Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Title: I'll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Series: n/a
Publisher: Dial BFYR
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell.

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.

This radiant, fully alive, sometimes very funny novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

(source: Penguin Teen)

This book, you guys! Thisbookthisbookthisboooooook! I am SO in love with this book!!! Never have I read a story that incited such triumphant fist-pumping nor induced such epic teary-eyed blubbering all within the span of a few pages. I am in complete awe of Jandy Nelson's ability to make me feel so much in such a short amount of time and feel so grateful for it. This book was like eating chocolate and drinking a bottle of wine and having a heart-to-heart with your bestie -- all the good and all the bad that comes with that, plus everything in between. I'll Give You the Sun is honest and compelling and exquisite in its exploration of that period where you feel grown up but you're anything but.

Please forgive me if I tend to gush throughout this review. I do have plenty to say that is coherent and relevant to the novel, but I also can't help how this book made me feel. Jandy Nelson's sophomore novel is about love and loss and second chances, and though the themes do sort of echo her debut novel The Sky is Everywhere -- one of my very most favorite books prior to this one -- I'll Give You the Sun is so much more. Allow me to explain.

I'll Give You the Sun is told from the perspectives of Noah and Jude, twins who are as much alike as they are different, though they'd never admit it. BUT. (There's always a but, right?) But, Noah's outlook is told from his viewpoint at age 13-14. Jude's point-of-view, on the other hand, is from present-day, when the twins are both 16. So, the frame of reference here is that while we know something big happened between (and to) the siblings based on Jude's sections in the book, we still don't know exactly what it is, though we can guess from Noah's point-of-view as we continue reading. And Noah has no idea it's coming, though Jude reflects a lot on what could've been. That part of the storyline is intriguing, to say the least. My favorite aspect of this novel was, without a doubt, the role reversal and discovering how it came to pass. But also how everything comes full circle and all is revealed.
     I roll on my side to face him. "So can you believe how weird I've gotten and how normal you've gotten?"
     "It's astounding," he says, which cracks us both up. "Except most of the time," he adds, "I feel like I'm undercover."
     "Me too." I pick up a stick, start digging with it. "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.
     He grins. "Each new self standing on the last one's shoulders until we're these wobbly people poles?"
But I honestly don't really want to get into the story because it's so much better if you have no idea what's about to transpire...or what has transpired, as it were. The writing is insanely gorgeous, evocative, and above all, it feels so genuine and honest. I was hooked from the very first page, as evidenced by my oft tagged copy. (My husband joked that I shouldn't have bothered if I was going to flag the entire book for quotes and passages I loved, but he just doesn't get how heart-rending this story was.)

But the characters -- the characters are what truly make this novel so stunning. Noah is an artist at age 13. He doesn't fit in, not with his peers and not with his family. Noah's just trying to find his place in the world. Jude isn't your typical 16-year-old when we meet her, but she wasn't always like this. She was the one at 13 who knew where she belonged, both within the confines of her home life and outside of it. Something irreparably changed these twins, though. Guillermo...Guillermo is a giant -- but also an artist. And he means more to the story -- and to the twins -- than any of them could have guessed. Oscar is an enigma -- but also an artist of sorts. He, too, is important to the siblings, though neither knows just how important quite yet. Noah and Jude's mother is a patron of the arts, and their father is a scientist. And Brian is a boy of interest to both Noah and Jude, both for very different reasons. What's so fascinating about this novel is how the author manages to not only make Noah and Jude so multi-faceted, but all of her secondary characters are just as fleshed-out: each is just as captivating as the character we met right before them.

As I said, this novel is told from both Jude and Noah's perspectives, and I also mentioned that it's not your typical dual point-of-view narrative. There aren't really chapters in this book, only massive sections dedicated to either Noah's or Jude's viewpoint. I didn't mind this at all, but it did make it hard to find a stopping point when necessary. Not that I ever wanted to stop reading it, mind you, but real life does require that I stop reading in order to go to work or feed the family. You know how it is. :)

I'll Give You the Sun is intense but also intensely satisfying. It's emotionally charged but also realistic. It's word porn but it's also thought-provoking. It's everything I hoped the next Jandy Nelson book would be and then some. I'm not sure I can ever adequately describe just how much I loved this story, but I think you get the point, at least. If this book wasn't already on your radar, it should be now. And I wholeheartedly suggest you check out The Sky is Everywhere if you haven't already. Jandy Nelson has a tendency to craft these immensely poignant stories that stay with you, and you'd be depriving yourself of a beautiful story if you didn't give either of her books a chance.

(source: Penguin Teen)

My stop on the blog tour is September 23rd! Be sure to stop back by for more from Jandy Nelson plus a giveaway!

GIF it to me straight:

(but more like a million!)

About the author:

Jandy Nelson, like her characters in I'll Give You the Sun, comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks on wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her debut novel, The Sky is Everywhere, was on multiple Best Books of the Year lists, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, earned numerous starred reviews, and was named both a Publishers Weekly Flying Start and an Indie Next List Top Ten Pick. A former literary agent, she holds a BA from Cornell, an MFA in poetry from Brown, and another MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She now lives and writes in San Francisco, California—not far from the settings of her books.

Find Jandy:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


  1. I can't wait to read this one. I might go audio on it. Just because that's how I did the sky is everywhere in audio.

    So glad you loved this one!!! I'm even more excited now. ☺

  2. I'm really looking forward to this book. I've heard great things about The Sky Is Everywhere and a lot of people are looking forward to this book. It has an interesting premise with the two siblings that are now estranged due to an event that neither one fully knows the situation completely. I love stories with big family aspects and multiple point of views. I'm glad you loved it. :) I think I will too.

  3. I honestly don't know how I'm going to review this book. The words aren't coming to me. How can I do it justice or even describe how amazing it is? You did a fantastic job, though, and I agree completely! The way the story is told is one of my favorite parts, and I love how different Jude and Noah's voices are. Very distinct personalities. My heart was aching for them and I was so anxious for their relationship to mend itself.

  4. I have an ARC from BEA. I seriously want to pick it up now.

  5. Absolutely NEED to read this after THAT review. <3


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...