I'll Give You the Sun Book Cover I'll Give You the Sun
Jandy Nelson
Magic Realism, Young Adult, Relaism

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.

It has been a while since anything was posted, I thought I would get back into the swing of things with the Printz winner.

I have included the notes I made while reading the book at the end of my review. While I tried to keep my review spoiler free, I often fail in this regard. So if you have not read the book and do not want spoilers, you may want to check back after you have finished the book. 

I liked the book. I really do not know where to start with this review.  We have to start somewhere though so let’s start with the writing style. The whole book is told in alternating chapters. Noah chapters are from when he was 13-14 and Jude’s chapters are from when she is sixteen. Even though all the same characters are in each chapter it still feels like you are reading two different books. In Noah’s chapters you are following a young boy who is just getting starting to take art seriously. This starts with his application in to CSA, which stands for California School of Art or California School of aliens depending on who you ask. In Jude’s chapter you are following a girl who has been accepted into CSA, talks to ghosts, and has become very superstitious. In Noah’s chapters we see him fall in love with the new kid down the street. In Jude’s chapters we see her trying very hard not to fall in love.

Other things I liked. The book had very vivid descriptions, Jude barfs bright blue fluorescent barf. As a side note Barfing was used a lot as a descriptor of emotions. In my initial notes made while reading the book, I thought Noah might have synesthesia as almost every emotion was portrayed by experiences such as bright blue barf all over the table, something really horrible and maggoty came over me, or he looks like he eats human livers Sautéed with eyeballs and toe-tips. I changed my opinion the more I read. That is just how Noah see the world. When he is angry he sends a pack of famished great whites at those who anger him, he blows up the world, or he floats away.

Another thing I really liked about this book was the character development. As the synopsis states In Noah’s chapters Noah is the quiet artistic one who doesn’t speak while Jude is seemingly the polar opposite being the extroverted party goer who talks to everyone and pays little attention to her own art. But two years later in Jude’s chapters we see a girl who is quiet and has seemingly retreated from the world wearing baggy clothes and keeping charms on her at all times to stay invisible.

The plot was good and moved at a good pace. As others have pointed out if a book does not have a semi fast plot I tend to not finish the book. The book starts out from Noah’s perspective. Their mother declares to the family, at dinner, that she was visited by the twin’s dead paternal grandmother. She wants the twins to attend CSA. Noah seems to want this more than Jude. Something that is clear almost immediately in Noah’s chapters are how close the twins are. All of Noah’s chapters after this are all about completing the application to CSA. Their mother takes the twins to art museums, encourages contests between the two, and gives them plenty of free time to work on their art. It quickly becomes apparent that Noah has quite a bit of talent and is their mother’s favorite. We also see the blossoming relationship between Noah and Brian, the new kid down the street unfold.

In Jude’s chapter she has been accepted into CSA. Her chapters talk about the split that has come between the two siblings, their mother’s death, and her own self-loathing. While there is some action in Jude’s chapters most of her chapters are spent looking back to the time when Noah is narrating from. When we have flashbacks like this we see how hurt Jude is when Noah is their mother’s favorite, what she spends her time doing besides artwork, and why she and Noah are not as close as they once were. When not reflecting on the past Jude works on getting a mentor so she can finally finish the piece of artwork that is haunting her and that she sees as a ways setting things right with everything.

I really can’t say anything negative about the book. The ending did feel a tad too rushed, but that could have been me liking the book so much. **SPOILER** the “breakup” between Oscar and Jude seems like a joke and I do not know why it was included in the first place.

Initial thoughts

  • Noah has synesthesia
  • I love their father
  • Jude in the Noah chapters is the sensible one between the two
  • Noah is a huge mama’s boy
  • Jude in her chapters is haunted by her dead mother (bad) and grandmother (good).
  • Google is called the Oracle in Jude chapters, I love this.
  • Mother may be an alcoholic
  • Noah is a jealous bitch
  • Heather is definitely a beard
  • Is Jude schizophrenic?
  • Their mom is definitely hooking up with Guillermo
  • I love Guillermo
  • The chapters are super long
  • The ending felt rushed
  • The Oscar and Jude break up was a joke and did not need to be included


What are your thoughts? Have you read the book? Did you like it? Let us know below!

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Tyler Anderson

Co-blogger at Librarian Bibliofiles
I work at a public library in Kentucky. I spend most of my days reading YA fiction. When forced to other things besides reading, I am usually trying to keep a handle on coursework for my Masters in Library and Information Science.

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