Review: I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson


“She’s never asked for a drawing before. I’m horrible at giving them away. “For the sun, stars, oceans, and all the trees, I’ll consider it,” I say, knowing she’ll never agree. She knows how badly I want the stars and the trees. We’ve been dividing up the world since we were five. I’m kicking butt at the moment – universe domination is within my grasp for the first time.
“Are you kidding?” she says, standing up straight. It annoys me how tall she’s getting. It’s like she’s being stretched at night. “That leaves me just the flowers , Noah.”
Fine, I think. Shell never do it. It’s settled, but it isn’t. She reaches over and props up the pad, gazing up the portrait like she’s expecting the English guy to speak to her.
“Okay,” she says. “Trees, stars, oceans. Fine.”
“And the sun, Jude.”
“Oh, all right,” she says, totally surprising me. “I’ll give you the sun.”
Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun

I have absolutely no words for this book ,except: magical.
I know that this book is very much hyped and being praised everywhere but it’s the least it deserves really.

I started reading this book with such high expectations that I kind of already deemed it as one of those typical books which get so hyped up but aren’t as good in the end. I was so wrong and completely unprepared for Jandy Nelson’s writing. I never ever read something more beautiful than this. I know you guys think that I will just be gushing over this book – and I will – but it’s seriously good.

Essentially, the story is about Noah (boy) and Jude (girl) who are twins. In the book Noah’s perspective is the first we read in and in his chapters him and Jude are thirteen years old. Jude is telling the story of when they are sixteen years old. So that means that Jude’s chapters play in the present tense or in the present time period and Noah’s chapters play in the past time period. Noah and Jude both tell bits and bits of the story in their chapters whereas Noah tells us what’s happening while they are thirteen and Jude tells us what happened when they were thirteen til the present time when they are both sixteen. Between the time jumps there are major things happening. Not just between Noah and Jude but also concerning their family and friends. All the other relationships take a backseat to the main story which focuses on the twins and their actions throughout the years. Of course there is still romance and a lot more going on but that’s not the main story.
Noah and Jude are both very artistic. Their mother is kind of artistic too but she is more an arts critic. Their father is a really mainstream, cool guy.
During the book, it gets clear that each of the twins take after one of their parents.

I thought that Noah and Jude were really relatable.
For me, Jude was better to relate to, maybe that’s because I’m a girl too or because I’m a girl who has a twin brother like Jude. Okay, so let me just explain the book from a twins perspective.
Jandy Nelson was absolutely right in every aspect concerning the way how twins work. I knew and understood everything she said about how Jude felt because I go through exactly the same things every day.

Let me give you an example:

“If one twin gets cut, the other will bleed.”

I wouldn’t have had a better explanation for how twins feel when one of them gets sick or injured. I know its a cliché but it’s true. I always get so worked up when I’m not near my twin and know that he isn’t well. I feel physically in pain when something happens to him. Its strange and hard to explain.

Another example is the title.
The title of the book is

“I’ll Give You The Sun”.

This title could have a thousand different meanings but I, as a twin, understood it like this:
Jude was ready to give up the sun for Noah and I can’t tell you how true this is. I would easily give up the sun for my twin brother too if it’s what he wants.

There is a passage in the book which I quoted above where Jude and Noah compromise about a drawing Noah did and Jude says she’ll give Noah the sun, oceans, stars and trees for it.

So you see, that sentence means a lot of different things.

During the story, I noticed a lot of things or rather problems that Nelson addressed which were problems that a lot of teenagers and adolescents have nowadays.
This book is more a piece of reality than fiction. Nelson forces the reader to face reality with its ugly parts and all.

I thought of the characters as real persons and not fictional characters. Nelson’s descriptions made the characters come to life. The only way to describe the characters is that they weren’t like other characters which you can categorize and put into a box. You couldn’t say that Jude was selfish and blind or that Noah was weird and strange because while reading it seemed like those characters were alive and they described themselves rather than being described. Nelson didn’t let the reader define her characters but the characters defined themselves, created themselves. I think that Jandy Nelson was brave enough to write the rawest characters and the rawest story ever. It feels like she dumped all this rawness on you but the truth is that she just wrote about the reality of life. She made me question fate and destiny and so much more.

Jandy Nelson wrote a beautiful story about coming of age and the importance of family. With this book, she not only emphasized how cruel and unforgiving life can be but also that family and most importantly love, faith and forgiveness can be the solution to all that cruelty.

If anyone ever says to you that this book is confusing and not understandable, they’re either blinded by Nelson’s beautiful words or they just don’t have a sense for amazing books because this book is definitely the opposite of confusing. It’s enlightening.

What else can I say?
This book is underrated and under hyped even.
I highly, highly recommend this book. Go pick this up guys. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Overall rating: 5/5 (more specifically 100%/100%)

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


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

  1. Pingback: Don’t you have any favorites this year, Kübra?|Favorite books 2015 | The Reader Complex

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