Review: I'll Give You the Sun

12:00 AM Serena 2 Comments

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Format: Hardcover, owned
Rating: 5/5 stars (though I'd give it all the stars ever if I could. That needs to be an option on Goodreads.)
Part of a series? Nope! This is a standalone. 

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.

"Quick, make a wish. Take a (second or third or fourth) chance. Remake the world."

I'm sitting in front of my laptop right now trying to form actual coherent sentences about this book, and it's so difficult because somehow I'll Give You the Sun was everything all at once - fun and emotional and quirky and beautiful and hilarious and profoundly moving. I don't even know where to start, so I guess I'll just start at the beginning. 

The beginning for me was when I read Jandy Nelson's debut, The Sky is Everywhere, last year (because 2014 is officially 'last year', oh my goodness). I fell in love with it, and I knew that I would read everything from this author for the rest of forever. And so a couple months later, when I was properly armed with cash and a B&N gift card, I bought it, and I was hooked from the very first page. 

There's actually a page of quotes before the Official First Page, so I really was hooked right from the start. My favorite is a quote from E. E. Cummings that says: "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." That's a large part of what this book is about right there. 

Noah and Jude are twins, and I'll Give You the Sun is told from both of their points of view. Noah talks about what happened when they were 13/14 and Jude talks about the present. I loved being in both of their heads. They're both such unique characters and narrators that I immediately liked them both. Art is very central in their lives, Noah's most prominently in the beginning because he sees the world in screaming colors and is constantly painting or drawing-on paper and in his mind. Jude is extremely superstitious because of their Grandma Sweetwine, and it's evident in the onions she carries in her pocket, various charms she keeps around, and tons of other little things she believes in. Each is struggling with sexuality in their own right. They're so alike yet so different. 

I adored the cast of secondary characters as well (Oscar and Grandma Sweetwine were my favorites). They are all characters with character, and everyone added something different and important to the story. As Noah's part of the story from three years ago starts to connect to Jude's from the Right Now, everything starts to make sense and you can see exactly how important the characters are to each other. And as everything comes together and the craziness of it all is resolved, you can see how everything that has happened in Noah and Jude's lives have shaped them in to the people they're supposed to be. 

Once again, Jandy Nelson has completely blown me out of the water with her writing style and insane story telling talent. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, and I was basically feeling all the feels. I'll Give You the Sun is a beautiful story about betrayal, love, and siblings who have lost so much but still work together to find themselves and each other again. 


  1. Wonderful review! I gave up on writing one and just posted a short paragraph. :P I couldn't do it justice! It's such a beautifully written story - the words! I wish I was as talented as her.

    1. Why thank you! It's a lot of rambling though haha. It's hard to even try to do such an amazing story justice! She is SO good at words it's insane!