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[[ read online Audiobooks ]] I'll Give You the SunAuthor Jandy Nelson – Teenyboys.de

Jude And Her Twin Noah Are Close Until A Tragedy Drives Them Apart. Now They Are Barely Speaking - And Both Are Falling For Boys They Can't Have.
Love's Complicated.

10 thoughts on “I'll Give You the Sun

  1. says:

    This book should be called I'll Give You Death by Artistic Metaphor. It seems like I'm in the minority on this one, but I did not like the writing style at all.

    I guess it should be noted that I was also not a fan of the author's first novel - The Sky is Everywhere - which everyone but heartless little me seemed to love. Unlike many people I know, I picked this one up because the premise intrigued me and not because of a love for the author's previous work.

    You may be thinking: this is a poetic novel about life and loss and love... how can you be so cold?! *sigh* You would not be the first. But while I appreciate that there are some good aspects to this book like the complex characters and the frank portrayal of teen sexuality in both a heterosexual girl and a homosexual guy, the style, the endless bloody metaphors and the way it became heavy on the romance... all of that just did nothing but irritate me.

    There was a brief moment early on when I thought I might be reading a magical realism novel because of some of the bizarre things that seemed to be happening. But, as the story unfolded, it turns out that these are actually just overly ambitious artistic metaphors that turn almost every single paragraph into a purple and downright weird mess. Check them out:

    “Mom picks up a knife and thrusts it into his gut, twists. Dad forges on, oblivious.”

    “Jude barfs bright blue fluorescent barf all over the table, but I’m the only one who notices.”

    “All the hornet’s buzzed out of her. And there’s no spider to her at all.”

    None of these things are actually, literally happening, of course. When I read the first few paint-splattered metaphors (hehe, that's a metaphor too!), I did my single raised eyebrow face (it's epic, I assure you), but it was when I'd read over a hundred pages of constant flowery prose that I started to feel like I'd overdosed on cotton candy. I guess it's a certain type of reader who will fall in love with this prose - in short: I am not that type of reader.

    I am the kind of person who forges strong emotional connections with characters; or at least I do if the book is working its magic. But I also find it really difficult to engage with characters - who would otherwise pull me in - when the prose is so nauseatingly bloated with metaphors. Do any of you remember Shatter Me? Bloody hell... do I remember Shatter Me *silently fumes*

    And it's a shame because there were moments when I came close to feeling for these characters. Noah tugged at my heart strings because of his passion for art and how he wasn't allowed to pursue it fully; Jude's feelings of guilt and grief felt like genuine pain. But I never got into their heads because I was too busy being drowned by the metaphorical prose. Plus, I'm not even going to get started on the stereotypical way the British guy is portrayed... I'll just say that we really do not use slang words in every single sentence.

    The reveal at the ending can easily be guessed from reading Jude's first POV and it was a little anticlimactic. Not just because it was guessable but because it was kind of blah. I still won't give this book one star because there were some touching moments that I liked but, overall, I was pretty disappointed.

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  2. says:

    "I love you," I say to him, only it comes out, "Hey."

    "So damn much," he says back, only it comes out, "Dude."

    i think this one was also a 3.5 for me. there were things i liked SO MUCH about it, and then there were things that bothered me a little. (and not just my fear of twins this time)

    first to the good.

    i enjoyed the unusual structure - the fact that it alternates between the voices of twins noah and jude where noah's story takes place when they are 13 and jude's takes place when they are 16. in the three years separating the stories, a number of circumstances have driven them apart to the point where they have gone from being spookily twinclose to barely speaking.

    both threads are compelling - in noah's, we see an introverted young artist falling in love for the first time; discovering that with brian, he is able to really be himself, gawky dorky bits and all. this is the first time in his life he has been able to make an emotional connection with someone he hadn't once shared a womb with, and their scenes are all giddy excitement and quiet uncertainty and incredible attraction. it is perfectly written. but things in his life are not all puppy love and romps through the woods. the twins have always been competitive for their parents' attention, and at this point in their lives, the feisty cliff-diving surfer girl jude is daddy's favorite, while the talented noah is the apple of his artist mother's eye. their parents are going through a rough patch, fighting constantly. jude is growing into a young woman and carrying her wildness and risk-taking into new realms, and she's in a reckless emotional tailspin as she begins to covet what little noah has of his own - his mother's affection, a spot at the art school he desperately wants to attend, and even brian.

    three years later, so much has changed. jude is living a life of self-imposed penance, dictated by superstitious rituals, wearing only baggy jeans and sweatshirts, talking to the ghost of her dead grandmother, and on a complete boycott from boys. she is attending the school of noah's dreams, but is wracked with guilt over what she has done to get there, and what has happened between herself and noah to drive them apart.

    the writing is very gimmicky in noah's thread. it is full of these little imaginative flourishes like

    Jude barfs bright blue fluorescent barf all over the table, but I’m the only one who notices.


    Mom picks up a knife and thrusts it into his gut, twists. Dad forges on, oblivious.


