I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Noah and Jude are twins, and until they were 13 they were inseparable, but then things started to change. They had always been competitive but the thought of going to an exclusive art school made their competitive nature even more prominent. Their mother was an art writer and while she loved both of her children, she expressed it more with Noah and this really upset Jude. Jude always felt pushed aside when it came to her mom, so she started to rebel. Fast forward three years later and Jude is a student at the art school, Noah is not, and their mom has passed away in a tragic car accident. Jude and Noah are barely speaking and everything is out of whack, and Noah no longer paints or draws.

Now flash back to when the twins were thirteen. A boy moves in next door named Brian, and Noah is absolutely smitten, but he cannot tell anyone. One night at a party Jude takes Brian in the closet for seven minutes in heaven, Noah views this as the ultimate betrayal. Fast forward three years and Jude is about to be kicked out of school so to avoid this she decides to make a sculpture out of stone. To do this she needs a mentor, so she begs artist Guillermo to study under him. She learns a lot, and even falls in love with his housemate Oscar. Meanwhile Noah is just trying to figure out his place in the world. The twins eventually come clean bout their past, But is it too late for them? Will they ever be able to be close again, or is the damage done just too much for the siblings?

This is a book that has very realistic and likable characters, and the overall tone of this book is serious. But have no fear, this book is a fairly easy read. This book is wonderfully written. It does a magnificent job of evoking real emotions from the readers, while discussing real life topics that teens deal with every day like first love, having secrets, and tragedy. This book stays very true to the topics presented such as grieving, homosexuality, and to trying to figure out who you are.

However there are something’s about this book that some readers may not enjoy. The first being the style in which this book was written, the book jumps three years back and forth every chapter. The book also changes narrators every other chapter which may be distracting for some readers. (I know this was something that I didn’t enjoy.)

This book strives to show the readers that there are always opportunities for a second, or third, or even fourth chance if you are willing to be honest and ask for forgiveness. The cover is bright and appealing. It is a play on a game that the twins play where they “own” and “bargain” with elements of the world. The Sun’s rays are rainbow colors which I believe are a reference to Noah’s sexuality and acceptance of his family of him.

I would give this book a 4 for quality, and a 4 for popularity meaning this book scores a total of 8 out of 10. This is a great book that I feel many teens will be able to enjoy and learn from.

Nelson, J. (2014). I’ll give you the sun. New York, NY: Dial Books. 371 pgs.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, or learn more about the author please check out the links below:

I’ll Give You The Sun on Amazon     I’ll Give You the Sun at Barnes & Noble                                                                                   Author’s Website

Just a BTW: I am in no way affiliated with this author or publishing house. I was not compensated for this post/review, and all opinions are my own. I am just a fan sharing my experiences with all of you.


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