking months after finishing I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I’ll admit I was skeptical about this book. In general, I’m not a fan of young adult contemporary fiction. I’m many moons removed from being considered young adult so I often struggle to identify with the characters of this particular genre. However, I’ll Give You the Sun strikes an excellent balance between the modern day struggles of teens, their parents and a genuine romance I’m sure just about anyone can identify with.

The way the story was told—the past from Noah’s point of view and the present from Jude’s—gave the story depth and offered different ways of viewing the same story. As a reader, I was able to walk a mile in each twin’s shoes and feel their experiences. My heart ached for Jude and Noah as they dealt with a family tragedy and the evolution of their personal relationships. Since I, too, have experienced the same tragedy, I know how the family dynamic changes after such an event. Nelson accurately depicted that change in the pages of this novel.

Each love story in I’ll Give You the Sun felt real. The love of art. Sibling love. Newly found love. Old love. Forbidden love, I’m not sure how Nelson did it and even though I knew that not everyone could end up together in the end, I was hopeful that everyone would live happily ever after.

I’ll Give You the Sun provides a real contemporary look at love and relationships. It examines how individuals see the world and if we could stop for a moment to see and share the story together we might have a greater understanding of how we fit together and can make the world a better place.

This review was originally posted on Second Run Reviews

Avatar for beehive

Bianca 3.5 of 5 stars
Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people. 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.

Avatar for divaboooknerd

Kelly 5 of 5 stars
I can't even begin to describe how lyrical and utterly beautiful I'll Give You The Sun is. Told from dual points of view, siblings Noah and Jude are best friends, companions and share a special connection that only twins share. Until it all falls apart. Before their world is torn apart, Noah is the quiet twin, bullied by two local thugs who suspect Noah may be gay. His only saving grace is Jude. Jude is the golden child in the eyes of their father, she loves to surf and has always been the bright and lovable tomboy. Until recently. Their mother has taken a keen interest in Noah's artistic talent and Jude begins to lash out. Vying for her mother's attention has lead Jude down a dangerous path... But the roles have reversed and Jude is now withdrawn and relies on superstitions and fate to guide her through life.

Throughout the pages, we see the stark differences between both siblings in current day and before the event that ultimately drove them apart. The flow between the character development and regression was stunning, siblings who are ultimately fighting their own battle in what could also be classed as an intricate coming of age. What ultimately drew me into the storyline is the writing. The Sky is Everywhere was stunning, but I'll Give You the Sun is simply phenomenal. It's lyrical beauty is wondrous.

He floated into the air high above the sleeping forest, his green hat spinning a few feet above his head. In his hand was the open suitcase and out of it spilled a whole sky of stars.

Noah's point of view is more romantic and whimsical, he paints within his own thoughts and sees his world as brushstrokes waiting to be painted. Where Jude's feet are firmly planted on the ground, she's the logical thinker, who now is lost within superstitions and her grandmothers old bible that she lives by as a self help book. It also explores grief, first love, sexual orientation and navigating the period between child and adulthood.

"For the sun, stars, oceans, and all the trees, I'll consider it," I say, knowing she'll never agree. She knows how badly I want the sun and trees. We've been dividing up the world since we were five.

Never have I encountered a contemporary so utterly lyrical. I inhaled it's beauty and devoured it. This is the year of the young adult contemporary and I'll Give You The Sun is by far one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Avatar for girlinthepages

Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

This book, hands down, winds the “Perfect Prose” award of 2014 from my blog. I’ve yet to encounter a YA novel that even gets close to incorporating magical realism the way that I’ll Give You the Sun does, and while at first a little jarring, I found it to be a fantastic effect in a novel that focuses so much on artistic expression and with characters who are so emotive. It’s really unlike anything else that I’ve read all year.

I’ll Give You the Sun is an artfully (literally) woven tale about twins who were inseparable as children and who have lost their connection after a tragic family event. The story is told in alternating viewpoints, with Noah narrating the younger years (13-14) and his sister Jude voicing the older years (16). This back and forth narration was done insanely well, with each twin having such a distinct voice yet each having their own little quirks in their narration, from “bible” tips to artwork titles (it sounds strange now but you’ll see how wonderful it is once you read the book- and the fact that their names are both biblical and are ironically perfect for both of their personalities is just so perfect it makes me want to hug the book forever). Both twins narrate their own unique experience of growing up in their small Northern California town with their parents and both deal with a lot of hard topics, especially when it comes to death and sexuality, and it’s so tastefully narrated in a way that never treats any topic in a way that’s taboo, but rather faces these issues honestly and head-on, the way a teenager would in their uncensored mind. I cannot applaud Jandy Nelson enough for her narration.