    We're sprinting at the speed of light when the ground gives way and we rise into the air as if racing up stairs.

    and he captions every scene as though it is a painting:

    PORTRAIT: Jude Braiding Boy After Boy into Her Hair

    PORTRAIT, SELF-PORTRAIT: Gray Noah Eating Gray Apples on Gray Grass

    PORTRAIT, SELF-PORTRAIT: Brother and Sister on a Seesaw, Blindfolded

    which can be cloying after a while if that kind of thing irritates you, but once you get past the first couple of instances, you just kind of roll with it and it didn't personally bother me overmuch. however, because of this writerly quirk, this is one of those books i hope they never ever try to make into a movie, because the temptation to film those bits would be there, and would be the worst kind of student-film indulgence to attempt to reproduce visually. seriously - big shudders when i think of it.

    okay, now on to the other stuff that i wasn't crazy about.

    oscar. oh, oscar. i assume we are meant to swoon over oscar, a boy who appears in both noah's 13-year-old and jude's 16-year-old storylines, but i just couldn't take him seriously. oscar is the boy who tests jude's boy boycot, and he's essentially just a collection of every stereotypical teen-girl dreamboy list.

    - older man
    - english accent
    - motorcycle
    - scars
    - tattoos
    - dark past. says things like "I'm pretty sure the things I've done are far worse than whatever it is you've done.
    - bad boy vices
    - romantic cheesy lines: "Your eyes are so ethereal, your whole face is. I stared at pictures of you for hours last night. You give me chills.
    - leather jacket
    - james dean slouch
    - tomcat tendencies but oh-so capable of troo luv if given the opportunity
    - tough-guy posturing but also soooo sensitive
    - orphan
    - enigmatic
    - unconventional good looks
    - charismatic and passionate speechifier: he's like a roller coaster that talks.

    he's just a little silly, to me. but i am not a teenage girl, so that probably accounts for it.

    here is something else that bothered me: (view spoiler)

  3. says:


  4. says:

    'maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.'

    and maybe some people are just meant to love the same story over and over again. the colour and brightness this book continues to add to my life puts the sun to shame. every word is such a thing of radiant beauty, i know my soul is incapable of feeling anything other than joy when reading this. this book is true art at its finest.

    i try not to have any regrets in life, but i do regret that i read this book too quickly and that it ended before i was emotionally and mentally ready. a book like this is meant to be cherished, to be savoured - but i was incapable of putting this down. i dont think ive ever read such transformative writing, it gave the story such a lyrical feel to it. i needed every word, every image, every emotion, every feeling. even if it did leave my heart a devastating wreck in the process.

    5 stars

  5. says:

    One of the best books I've read in a long long time, I'll Give You the Sun, gave me the chills, gave me a heart attack, gave me everything I ever wanted from a love story.

    (Self-portrait: boy in love with a book)

    The narrators have such fun voices, the writing and use of artistic metaphors is beautiful, and the pacing is amazing. Pretty much everything about this book is perfect. It's essentially Gone Girl meets Romeo and Juliet. The characters connect so cohesively with their incredibly dark-twisted histories that all collide into the craziest, most fulfilling love story ever.

    Jandy Nelson, thank you. I needed this.

  6. says:

    It’s reread no: 4 and I don’t know how this book still has the ability to make me feel the way I do right now. Like I believe anything is possible and magic is tangible. It’s healing. I can never seem to get enough of it. Slice of heaven of a book if there ever was one.

    Original review
    My heart. Words will fail me. This book did something to my soul. My heart exploded about a hundred times whilst reading it and I cannot express how much I loved it! How much I'll continue to love it. It was expressive, imaginative, and so god-damn gorgeous. I want to bask it its beauty forever. Everything about it just worked! I was gushing throughout the entire thing, internally weeping, because it was just perfect. Utter perfection. Sublime. I absolutely drowned in it and had no intention to come back up.

    It's the type of book you want to shove into everyone's hands, urging them to read it, so they can relish in its beauty. It left me with a renewed sense of wonder for the world, about people, our capabilities, myself. It's tragic and it breaks you, and it puts you back together again in the best possible way. And what's better is that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to pick it back up again.

  7. says:

    5 Stars

    Overview: Fourth Read:

    This is my favorite book.

    It’s a blanket statement—of course. Ask any bookworm their favorite book and we’ll either ask for more parameters (“What genre? Classics too? Of all time or this year?”) or rattle off four or five. While I’m certainly guilty of that, every time I answer I see this cover in my mind. This is my favorite book.

    Sometimes I wish it was something else. Something akin to Joyce or Tolstoy, so I’d sound a little smarter. Or maybe something not classified as Young-Adult, as I’ve slowly grown out of the age range. Or maybe just something where the protagonist doesn’t use the phrase ‘toilet-licking’ as an expletive on the first page.

    But I also don’t want it to be anything else?


