I'll Give You the Sun

I'll Give You the Sun

Book - 2014
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karyn8787
Jul 28, 2020

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is the quintessential YA realistic fiction novel. With that said, I did still enjoy reading this book. I’ll Give You the Sun follows the life of twins: Jude and Noah. The story is told from both of their perspectives with Noah telling the earlier years and Jude the later. In the beginning, Jude and Noah are attached at the hip. Their relationship exemplifies the classic cliche: Jude is outgoing and gutsy and Noah is shy yet incredibly artistic. Without giving too much of the plot away, a series of life altering events devastate their lives. Through a series of twists and turns, the novel explores a number of themes applicable to the lives of many teenagers.
I’ll Give You the Sun is a beautifully written coming of age story. One of my favorite parts of the novel was how the narration was split between Noah and Jude. While they experience similar life events, their perspectives on these events are so different yet you are able to sympathize with both sides. It allows you to realize ulterior motives, the unsaid thoughts in their minds, the reason why they act the way they act. However, Nelson will occasionally lean too much into the YA, coming of age cliches making the novel seem far from realistic and many of the metaphors, especially from Noah, get irritating at times. Nevertheless, the story Nelson presents is beautiful, compelling, complex, and most definitely will tug at your heartstrings.

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creativegirly123
Apr 01, 2020

The first book about twins I've read.
I love the complexity and simplicity of the connections throughout the book.
This goes to show that if you have a different point of view from someone, doesn't mean you are wrong.
One of my favorite books.
A must-read to everyone. 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 . . . the rest is for you to find out! A novel similar to this one is The Sky is Everywhere.

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mm_vega
Nov 27, 2019

This book is unlike everything I've ever read. All books affect you differently - but this one is definitely something special. So, so beautiful and concise. It's very transformative in terms of how you view family relationships and growing up. I highly, highly recommed at least giving it a try.

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Ana_Becerra
Jul 07, 2019

Writing quality was so poor compared to everything else I was reading that I just had to put it down. From what I've heard the story is beautiful but I just could not get over the rubbish writing.

JCLTiffanyR Apr 19, 2019

I was wowed by this book and it's landed a firm spot on my top ten best books of all time list! Nelson's prose is vivid and lyrical. I found myself sucked into the story of Noah and Jude, fraternal twins and gifted artists. Their story of estrangement and familial dysfunction seeped into my soul as I grew to truly care for the twins and their struggles, like they were part of my own family. I'll Give You the Sun is one of the best depictions of what it must be like to have an artist's soul that I've ever experienced, written by one of the most talented authors I've ever come across. Those that say YA is lowbrow haven't read I'll Give You the Sun.

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nayoh
Mar 29, 2019

Really beautifully written. The main characters are teenagers but I read it as an adult and could still absolutely relate to it.

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Diane05
Jan 29, 2019

This book is simply amazing. It captures the feelings of the characters very well, and though a lot of people complain that Nelson uses too many metaphors in this book, I don’t mind them at all. I actually really like them. Brian and Noah’s relationship is very cute, though heart wrenching in some scenes. The change of personality over the years with Noah and Jude is very interesting, and the crossovers as well. I loved this book and I really recommend it.

OPL_MichelleC Jan 16, 2019

Enthralling and beautiful. Recommend to realistic fiction fans.

liljables Jan 03, 2019

This book was an absolute pleasure. I don't have a twin, but my brother and I are only 11 months apart, so I found Noah and Jude's relationship - the ups and the downs - vividly familiar. I really enjoyed the narrative style, going back in forth both in time and between the two characters. Noah and Jude feel like real teenagers, and their voices are beautifully written.

Bonus: as an adult reader, I was seriously vibing on Guillermo - hubba hubba.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Nov 21, 2018

A book I would recommend to all looking for a captivating and quick story, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson follows twin teen siblings Noah and Jude Sweetwine as they tell two different stories of their life from ages 13-16. Although they were incredibly close at age 13, a story told from Noah’s point of view, a sibling-rivalry and the struggle to accept each twin as a changing person happens to tear them apart by age 16, a story from Jude’s point of view. In a battle of their own, Noah and Jude unfortunately lose themselves, and in turn, the person they used to be, and the people they had surrounding them. The main takeaway from this story would be, in my opinion and interpretation, the importance of communication and togetherness even when situations are dire and times are changing. Noah and Jude both constantly fought for the attention of their mother, Diana Sweetwine, constantly trying to please her in their art and affection, which was one of the largest factors in the separation of the twins. In a series of miscommunications, Noah begins to unravel secrets about his mother unbeknownst to Jude, which Jude does not find out until years later, where she is actually involved with what Noah kept secret, again, without knowing. Until the twins were able to speak, at 16 years old, after years of kept secrets and betrayal, they finally began to piece together what was made of their lives, and how all of their interesting secrets were exposed right in front of their eyes. I believe the overall moral of the story is to stay truthful to both yourself and others equally, exemplified in the lack of communication between the Sweetwine family and the people they become involved in. The book is a mess of miscommunications, past and present tales, slowburn, and self-discovery, yet makes the most satisfying read when everything makes its way back to each other, eventually, in one way or another. 5/5 stars
@readingmouse of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

