I’ll Give You the Sun

I’ll Give You the Sun

I'll Give You the Sun

by Jandy Nelson

Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: September 16th, 2014
by Dial




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 elseβ€”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.


I’ll Give You the Sun is both emotionally moving and beautifully written; filled with complexity and a variety of different layers not often seen used in the young adult genre. It touches upon so many different topics and won’t leave your thoughts for days once you’ve finished it.

If one twin is cut, the other will bleed.

13-year-old twins Jude and Noah are as close as any two people can be. They know each other inside and out; and are attached at the hip.

Fast forward three years, and, now sixteen years old, the twins are now barely speaking. What happened that set such formally inseparable people apart?

The writing is absolutely top-notch. Split into dual perspectives between Noah and Jude, Noah tells his side of the story when he’s 13, as and Jude spills her thoughts when she’s 16. As you piece the narratives together, you start to realize that neither twin has the whole story – and that maybe their anger at one another isn’t as justified as they originally believed.

The characters are the true strength here. They all have so much complexity and depth to them that it’s impossible not to see them as real people. Each character has their own motivations and distinct personalities, and it’s fantastic. My favorite thing of all, however, is how flawed each character is. None of these characters are perfect, and I adored that because it made them all the more realistic.

At thirteen, during the time of Noah’s narration, we find Noah is a bit of an outsider. He’s an artist and is LGBT; and the only place he truly feels he belongs is in an art studio. His innocent and compassionate heart reals him into a character that is hard to forget. Jude, on the other hand, is the life of the party – always outgoing and flirty; none too often being found wearing shorts or skirts that are too short for her own good.

By the start of Jude’s perspective, when the twins are now sixteen, the roles are completely reversed. Now Noah is the one who is constantly attending parties and social events; while Jude has morphed into someone much more introverted. This fact alone will make you want to turn the pages as fast as you can; trying to figure out what bridged the twins apart and changed them so drastically.

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 drawers: You could find your way around in the dark if you had to.

Besides the character growth, however, another primary focus is on the romance; which I absolutely adored. Noah’s relationship with his fellow artist Brian is absolutely fabulous, and I adored it – not only for the diversity, but for the fantastic chemistry between them as well. Jude’s romantic relationship comes in the form of Oscar; and I adored their romance as well.

Even though it was a bit hard to get into, once you’re engrossed in the story you won’t be able to put it down. An absolutely wonderful story with unforgettable characters; and an inspiring message about – just to name a few – destiny, love, and family.

Quick, make a wish.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance.
Remake the world.


55 thoughts on “I’ll Give You the Sun

  1. I’m super stoked that you enjoyed this one, Zoe! I have The Sky Is Everywhere high on my TBR and now it’s just a matter of finding some time for it. I have peaked at Jandy’s writing and absolutely adore her prose. If the writing in this book is anything like the peak I had at The Sky Is Everywhere than I have to definitely pick this one up. I love books that explore a family connection/relationship, and flawed characters are my absolute favourite thing!Thank you for the fabulous review, Zoe! <33 x

    1. Thank you Jess! πŸ™‚ If you’re like me and enjoy familial relationships, this is definitely something you should try. πŸ™‚

  2. So glad you enjoyed this one, Zoe! I’m glad to hear that the writing is spectacular and beautiful. I recently read The Sky is Everywhere, and that left me craving more Jandy Nelson! Though I was worried my expectations would be too high for this one, your review has proved otherwise. Thanks for such a wonderful review, Zo. <3

  3. Yesssss Zoe your review completely convinced me! I didn’t know I’ll Give You the Sun was about twins, but it does sound very emotional. I WANT TO READ THIS WRITING THOUGH. THE QUOTES ARE BEAUTIFUL!

    Awesome review Zoe!!

    1. YEAH! I’m so glad to hear that Valerie! πŸ˜€ It is definitely emotional, and if you liked the sound of the quotes I have a feeling you’ll like the story overall too. πŸ˜€

  4. Ever since I saw the cover for this one (I’m shallow like that) I knew I wanted to read it. It’s been on my TBR pile for quite some time now but this review has just made me even more excited for it! The relationship between the twins sounds fantastic, and I love stories that have good romances in them — so I’m sure I’m going to adore this one. Fantastic review! πŸ™‚

    1. Kara! You’re definitely not shallow! But I agree – the cover is quite fantastic, is it not? πŸ˜‰ If you like a good romance and familial relationships, definitely give this a try! I look forward to hearing your thoughts when you’re done!

  5. GAH. DON’T DO THIS TO ME ZOE.I NEED THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. I kind of vaguely new I’d like to read it, but I looove twin books, and if you rate a book 4-stars I definitely want to try it. And I love books where the reader pieces things together quicker than the characters. It gives you a real sense of “OMG LET ME INTO THIS BOOK SO I CAN SORT THIS OUT” sort of feel, which is fun. πŸ˜‰

    1. Muhaha…now you know what it feels like to get recommended books left and right Cait! πŸ˜‰ Ha…I’m kidding…but really… πŸ˜‰

      And I completely agree! It’s like you’re zoomed in really far to a picture, and to zoom out and see the actual picture is a wonderful experience.

  6. Ohhhhh, I didn’t realise there was romance too. That makes me want to read this even more because family love AND romantic love GAH. I CANNOT.

