Title: I’ll Give You the Sun

Author: Jandy Nelson ♥ @jandynelson

Expected publication:
September 16, 2014

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

Pages: 384

Genres: Young Adult ♥ Contemp ♥ Realistic Fiction ♥ GLBT ♥ Coming of Age

Source: publisher

Summary from Goodreads: A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant, fully alive, sometimes very funny novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 09/08/2014): 4.25

Christina loved The Sky is Everywhere.
You can find her review here.

  • Christina thought this title was amazing and everything she wanted it to be. It goes on her TOP SHELF!

**SPECIAL NOTE:** An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition (that you should totally purchase when it’s available!).

♥ Quick thoughts and Rating:
5 stars!
I’ll Give You the Sun was everything I love about Jandy Nelson’s work- the best characters, gorgeous prose, and so much heart. Ms. Nelson is in a class all her own, and when you have the chance to meet Noah and Jude (and Oscar, Guillermo, and Brian), you should do so immediately. I dare you not to fall in love with this book and the gorgeous story that this author has given us.

Also? Perfect title is perfect.

The Lowdown: I’ll Give You the Sun is told in alternating points of view on different timelines narrated by twins, Noah and Jude.

In Noah’s narrative, we learn that the twins are thirteen. Noah is more reclusive and a tad quirky. He’s crazy passionate about art and really focused on getting into California School of Art where he can breathe colors and amazing imagery into the world. Quite his opposite, Jude is the girl everyone wants to be around. She lights up the room with ease and people are naturally drawn to her. But these twins have a strong bond, mostly inseparable, until their jealousy of one another rears its ugly head. But then these two start to drift because Jude is turning into that girl and Noah’s met the boy next door that makes his heart do weird things in his chest.

Jump three years and a chapter and we find Jude’s narrative, one where so much more than their age has changed. For reasons unbeknownst to us, Jude is struggling in CSA and is a mere shadow of her former self, purposely hiding herself behind layers of dark clothes and always talking to her dead grandmother. More astounding than her change is the difference in Noah. He doesn’t do art anymore, not a single drawing or sketch or painting. Instead, he’s playing sports, going to public school, and dating girls. However, the biggest dissimilarity from the Noah’s POV is that the twins no longer talk at all. There’s a rift between them that’s too large and they obviously don’t know how to navigate the great divide to start to patch up their relationship.

Then a crazy sculptor comes into the picture, and he starts everyone down this unbelievable path that leads to all the truths coming to the forefront. And when there isn’t a shred of lies or betrayals left to keep them apart, then they are able to start the journey to healing.

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.
~quote taken from an ARC of I’ll Give You the Sun, pg. 365

My Thoughts: Let me just preface this by saying that there is no amount of flailing or any attempt at a review that I could write next that will ever come close to doing this novel justice, so just trust me when I say that it’s a book that you need to read at least once. With that said, let me also just go ahead and apologize for all the rambling you’re going to see below.

Undoubtedly, the soul of Nelson’s work breathes in her characterizations and the way she can so easily manipulate the reader’s emotions with her gorgeous prose, which is nothing short of stunning. Her imagery and characters come to life on every page and, as a reader, it’s truly difficult not to get completely immersed in her storyline because of it. Honestly, you’ll probably feel just as much a part of the tale as her characters. And, goodness, Jandy writes amazing characters. They’re so multifaceted and flawed and capture the perfect vulnerability of humankind at any age. But mostly, she writes characters that are relatable, ones that we feel for and want to cheer for, and eventually learn to love. But, for me, the biggest testament of a talented author, especially in contemporaries where the creativity of the plot is mostly limited, it’s a writer’s ability to make me feel something that lets me know how good they are at their job. I don’t think I stopped feeling– happy, hurt, betrayed, giddy, sad, burdened, disappointed, relieved, and pure love– from the beginning of I’ll Give You the Sun until days after I had turned the last page. This book is more than a book about sibling rivalries and their subsequent betrayals and then reclaimed love or a parent’s failure or lost and found dreams or lessons learned. It’s all of those things and so much more.

Rec It? Yes. Yes. Absolutely yes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Jandy Nelson is an author whose work I’ll read regardless of genre simply because she’s the author. Her work never fails to crawl inside my heart and live there. But regardless of that, this is a book that I truly think will touch everyone, no matter the age or gender, on some (or all) levels.

I don’t really have words to sum up this book in a neat and tidy box. However, I will say that Jandy Nelson writes the kind of stories where the prose carves across your bones and the the characters etch their way into your heart, and you ultimately find yourself carrying the book in your head long after you’ve closed the cover and put it away. I loved this, and I can’t see how you won’t fall in love with it, too.

A very special thanks to Dial Books for Young Readers, specifically Lindsay B., publicist from Penguin, for providing me with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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