I’ll Give You the Sun is a beautifully written book. It is narrated alternately by twins named Noah and Jude. Noah talks when they’re younger, and Jude when they’re a bit older. After an unfortunate series of events, the twins drift apart and go through a journey of reconnection. They’re both artists; Noah draws and Jude sculpts and designs clothing. I loved it because every character is complex and has a backstory that is gradually revealed. All the characters evolve and grow during the course of the book.The author did a great job by not laying it all out at once, but instead leaving readers looking for more. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone ages 12+. I think it has something for most. For me, the main takeaway was that life happens, and you can’t avoid it. It’s better to deal with your problems head on. 5 stars
@PennyFields of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

I loved the structure of this book and how it switched between two perspectives, but not jarringly so. I really liked the writing style of this book as well and it made reading the reading experience more vivid and enjoyable. The wording for some parts seems as though it could not be more perfect and fitting for the story and was overall very satisfying. I loved how complex the characters were, even the ones who weren’t main ones. Everyone had something especially distinct about them it was like their essence was jumping off the page whenever they were present in the story. I also enjoyed would have to piece different perspectives of the story together to get the whole picture
@ClockworkReader of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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violet_giraffe_901
Nov 02, 2018

The danger of secrets. WOW, that's all I could summarize it to. One of the most sacred bond-twins, are broken over apparently selfishness. However these act of selfishness also have a sacrificial element to it. They all done horrible things, some may say Jude is more evil, while Noah is... however, at the end, they both lie to protect their family hanging on a string. I find the parents somewhat responsible. The mom seems semi-neglectful/abusive. As with any sibling, they always think their parents love them less. As with story from different perspective, the truth tend to get muddled. But, I believe the mom overlooked Jude, abandoned her, and slut-shamed her own daughter. The dad isn't much better, constantly belittle his son for not being manly enough, shown strong favorite toward Jude etc. the family relation is just WOW

I have mixed emotions about the dead grandma ghost. On one hand is a nice way to add conversations and descriptions, but it doesn't seem very healthy. Both of the kids complete 180 flop also seems overly dramatic. This is one of those book with a kinda complete plot with mini links in there.(it actually reminded me of the Great Expectation with its wide range of time and people) the author do somewhat overuse metaphor, this led to some confusion and sometimes does the opposite making the things described seems unrealistic

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the_axolotl
Oct 21, 2018

No other author has been able to capture angst, change, and heartbreak so well.

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WoodneathReads
Oct 14, 2018

“I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.” If I HAD to pick a favorite book of all time, this would be it!! Jandy Nelson has a writing-style that is distinctly her own, I was captivated from the very first page. This is a story about Noah and June, who are twins. Anytime a chapter is from Jude's point of view, she is narrating in the present-day (the twins are 16 years old). If a chapter is in Noah's point of view, you get to go back in time and see the twins at age 13. By the end of the story, you understand why/how certain events in the twins lives impact one another in a very profound way. This is a story of siblings, love, loss, forgiveness, growing up, growing apart, and finding yourself. --Alexa (see more of my picks by following WoodneathAlexa)

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graceemerritt
Aug 22, 2018

I absolutely love this book. I bought it after I read it. It takes some time to develop, but I was never really bored. Those who don't like this novel, are saying it's "too lovey-dovey etc" but it's a romance novel, what do you expect? This book expanded my love for art and my appreciation for love so much more. It made me cry, it made me laugh, and it made me realize what beauty there is in our everyday relationships. Great read, I really do recommend at least trying to read it; its not everyone's type.

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WoodneathAlexa
Jul 14, 2018

“I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.”
If I HAD to pick a favorite book of all time, this would be it!! Jandy Nelson has a writing-style that is distinctly her own, I was captivated from the very first page. This is a story about Noah and June, who are twins. Anytime a chapter is from Jude's point of view, she is narrating in the present-day (the twins are 16 years old). If a chapter is in Noah's point of view, you get to go back in time and see the twins at age 13. By the end of the story, you understand why/how certain events in the twins lives impact one another in a very profound way.
This is a story of siblings, love, loss, forgiveness, growing up, growing apart, and finding yourself.

m
molly_helena
May 11, 2018

this book was absolutely amazing. I bought it thinking it would be light vacation reading but boy was I wrong. After finishing it in two days, I had a new understanding about sibling relationships. the book does a fantastic job of tackling the issue of homosexuality and the difficulties of coming out, as well as the ups and downs of having a sibling. you repeatedly find yourself rooting for every main character you meet and fully invest yourself in every story line. I would recommend this book to any young adult who is looking for a meaningful and deep read.