The prose is also beautiful- there’s literally no other way to describe it. The magical realism is tangible and fleshes out the narration even more (as it exaggerates situations in the same way a teenager would feel everything with their heightened emotions) though sometimes the metaphors and imagery becomes a bit heavy handed and hard to get through. The magical feel of the prose adds the atmosphere of artistic expression throughout the novel: “Sometimes lately, I catch her shadow creeping around my bed at night trying to pull the dreams out of my head.” (57).

Art also plays a huge, huge role in this book. Both characters have such a love/hate relationship with their artistic expression, and art plays such a creative, cathartic, and even at times destructive, force in this book. I’m not very artistic at first so sometimes I felt a little disconnected from the narrative, yet at other times the power art played in the book was so overwhelming that I couldn’t help but itch to create something myself. I don’t want to spoil anything but Jude’s experience (with sculpting) toward the end of the book in particular, when she has a manic moment of needing to free Noah and herself from the rock, from their grief and guilt, and from each other was particularly powerful.

I want to circle back to Noah and Jude’s relationship because it was so incredibly written, more profoundly and insightful than most romances I’ve read. I’m not a twin but this novel made me feel like I understood fully the tether of the unspoken, inseparable bond that lives between two beings who have been together since the minute of their conception. They’re not immune to jealously or ill will too each other, but every action one did impacted the other inexplicably because their connection was so strong, even when it was destructive. It was like they shared a soul, a soul with the power to divide the world up between them like ancient deities in a pantheon of a children’s tale (see? I’m even getting poetic just REVIEWING the book because the prose was so beyond anything I’ve experienced). There was romance for each of the twins in the book, both heartwarming and heartbreaking, but it never overshadowed the importance or power of the sibling bond in the book.

Favorite Quote (And let me tell you it was near impossible to pick just one!):

“You have to see the miracles for there to be miracles.” (212)

Overall: This book has incredible prose with a touch of magical realism and depicts a relationship and connection between siblings so deep that it overshadows the power of most romances I’ve read. Nelson’s prose can make to sympathize and abhor characters at the same time (which you will with the twins, which makes them such fantastic joint protagonists), fall into her narrative and beg to pick up the pieces of her characters life, and lose yourself truly and fully to the power of the pages. Some of themes of artwork were hard for me to connect with fully which is the reason this book merits a 4.5 stars (instead of 5) from me, but I still firmly believe that it’s a definite must-read for any and all fans of contemporary.

This review and others can be found at Girl in the Pages

Avatar for kozbisa

First things first -- the description blurb for this book, does it no justice.

Noah and Jude had a connection...since conception. They are twins, who were so different, but understood each other, the spoken and the unspoken. A tragedy occurs which drives a wedge between them, or rather, intensifies the schism that had been developing. They each are keeping secrets and covering up with lies to protect each other, to protect themselves.

This is the story of NoahAndJude, and Noah and Jude. It is told from alternating perspectives, and more interestingly, different ages. Noah tells more of the "before" story. How their relationship was changing before their world was shredded. Jude tells the story from two years "after", where we find out about the fall-out and the resolution.

This book was a beautiful study of love -- love for your siblings, for a man, for a woman, for a grandmother, for a son, for a daughter, for a lover. There are so many different relationships explored, but interestingly enough, the are all interconnected. I loved reading a Noah chapter and then figuring out how it connected to the Jude chapter. It was a delight to put the pieces together. And I shed tears, I cannot lie, I shed tears. I felt sad, mad, happy, disappointed. I caught myself laughing out loud, sighing and even gasping. I found myself highlighting many passages just because the words were put together so beautifully.

I loved it!

Avatar for shannonmiz

shannonmiz 5 of 5 stars
This is a hard book to write a review for. First, the book is emotionally heavy, in a good way. I don’t think this is the kind of book you read if you are looking for action, adventure, or surprises. This is the kind of book you read if you are looking for feelings, emotions, character development and growth, just beauty all around.

Secondly, the stories are all so intertwined, it is hard to fully explain a lot of my feelings without giving anything away. Though I suppose I wasn’t exactly surprised at any of the outcomes, they certainly still left my emotions reeling.

