I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

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.

Song For This Book: Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles


I had really high hopes for this book. It came highly recommended from friends, and there’s a lot of love in the online book community for this one. Add that to the fact that the paperback cover is absolutely beautiful, and I couldn’t resist when I first saw this book in Indigo.

Maybe it was because of the high expectations I had for this book, but it just wasn’t as good as I had been hoping. Not that I didn’t like it, but it just wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. Isn’t it always the way when books are hyped up like crazy?

There weren’t too many unique elements to this story: family drama, relationships, secrets and lies, and coming of age. It’s the way that they’re put together that makes this book what it is. It wouldn’t surprise me if this book made its way into the classics category someday in the future, or became common in the English curriculum.

The Good Points of I’ll Give You The Sun:

The writing for this book is beautiful. Sometimes when you get very descriptive, pretty writing, it can take away from the story or be difficult to read, but not in this case. It was a little tricky to get into at the beginning, perhaps just because I had been reading much more plain writing previously, but it was fantastic once you got going.

This book is written in two separate points of view, each taking place at a different period of time. This could have been terrible, but it worked so well for this story, and gives you an interesting insight into everything that is happening in the story.

The way that the story comes together in the end is so wonderful, and gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling. I won’t say more than this about it.

The characters are well developed, and very relatable. Jude and Noah could be your friends from school or your next door neighbours. They’ve got well thought out flaws, strengths, interests and thought processes. As a book that’s character driven, this is how it should be, but Nelson created something incredible with Noah and Jude.

The Downsides of I’ll Give You The Sun:

This book was so slow to start. All of the stuff at the beginning was important to the story, but most of it was dull and boring to read. I probably would have given up on it, if not for the high praise this book had received. It does pick up, but not until about half way through.

Chapters are divided up by who’s part of the story is being told, and continues until the points of view switch. This means that some chapters are incredibly long. This may not be an issue for you, but if you don’t like stopping in the middle of chapters, you might find this irritating.

There is less of a plot to this book, and more of a series of events and understandings. Perhaps a fitting analogy considering the characters of this book being artists, but it’s less of a story, and more of a work of art.

All in all, it’s not a bad book. It’s not the greatest thing I’ve ever read, but I enjoyed it well enough, and I’m definitely glad that I stuck it out and finished it.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

8 thoughts on “I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

  1. Great review! In my case though I really enjoyed this book and it’s one of my favorites. I love Noah and Jude so much, but it’s still great to see some points that I might over-looked about the book and the writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll Give You the Sun is on my list of books I’d like to read, especially since I haven’t read any Jandy Nelson books yet and want to. One of the wonders of literature is how different people can have varying responses to the same book.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. I think my favorite part I was the way each of the twins had a totally different way of expressing how they were feeling, whether through art or Grandma’s superstitious recipes. I thought it was really unique.

        Liked by 1 person

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