    The characters sound so beautifully carved and dynamic too. Man, I waaaaaaant this πŸ™

    1. I haven’t read the first book by the author either Lauren, but I’m definitely putting it under my radar after reading this one! πŸ˜‰

  7. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! I requested it on Edelweiss and got denied so I’m desperately waiting for the release. I really want to see the interaction between the twins, and OMG I can sense I’m gonna get so many feels! WONDERFUL review! πŸ™‚

    1. The layering and complexity of the story and having to piece each twins’ idea of what happened together in order to get the full story is what really made it special! I’m so glad you’re going to give it a try…even if this isn’t your normal genre. πŸ™‚

  8. I don’t believe I’ve commented here before, so I’d like to start off by saying I adore your blog (your reviews are so well-written)! I read it for a few months before starting my own in August but was always just too shy to comment, haha.

    I’ve been hearing SO much praise for I’ll Give You the Sun. Plus the title, cover, and synopsis are all awesome, so added all together… *makes grabby hands*

    1. CONNIE! You have no idea how much this comment means to me! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughts! πŸ˜€

      And I hope you enjoy the book once you get your hands on a copy of it!

    1. The entire unfolding of the novel is what really made made it special, you know? So glad you enjoyed it so much too! πŸ˜€

  9. I’ve been wanting to read this for ages but haven’t had the time. πŸ™ Sure I’m going to love it though, love realistically flawed characters with strong voices, and of course because it’s also LGBT. πŸ™‚

    1. πŸ™ Aww…I hope you’re able to make some time so you can read it! πŸ˜€ And if you love flawed characters and a good LGBT romance, this is definitely something you’d probably enjoy. πŸ™‚

    1. YEAH! I’m so glad to hear that Melissa! πŸ˜€ If you like growth and a solid romance, definitely pick this up. πŸ™‚

  10. Reading Young Adult can be such a struggle for me sometimes, but the fact that Nelson strays from that genre’s norm is promising. You can’t go wrong with fab character growth and romance IMO. Thanks for the heads up that I should push through the first chapters because it’ll be worth it in the long run.

    1. I hope you end up enjoying it Carmel! πŸ˜€ I completely agree – it’s always nice when an author goes away from a genre’s norms and takes risks. πŸ™‚

  11. I keep seeing how much everyone adores this book, and it makes me really want to read it. I love the sound of the characters and the storyline, and when those two things are both good – as they really seem to be – where could this book go wrong?

    Lovely review, as always, Zoe!

  12. You have no idea how thrilled I am to see that Jandy did it again. I loved her previous book and I was waiting for this one but still I was afraid of disappointment. But well it seems like she cannot do that. So yeah I love books that are layered and that tackle different topics. Amazing review, Zoe πŸ™‚

    1. Really thrilled I’m guessing? πŸ˜‰ If you liked her first book, I hope you like this one just as much! πŸ˜€ Thank you!

  13. It’s like a contemporary with a mystery. What made them fall out and swap personalities. I didn’t realize there was romance too. If I pick a contemporary to read it might be this one, because it sounds unique and you’ve made me curious.

    1. YEAH! So glad I’ve intrigued you! πŸ˜€ And I completely agree – the whole mystery subplot about what made them drift apart was SO interesting! πŸ˜€

  14. I have yet to see this book in a bookstore, but the hype for it definitely hasn’t escaped me. I’ve seen people everywhere talking about it, but I just tend to skim reviews for it. A common thing said about it is that it’s intense and emotional. I may just read it!

    1. I’m so glad you’re considering it Shannelle! πŸ˜€ I hope you find a copy in a bookstore so you can give it a try! πŸ˜‰ It’s definitely intense and emotional, so if you’re into that this is just the book for you. πŸ˜€

  15. I need this. I had no idea it was already out, so if my comment seems a little distracted, it just me making a purchase in another window. I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved The Sky is Everywhere and when I seen she was bringing out a new release? I knew I had to have it. She’s got a knack for luring you into these complex and intricate story lines that rip you open. I love that each twin is so incredibly different. It sounds like an argument for nature verses nurture if ever I heard one. Brilliant review, just checking out where to grab a paperback in Oz <3

    1. She’s got a knack for luring you into these complex and intricate story lines that rip you open.

      That was one of my favorite parts of the story Kelly – how complex and engaging it was! I haven’t read The Sky is Everywhere yet, but if it’s anywhere close to being as fabulous as this, I am so in!

    1. It is! I haven’t read her other book so I’m not sure how it compares, so definitely let me know what you think when you finish!

  16. Wow, this book sounds like pure brilliance. I love the twin dynamic so it’s heart-wrenching to read about two twins that are distant from each other. But that’s what’s appealing about this story as well. I really want to know what tore them apart! And it’s so sad to see that their personalities can reverse in 3 years. Loving how beautiful and diverse this book is! Wonderful, wonderful review Zoe! Adding this to the TBR right away xx

  17. WOW this book sounds really brilliant, you’d definitely want to see why the twins grew so different over the course of the novel and it sounds like an emotional roller coaster! Fantastic review Zoe, I hope to read this book some time πŸ™‚

  18. I have this on my kindle but I want to be in the right frame of mind to read it, you know? But I can just tell this is the kinda book I’m gonna fall in love with. I love an emotional read! Fabulous review! πŸ˜‰

  19. I love YA contemporaries with those universal themes which anyone can relate to. I love a story that has the pages flying by and beautiful, moving writing – so this one looks like it could be for me! Thanks for sharing Zoe πŸ™‚

  20. So happy you loved this one. I really enjoyed her first novel, but admit to struggling with this a bit. Probably because I found Jude so hard to connect to. I also think reading an eARC didn’t help because the formatting was terrible, which took me out of the story a lot. I loved the romance between Noah and Brian, that was adorable!

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