Having two different POVs from two separate time periods was pretty interesting, but it worked. Noah at thirteen and Jude at sixteen were both at their most sympathetic, so it made sense. Both artists in their own ways, they feel things quite strongly. They often act impulsively, and they often act and even think dramatically, but it fits their personalities. I loved them both, and I don’t think I could pick a favorite. I related to Jude more, but she was a sixteen year old girl, and I have been a sixteen year old girl, so it made sense. That didn’t mean that Noah’s story was any less compelling. They each made me laugh, smile, and of course, cry.

The supporting characters were so incredibly fleshed out also. It’s so easy to become immersed in a story when you care about every single person in that story. I could have read a full length book on any one of the characters in this book and been inspired. Their stories were unique and lovely and heartbreakingly real.

The aspect of I’ll Give You the Sun that made it most appealing to me is that in these characters, I think virtually everyone could find something that they connected to: an emotion that they’d felt, a situation that hit close to home, a relationship that needed saving.

Ultimately, this book was about love and loss and family and friendship and life. Just the beauty and the mess that life offers. It’s rare to find a book that makes you reflect so deeply and feel so strongly, and Jandy Nelson has managed to do just that with I’ll Give You the Sun. In a word, it was magnificent.

Avatar for jnikkir

jnikkir 5 of 5 stars
I don't even know if I'm going to be able to write a review for this, it was so incredible. All my feels are spoilery.

I do know this book is beautiful, and important, and so so incredible. Read it.

Avatar for bookish_suz

I'll Give You The Sun, is the first book that I've read by Jandy Nelson and I'm glad that I had the chance to read such an amazing heartfelt, intense, beautifully written young adult novel. I've seen and heard so many bloggers and booktubers saying how much The Sky Is Everywhere is such a great book and I was hoping that this one would be too and I was so not even a little disappointed. The feelings this book gave me is kind of hard to put into words, because this book made me want to be so much better than I am right now, as a human being. It had the power to awaken things inside of me that I hadn't realize were there, made me want to change the things that I could, and made me look at things from a wider much different perspective than the narrower thin one that I usually peer through. When a book makes me feel this much, opens me up so much wider than I was already, I know the author is going on my automatic buy-list because they poured their heart, soul, and all of their passion for being a writer and telling the best story possible that they can, out onto pages and I respect that a great deal.

I'm serious, I had such an idiotic smile on my face when I finished reading this, that I found it hard to let the book go onto the next person, but since I was on an ARC tour I kind of had to. I'll Give You The Sun is an incredibly sad, beautiful, and twisted story that will pull at heart strings a dozen different ways and make you feel things that you never expected you would be feeling. Nelson has created beautifully drawn, original, and complex characters that are realistically flawed and yet have a lot of love and strength coursing through their veins. It's hard not to find them likable or to emotionally connect with me, as they struggle and grapple with their own issues. There's a shining beauty in the lyrical way that this story has been written, the realisms in the ways that two people who can be as close as anyone could ever possibly be, hurting one another in a number of awful ways and how lies can definitely tear apart any relationship and alter lives forever.

I fell in love with one of the most gorgeous and passionate scenes that really elevated my love for this book and the story it told me to me, as I watched through Jude's as she watched her mentor lovingly sculpt for the very first time in his life. That was such a powerfully intense moment in the book and one that made me love it even more. The representation of how life imitates are and art imitates life are inherently represented in this one scene, full of so much love and bursting with so much faith that it just leaps off of the pages at you. I dare anyone to read that scene and not feel something - ANYTHING - because this is what the book is about wrapped up in one small little passage that is truly unforgettable. This is a story full of so much love, lies, betrayal in the worst possible way, treachery, and soaring faithfulness that nowhere else to go, but up. This is a beautiful lesson in life and all of the ways that it can be beautiful and kind and hard and bitter and full of hurt, but at the end of the day there's a faith that rises above everything. There's a simple beauty in letting go and just be happy in yourself, who you're becoming, and evolving from that into a better version of yourself.

A gorgeously compelling and richly developed thought provoking young adult novel that, I'll Give You The Sun, will put a smile on your face and ALL THE FEELS in your heart. This is a book that contains beautiful magical realism that you won't help, but fall in love with. It should definitely be at the top of your Fall Books Wishlist, for sure. I couldn't give this book anything less than five stars, because it deserve that and so much more.