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

Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Dial
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 384 (ARC)
Source: BEA 2014
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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Warning: This book is so perfect and beautiful and full of awesome and amazing feels that this review may not be coherent. At all. Seriously.

I have a confession...I have never read a novel by Jandy Nelson before this one. For a while I simply wasn't a contemporary fan. When you look at it in retrospect, you'll see that my love of contemporary really only emerged in the last year or two. Rest assured after reading this gorgeous gem, I'll be reading THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE as soon as possible. I'll kick myself if I don't.

Noah and Jude are weird yet perfect twins. There's no other way to describe them. Noah's chapters are in the past when he was the perfect artist at age thirteen. Him and Jude were very different but incredibly close. Fast forward three years and you find Jude's chapters. Noah had lost what it meant to be Noah and Jude lost herself along the way, instead living in fear of everything and focusing on the insanity that was her grandmother's entertaining made up bible. Seriously, guys, I'll never look at oranges the same way again because of Jude. At this point in time, her and Noah have drifted apart and they're two completely different people that are shockingly dissimilar to their past selves. Through a series of self-discovery, coincidences, and perhaps even fate, they unwittingly rediscover themselves and learn about the chaos that broke apart their family while realizing it may not be too late to piece their shattered lives back together. 

Noah and Jude's story isn't a single story. It's the culmination of several different stories found in a single novel. Truly, this book can only be described as a roller-coaster of despair. But through it all there is a shining beacon of hope that truly displays itself in the end of the novel and you can't help but be wowed. For such a convoluted, tumultuous novel, you can't help but smile, and that honestly says something about the author.

Nelson's writing is so vivid and beautiful that words cannot even begin to describe the emotions she evoked from me. I think that her prose was more evident in Noah's chapters since he is the most wonderfully eccentric blow-in I have ever come across, though the way she wielded words was evident in Jude's chapters as well. Both of them are written so differently that it's hard to wrap your head around the fact that this is one author blowing your mind with her descriptions and quirky yet devastating characters over and over again. 

This book can also be described as an unlikely romance. Both relationships are rocky roads, but they both have the potential to lead somewhere amazing. With Noah being very eccentric and gay, his love interest is seriously out of this world and perfect. And with Jude being closed-off and weird, you know it's going to take a cocky bad boy to get her out of her shell. Both Brian and Oscar are deliciously complex characters that can rival Jude and Noah's insane lives, which is what makes them perfect as well. OSCORE *smashes keyboard* WE NEED MORE OSCORE. Just read the book and you'll understand.

With perhaps the strongest cast of characters I have come across to date, I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN is a novel about passion, first love, discovering oneself, and learning to forgive. It is full of hope and strength, struggle and despair, and coming to terms with who you are. It is full of love and beautiful prose, metaphors that will take your breath away, and a plot line that can rival the best of them. I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN is powerful and Jandy Nelson is a literary goddess.

5 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for an honest review.

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