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ErikaCh
May 01, 2018

The book is a bit slow at the beginning. But once you got into it, my oh my, the characters are so will portraited and their emotions are so sophisticately described. Jude and Noah are such lovely twin siblings.

The story tells us to be true to yourself, and probably don't bear faults that don't belong to you. But who didn't been through this when in their juvenile years, sadly those "sad" episodes are also essential for one to grow and to appreciate. The loves between Noah and Brian, Jude and Oscar are so romantic and just make people "Awww" all the way.

JCLSamanthaC Apr 20, 2018

Reading this story is like eating one of the doughnuts described in it. Every bite is amazing. The complex characters come to life full of flaws making them easy to relate to and identify with as you walk through the vivid world, images and relationships Jandy Nelson paints with amazing skill.

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_Evie_
Feb 07, 2018

Okay, so I enjoyed this book. It was very gripping. However, I agree that a lot of the writing was pretty bad. Also, if you're looking for a Fault In Our Stars-esque romance-cry-your-eyes-out thing... meh? It was veeery trudgy and I found it just very hard to get through. I did cry, though. It just wasn't exactly my taste, but I'm sure a lot of people find it very wonderful :)

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manjari825
Jan 23, 2018

I dislike this book so much. This is the first book I'd read from the author so I wasn't a fan of her style. I also didn't like either of the characters. I didn't like Jude. I didn't like the "plot". I didn't feel like this had a plot either. Also, I hate how books always focus on "oh everyone always needs a significant other to be happy". I'm sorry but these are teens! Teens don't need to be in relationships to be happy!

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tavia708
Nov 03, 2017

I first read this book after checking it out from the library. I immediately fell deeply in love with it. The way its written, the characters, the story line, just everything. I found it at the bookstore when I was there with my friend, and i bought it right then. Every time I read it I forget how good it is, and I fall back in love. Its the story of two twins, Noah and Jude, told from two different times (Noah wen they're 13-14, and Jude when they're 16), and the stories weave together in an amazing way. You find something out in one part, and all of a sudden something that happened in the other part makes so much sense. Its beautiful. I would HIGHLY recommend this book.

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SvenjaB
Jul 03, 2017

Book Review:
This book is a book that everyone can fall in love with. It's full of heart-break, love, sadness, happiness and emotion. My friend recommended this book to me, and once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down! It's amazing to see both sides of one story, by two different people. If you are a person with a sibling(s), it's even easier to connect with the story. I myself have two brothers, and "I'll give you the sun" really does show how much siblings care for each other no matter what. I would recommend this book to everyone I know, if I could. Read it! It's worth it!
-Svenja

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jmli
Jul 03, 2017

DNF @ 100 pages.
I totally understand how many other readers would fall for this book. It's full of emotion, great characterization, and an interesting plot, but there were so many things about it that I just can't stand.
First of all, I hated Jude. From the very beginning, I had a bad feeling about her. She's basic, mean, and always revealing an envious side to her personality. Both twins were rather jealous of the other, but Jude practically radiated waves of envy.
To me, it just seemed that Jude was this extremely petty and overreactive teenager who kissed guys as a hobby.
On the other hand, I loved Noah. He was so dedicated to the artwork he created, and when he was rejected by CSA, I was absolutely devastated. His father expected him to be a "man" and not have to be protected by his sister, but I loved him just the way he was.
Overall, my biggest problem was the distracting metaphorical language. Honestly, I don't want to read about hornets or different-colored barf for half a chapter. Can't we just get on with the plot?
My patience with Jude and the entire story was just dwindling as the chapters dragged on. I think that if I continued, the book may have improved a lot for me, and my thoughts could've been different, but it was just too late. I really was disappointed.

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Uglybug
Jun 21, 2017

If you start this book and find it a bit tough, the language somewhat exhausting, I recommend sticking with it until at least until the 35% mark (I read it on my kindle). For me, that's about when I got invested in the story and the characters, and the language got less self-consciously "creative" to the point of distraction. I agree with some of the other reviewers that several of the characters never seem quite real, but it's still a good read.

ArapahoeTiegan Jun 07, 2017

A very beautiful story about grief and how different people handle it, but how everyone has their secrets. The Sweetwine family kept holding on to their secrets after a family tragedy, and those secrets made them all separate islands in their lives, unable to talk to each other. It takes quite a number of coincidences for the secrets to be revealed to allow the family to begin to heal. I must say every time Noah's section ended, I wasn't ready. Then, I would get into Jude's stories and I wouldn't be ready for them to end, either. I was hesitant about the style, especially with the time differences between the character's sections, but it actually worked beautifully to slowly reveal all the secrets.


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