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

Title:  I’ll Give You the Sun
Author:  Jandy Nelson
Series:  None
Publisher:  Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin
Publication Date:  September 16, 2014
Pages:  371
Format/Source:  ARC/From publisher, via BEA
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Contemporary, LGBT

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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

Let the Fangirling Commence…

It’s been a while since I fangirled, hasn’t it?  I think it’s been at least since my review of The Search for WondLa, which was back in April.  I mean, not much can come close to the level of fangirling I did for WondLa (my heart will always belong to awesome sci-fi books with fantastic twists), but I definitely loved I’ll Give You the Sun, and it is probably my second favorite read of the year (with The Search for WondLa being #1).

So let’s get to the fangirling shall we?  I haven’t read anything else by Jandy Nelson but if her other books are half as good as this one, I need to read them and own them immediately.  This was one of the first books in a long time where I absolutely adored the main characters.  I like a lot of main characters, sure, but often I find myself really loving the secondary characters even more.  But with I’ll Give You the Sun, Noah and Jude were definitely my favorites.  I loved the descriptions of Noah’s art, and I NEED to see that portrait of Brian.  I also loved Jude’s quirkiness with her grandmother’s “bible” and the ghost of her grandmother!

And this book is just really great at conveying what it feels like to be artistic, or even just different.  It also wonderfully conveys how much people change in those early teen years, and it just beautifully describes all the aspects of being a teenager, from the hormones to the amazing and horrible state that is your first love, from trying to fit in to trying to cope with loss and rejection, from feeling those first moments of freedom and almost-adulthood to navigating the torrential downpour that is responsibility and adulthood.  And also that time when your parents are still your heroes, but you you actually start to see them as human beings, flaws and all.  It’s just beautifully written and speaks on so many levels.

Great Quotes…

Speaking of that beautiful writing, I have to share some of my favorite quotes from I’ll Give You the Sun:*

“This is what I want: I want to grab my brother’s hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.”
“Meeting your soul mate is like walking into a house you’ve been in before–you will recognize the furniture, the pictures on the wall, the books on the shelves, the contents of the drawers: You could find your way around in the dark if you had to.”
“People die, I think, but your relationship with them doesn’t. It continues and is ever-changing.”
My rating for I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, as if it isn’t already apparent:
5 huge stars.  I laughed, I teared up, and I was continually amazed at how Nelson used her craft to beautifully interpret the complexity of these characters and their story.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Penguin
You may also enjoy:  Eleanor & ParkJellicoe Road

*All quotes are from the ARC.  They may be different in the finalized version.

Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from the publisher, via Book Expo America, in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.


  1. Brandi Kosiner

    October 9, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Beautifully written and powerful are right up my alley… need to put on wishlist

  2. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    October 12, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I'll get to this one, some day! But it helps to know you loved it. ;)

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