Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson

Title: I'll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson (@JandyNelson)
Published: September 16th, 2014
Series: N/A
Genre: YA contemporary
POV: 1st person, dual
Print Length: 371 pages
Audio Length: 12 hours, 57 Minutes
Publisher: Dial Books
Format: Audiobook | Print
Source: Purchased
Rating: The Treasure Vault

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 else—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.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

I remember falling head over heels in love with Jandy Nelson's debut novel, The Sky Is Everywhere when it first published five years ago. So, I had high hopes for her newest release, I'll Give You the Sun. But once all of the glowing reviews started pouring in, I became a little nervous, since too much hype can set the bar too high and ultimately ruin a good story. So, I continued to set this story aside, again and again. However, once I got the audio version, I decided to dive right in and hope this story had been worth the wait. 

And what a novel to dive into - I'll Give You the Sun is an emotionally explosive story that cannonballs straight into your heart. Alternating between a younger Noah (ages 13 and 14) and a 16-year-old Jude, the twins share secrets of their past and present with the reader, and slowly untangle the mystery surrounding their peculiar lives. Between Jude's superstitious nature (and tendency to see her dead grandmother) and Noah's peculiar and artistic view of the world, these characters manage to be both realistically human and utterly effervescent. Nelson outdid herself with this story, these characters, and her vivid writing style. A truly magnificent novel, I'll Give You the Sun is a book you do not want to miss. 

Highlights: Not only were Jude and Noah wonderfully developed, but the side characters were equally fleshed out too. Some were quirky, some were normal, but all seemed like real people with real attributes and flaws. Nelson ties the two narratives, past and present, together expertly. But it's her writing style that brings this story to life - the descriptions are full of life, practically bursting off the pages. I could highlight lines all day when it comes to this story. Both romances are wonderfully written, and the tension between characters is so electric and alive. The topics involved vary from issues with sexuality to dealing with the wrongs of the past. All in all, I have no complaints when it comes to this novel. Truly incredible, I could praise I'll Give You the Sun all day and never quite describe how outstanding this story is. 

Lowlights: I waited WAY too long to finally to check this out. Definitely a lowlight1.

Audiobook: Julia Whelan and Jesse Berstein are, in a single word, phenomenal narrators. I cannot even choose which was better - they were both excellent, expertly bringing the story to life with every single word. They made me forget I listening to an audiobook and become completely swept away by Jude and Noah's story. They both pulled off the various characters with ease, and their voices were well-suited to such a colorful, flowing style of writing. 

Rating: The Treasure Vault: 5+ out of 5, Favorite. I'll Give You the Sun  is a marvelous story that has quickly become a favorite story worthy of treasuring. Vivid, evocative, mysterious, humorous, and heartbreaking, this novel will tug at your emotions and leave you with the desire to start rereading it all over again. I'd highly recommend this novel, and especially the audiobook version, since Jesse Berstein and Julia Whelan add a little extra spark to an already lively story.

1 *shakes head at self in disappointment* I should have read it sooner! Can't believe I waited so long.


  1. Awesome review! Alternating POVs of twins makes me super curious, and I liked that not only are the main characters well developed but the side ones have substance as well. Thanks for the motivation to pick this up :)

    1. It's fantastic and so well written! The characters really come to life.

      If you check it out, I hope you enjoy IGYTS!

  2. Aw, yesss. I'm so thrilled that you loved this book so much Lea :D You are making it sound amazing. And I wish to read it too. One day :D Heard so many great things about this one. And so happy you loved it too :) But aw, waiting to read a book can be a good thing too :) You might not have loved it the same months ago, as you did now ;p

    1. IT IS AMAZING!!! Truly an incredible book!

      And agreed! Sometimes waiting is the right move, especially since I was in a weird reading mood back when it released.

  3. Wow! Fantastic review. Sadly, I have never read any of Nelson's novels, but I am thinking I will need to remedy that. I think I'll start with this one...sounds like a memorable read. I am glad you enjoyed it!

    1. CHRISTINA! You must check out one of her books, they are both outstanding. She's such a talented writer.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Love the sound of an emotionally explosive book, seems right up my alley

  5. Ahh, so perhaps I should try this on audio then? I haven't read anything by Jandy Nelson, but I def need to if they're both as excellent as you say!!

    1. A definite YES to the audio version - the narrators did such an amazing job.

      I hope you check out her work, she's a great writer!

  6. SUCH A GOOD BOOK! I loved all of the things OMG. It was just... beautiful. *sigh* Jandy Nelson is a fantastic writer. Her debut was amazing too. <3 Can't wait for what she has up next!

    1. WASN'T IT AMAZING?!?! Definitely a beautiful book. JN is truly an incredible writer.

      Thanks for stopping by, Cass!

  7. I have never read any of Jandy Nelson's books >.< But I really want to, especially since you loved it so much :D

    Asma @ IceyBooks

  8. haven't read The Sky is Everywhere but I have got a copy of it one shelf that I really want to get stuck into. But like you the recent hype of this book made me nervous with starting TSIE. I know that this book has had some mixed reviews as well. But I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)