I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Title: I'll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Source: BEA

Summary from Goodreads:
Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and 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 divisive ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. 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.


I'll Give You the Sun was absolutely unexpected and absolutely lovely.

First and foremost, I loved the way this story was told. The chapter’s alternate between past and present, but the past is told from Noah’s POV and the present is told from Jude’s POV, with a tragedy spanning the gap that changed everything. In the past, Noah and Jude were really close, with Noah being the shy, ‘different’ one, and Jude being the outgoing, popular one. However, in the present, Noah and Jude are barely speaking, and Noah is now the ‘normal’ one and Jude is the introverted outcast. From Noah’s POV, readers learn of the events leading up to the tragedy and come to understand why Noah made such a dramatic transformation. From Jude’s POV, readers slowly discover the truth surrounding the tragedy and why Jude hides inside herself. Each story was full of so much raw emotion and my heart when out to both Noah and Jude. It was a roller coaster of hurt and heartbreak but fortunately ended in a wonderful place. I thought the ending was as perfect as can be.

Another thing I loved about this story was the creative, artistic feel that radiated from its pages. Both Noah and Jude are talented artists and the way in which they expressed themselves through their art had a big focus in this story. In part because of the time gap, and in part because of their distinct personalities, their art was very different. Noah’s paintings were filled with happiness and light and love and used bright colors and bold concepts, whereas Jude’s present day sculptures were severe and dramatic and made with a certain desperation. I loved the passion and emotion that each twin put into their work and how it consumed them.

As much as this book was filled with sadness, it was also filled with love. Noah experiences his first love with the boy next door, and it’s confusing and scary and innocent. Meanwhile, Jude feels a connection with a mysterious and damaged stranger and he is everything she promised herself she would stay away from. Then there is the ghost of her dead grandmother that provides comfort and companionship for Jude. And the talented artist who Jude wants to mentor her who hasn’t been the same since he lost a loved one. There is so much going on that these characters are weighed down by. It made them all the more real and yet they still held this sort of untouchable persona.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started I’ll Give You The Sun, but it was everything I didn’t know I wanted. I haven't read Jandy Nelson's first book (yet) so I cannot compare but this one was beautiful, moving, whimsical and unique. I loved it and I recommend it without reservation.
"'Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people.' I say. 'Maybe we're accumulating these new selves all the time.' Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things.' - pg 354
Copyright © 2014 The Quiet Concert
Template and Design by New Chapter Designs