Saturday, August 8, 2015

Book Review: "I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson

"I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson
First published in 2014
371 pages
My rating: 5 out of 5
Image from Goodreads

The Short of It:
This book was awesome. Read it.

The Long of It:
Other than the Hunger Games trilogy, I don't think I've ever awarded 5 stars to a YA book. Young adult books usually just aren't my thing, and I often tend to be particularly harsh when reading overly hyped ones. But "I'll Give You the Sun" transcended all that. It was not a typical YA book. In other words -- I loooooooved it!

"I'll Give You the Sun" is a story of secrets and lies, guilt and grief, love and forgiveness and family, art and creativity -- and most importantly, about figuring out who you are, flaws and all. Its real, raw themes are relevant to people of all ages, and the brilliant, lovely, metaphor-filled writing is so incredibly readable and complex that it'll appeal to everyone. Sorry here, YA superfans, but seldom do young adult books possess the depth of plot and skilled writing that adult books often have (which makes sense, because they're for teenagers), but Nelson didn't dumb down anything for her audience.

So what's it about? Jude and Noah are twins, nearly inseparable from birth to age 13, despite their differences: Jude is beautiful and popular and full of daring, and Noah is artistic and quiet and a little odd. But during their 13th summer, everything changes. Bit by bit, their relationship devolves until, at age 16, they barely speak to each other. The story alternates between age 13 and age 16, with Noah telling us the story of their 13-year-old selves and Jude narrating three years later.

I can't remember the last time a book got at my emotions like "I'll Give You the Sun" did. I gasped aloud, I smiled, I cringed, I chuckled. Nelson crafted two extremely lovable, extremely imperfect characters and you'll be rooting for them -- and for their relationship with each other -- the whole time.

I highly recommend this book for teens and grown-ups alike. The broad themes are ones everybody can relate to, and the writing is wonderful. Let the beautiful cover draw you in, and then get lost in the story of Jude and Noah.


  1. I've seen so many good things about this one! I'll have to keep it in mind for when I'm feeling like YA. Admittedly, that's rare, but I like to mix things up. :)

    1. I don't read much YA either, especially not contemporary ones like this, but it was BY FAR the best young adult book I've ever read. You should check it out! :)


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