Summary and book reviews of I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun

by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson X
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2014, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2015, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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About this Book

Book Summary

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell. Winner of the BookBrowse 2014 Award for Best Young Adult Novel.

Winner of the BookBrowse 2014 Award for Best Young Adult Novel

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 novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing - often all at once. 

The Invisible Museum
Noah
Age 13

This is how it all begins.

With Zephyr and Fry—reigning neighborhood sociopaths— torpedoing after me and the whole forest floor shaking under my feet as I blast through air, trees, this white-hot panic.

"You're going over, you pussy!" Fry shouts.

Then Zephyr's on me, has one, both of my arms behind my back, and Fry's grabbed my sketchpad. I lunge for it but I'm arm-less, helpless. I try to wriggle out of Zephyr's grasp. Can't. Try to blink them into moths. No. They're still themselves: fifteen-foot-tall, tenth-grade asshats who toss living, breathing thirteen-year-old people like me over cliffs for kicks.

Zephyr's got me in a headlock from behind and his chest's heaving into my back, my back into his chest. We're swimming in sweat. Fry starts leafing through the pad. "Whatcha been drawing, Bubble?" I imagine him getting run over by a truck. He holds up a page of sketches. "Zeph, look ...

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  • award image

    BookBrowse Awards
    2014

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Through gorgeous poetic language, and no-holds-barred examination of emotion (and their consequences), Nelson reminds us that we can only ever know our own perspective, and that seeking out other people's is the key to seeing the whole picture, and to survival. But in the end, this novel is a plea for deep love, and a testament to its power to heal.   (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).

Full Review (744 words).

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Media Reviews

The Boston Globe
I’ll Give You the Sun is a daydream . . . otherworldly and mesmerizing . . . Nelson’s evocative language envelops one’s imagination . . . an exquisite surrender to wonder and possibilities.

Entertainment Weekly
This is the big one—the blazing story of once inseparable twins whose lives are torn apart by tragedy.

VOYA
Starred Review. This is a passionate, vulnerable, wonderfully complete and irresistible book.

Kirkus Reviews
The novel is structurally brilliant, moving back and forth across timelines to reveal each teen's respective exhilaration and anguish but holding the ultimate revelations back until just the right time.

Booklist
A story of love, loss, and healing that will resonate with readers long after they’ve finished reading.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Readers are meant to feel big things, and they will - Nelson's novel brims with emotion (grief, longing, and love in particular) as Noah, Jude, and the broken individuals in their lives find ways to heal. Ages 14–up.

School Library Journal
Starred Review. A resplendent novel…Art and wonder fill each page.

Author Blurb Ransom Riggs, New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City
A wild, beautiful, and profoundly moving novel. Jandy Nelson's writing is so electric, so alive, her pages practically glow in the dark.

Author Blurb Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series.
Jandy Nelson is a rare, explosive talent, and one of the best writers working today. Her prose is vivid, breathtaking, and drenched in passion, and her stories remind me why words can change the world.

Author Blurb Holly Goldberg Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s
I love this book. Jandy Nelson is my new writing hero. Read this book. She'll be your favorite author as well.

Author Blurb Garret Freymann-Weyr, author of Printz Honor book, My Heartbeat
Jandy Nelson's writing is poetic and mesmerizing. More importantly, Nelson weaves a novel that seeps into your bones like fire on a cold day... I'll Give You the Sun is a novel that promises a story like nothing else and then delivers it.

Author Blurb Nancy Garden, author of Annie on my Mind
An extraordinary book! I've never read anything like it. Lyrical-unique-passionate-magical-tragic-hopeful - Nelson's characters will fly off the page and into your heart.

Reader Reviews

Nadja Jackson

Beautiful and poignant view of adolescence
This is such a wonderful book -- the emotions leap off the page from the extremely sympathetic characters. I loved the structure of the book, the writing, the pace of the story, the arcs of the characters, the unexpected (and even the predictable) ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Car Crashes in Middle Grade and Young Adult Literature

In a controversial article in The Wall Street Journal in June 2011, "Darkness Too Visible," Meghan Cox Gurdon lamented that the world of young adult literature has become too dark – a forest thick with loss, pain, death, and the gruesome details that describe them all. She offered the suggestion that such books might introduce teens to issues such as rape, suicide, and kidnapping, to name only a few, and in doing so, make them feel normal and, thus, "spread their plausibility."

Car crashes in middle grade and YA literature fall to the edges of the box Gurdon drew. They are slightly less horrendous perhaps, and, more important, tend to be accidental acts as opposed to ones perpetrated by someone intent on causing harm. But they are ...

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