Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You the Sun
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Hardcover, 371 pages, Dial Books
Genres: YA, LGBT, Contemporary

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

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude 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 dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. 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 novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

My Review

Siblings. They love each other, but 99.9% of the time, they’re at each other’s throats. Jude and Noah are no different.

Okay, so it was nice to see a sibling relationship that wasn’t all cute hair ruffles and hugs and butterflies, because we all know life isn’t really like that. However, there just didn’t seem to be enough brother-sister interaction in this book, despite the book’s focus being on a twinship. (A twin relationship, get it?)

The book starts out introducing Noah, a shy, introverted, creative boy who just so happens to like boys. And, while he was adorable and awkward and all that I secretly want to read about when it comes to dorky boys trying to figure their lives out, his inner monologue was a little chaotic and random at times. Actually, both narrators’ inner dialogue was just weird. It was almost like the author was trying too hard to be artistic and smarmy. Kind of like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars had two characters who seemed waaaaaay too mature and sophisticated. Noah, as a thirteen-year-old, was wise and creative beyond his years. And while this is entirely possible in real life, it’s just not probable. I don’t mind smart narrators, in fact, I prefer them, I just don’t want to feel like I have to wade through a million metaphors and fancy descriptions before I get to the actual story.

Noah’s chapters in this dual POV book still had me binge-reading though, despite the smarm. I loved his interactions with a certain love interest someone, and I also thought his relationships with his mother and father were both sad and entirely relatable. Now Jude on the other hand, I just couldn’t find myself liking her point-of-view. Probably because her scenes go three years into the future, so now she’s a sixteen-year-old girl and I feel like she should be less dramatic. Yes, high school kids are dramatic, but considering how advanced and sophisticated Jude was supposed to be, her dialogue just came off all wrong.

I probably sound like I’m completely bashing this book, but it’s not like that at all. I actually read this thing in less than a day. It was a beautiful book with a great storyline about loss and redemption, but some of the character’s thoughts and actions were just a little too weird for me at times. I also really, really, REALLY wished there had been more to the story. It ended so freakin’ fast! I feel like I should have gotten an extra chapter in Noah’s perspective in the present time. Or even one in the past. Jandy, please, give me something!

Oh, but I have to mention, I don’t approve of Jude’s romantic relationship with a certain someone. Jandy barely touched on the reason these two should wait to get together, but she ended up throwing that entire conversation out the window. Ugh!

All in all, this book has a message. Is the message one I would recommend for every reader? No. If you liked The Fault in Our Stars, or even any other sad book with mentally-advanced characters, I would say go for it. If you didn’t like The Fault in Our Stars, don’t worry. You can like this book, you just have to know going in that you’re probably not going to understand all the references to famous artists and whatnot.

*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself. This in no way affected my opinion/review.


  1. I'm glad you liked this one! I ended up really liking it too. I definitely want to check out The Sky is Everywhere.
    Krystianna Downright Dystopian

    1. Yeah, it was pretty good. I had a few little issues, but I enjoyed it overall. And I definitely agree that TSiE needs to be read by both of us. :)


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