Monday, August 22, 2016

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

I'll Give You the Sun 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.

(Summary from GoodReads)

Jandy Nelson is a YA author who people absolutely worship, and I understand why.  I read The Sky Is Everywhere in March of this 2014 and love love LOVED it.  When I was approved to read an e-galley of I’ll Give You the Sun, I was pumped. Although I almost wound up DNFing it about 100 pages in, I was very impressed with how this book was plotted, and was ultimately glad that I read it.

I absolutely loved the poetic language and the literal poems that filled The Sky Is Everywhere.  Jandy Nelson's writing is beautiful, but here there are times to me here when it felt overwrought. Some of the metaphors and imagery were too much for me.  To me it felt like a somewhat experimental writing style, though that may not be the right word.

There is a lot going on in this book. It takes readers a while to get into this one, and I think it’s because we’re reading from two different perspectives and timelines. Noah and Jude, are twins, but Noah’s perspective comes from age 13, and Jude’s comes from age 16.  Noah discovering his sexuality and Jude is struggling with art school and life in general.  Much like with Nelson’s debut, family is one of the most important components of this story, and that is ultimately what made it so strong.  Nelson has an astounding knack for showing how interconnected people are.

Although I had some issues with I’ll Give You the Sun when I first read it, I still think that overall, this is a stunning novel.  I wonder if this book would be a good fit for me over audiobook, I could imagine the story and the metaphors flowing well when spoken out loud.  Seeing what Nelson has done for I’ll Give You the Sun makes me very curious as to what future novels from her will look like.

Disclosure: I received an electronic galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review, and later purchased a hardcover. 


  1. I can't wait to see what else she comes up with either. It took me a minute to get into this book as well, but once I hit that magic point, I was ALL in. I could see how the writing wouldn't be a perfect fit for everyone though. I think it's superhuman though :)

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  3. This is one of those books I wish were so much longer because I didn't want to give up these characters. I hope someday Nelson gives us a glimpse into their lives again, but even if she doesn't, I know she is an author I'll need to keep reading. This one blew me away.

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