    I understand the critiques, the one-star reviews, and criticisms. These opinions are certainly valid. And I understand

    The writing style is as artistic as the characters and the whole book drips with prose. The metaphors are eccentric, dramatic, and consistent. If you don’t like the writing style, you won’t like the book.

    (And I feel so very, very sorry for you.)

    ”Meeting your soul mate is like walking into a house you've been in before--you will recognize the furniture, the pictures on the wall, the books on the shelves, the contents of drawers. You could find your way around in the dark if you had to."


    “I love you,” I say to him, only it comes out, “Hey.”
    “So damn much,” he says back, only it comes out, “Dude.”

    It’s okay, because not every book is for everyone. But this one is for me.

    Or at least, that’s what it felt like. Maybe one day I’ll be able to explain my deeply personal love for this book. How I hadn’t really read a book in three-years, before picking this one up on a whim. How it was one of the first LGBT+ books I read when I was in the middle of realizing I wasn’t 100% straight. How this book made me feel known and helped me process the world around me.

    But all I can say is this: It reignited my love of reading.

    I find the writing beautiful, vivid, creative and something about it just works.

    Jandy Nelson manages to take all the mixed up feelings of being a teenager and somehow puts them into words. That emotion I never could quite name was beautifully illustrated in a way that made my chest ache.

    “People die, I think, but your relationship with them doesn't. It continues and is ever-changing.”

    Noah and Jude are twins who used to be inseparable, but have grown apart as tragedy hits their family. They are completely different, completely dynamic characters. Their progression is some of my favorite character development ever and I loved them both. (Noah seems to be the fan-favorite, but I will defend Jude to the death.)

    I have no artistic ability whatsoever, but the relationship both characters have with art was astounding. Noah especially captures moments in his life by determining how he'd paint them, and what he would name the piece. It’s a compelling way of moving the story forward that matches the imaginative style.

    “What is bad for the heart is good for art. The terrible irony of our lives as artists.”

    One of the romances happens very quickly. And one of the love-interests is a mash up of several bad-boy archetypes. I understand why some wouldn’t like this.

    …but the book is completely aware of it??

    Nelson subverts the tropes, in my opinion. Noah’s whirlwind of feelings is a tool for showing his character mature, as the scope of his emotions change as the romance unwinds. Because the focus is on Jude’s development and her coming into her own self, her perception of her love interest changes and evolves with her. There’s a strong focus on mutual support and respect, while still being able to laugh and love.

    “I don’t want a split-apart,” I say. “I think I need my own soul.”

    The characters make mistakes and some of their actions are horrible. I won’t excuse them, but I’m not supposed to. These actions have consequences that affect all their relationships.

    At its core, this book is about family dynamics. The ever-changing, complicated mess that reminds us how interwoven our lives are. But it’s not condescending or over-the-top, as it discusses these important issues with brevity and humor.

    “We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”

    In summary:

    Recommending this book is odd. Not because I worry about negative opinions or criticisms--- like I said, I understand those, and they are valid. But because I have a separate, personal love for this book.

    But it takes a pretty damn remarkable book to make me love it so deeply… I think my personal love stems from how special this book is artistically.

  8. says:

    I’LL GIVE THIS BOOK THE SUN. FIVE SUNS. More than that, if Goodreads had ever answered my impassioned plea to add a sixth star (which I sent by pony express after Ready Player One). (Pony express means mail, right? I’m a fan of that.)


    How do I love thee, book? Let me count the ways. (That’s both a reference to this book and an illustration of how difficult it will be to put my intense adoration of it into, like, a semi-coherent review.) (Sidenote: I’ve never strived for anything higher than semi-coherent.)

    Let’s start with the characters. God, do I love the people in this book. They are so, so, so imperfect - imperfect doesn’t even begin to cover it. They should suck, honestly. I should hate them. In fact, I should hate this whole shindig for the things that happen in it. In any other context, they’d give me second-hand embarrassment cringes so hard it’d shoot this book down to two stars. But NOT HERE. This sh*t is different.

    These characters are so human. They’re so lovable and deeply good that you’d forgive them for anything. Seriously. All of them do at least one thing (and mostly more than one) that should be, like, narrative-shatteringly awful, and instead manages to make them even better. I can’t explain it. YOU JUST HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK.

    This book has alternating perspectives between 2 twins: Noah when he was 13, and Jude when she’s 16 (which is the present). Noah is so creative and talented and amazing, and Jude is such a badass and so interesting and equally amazing. Their mom’s a whirlwind, which has its ups and downs, and their dad starts off not great but becomes the best. There’s Brian, who loves space, and Guillermo, one of the greatest sculptors ever, and Oscar, who I’m not going to try to put into words. (Hands down the most inherently confusing character.) They’re all so wonderful and I wish I knew them in real life and could join their lil ragtag group of pals.

    The character development is just unreal.

    Also, the depiction of family is pretty amazing. (I’m going to use the words “great” and “amazing” a bajillion times in this review, AND I’M NOT GOING TO APOLOGIZE.) They can mistreat each other and fight and generally seem toxic, but they all love each other and they’re all good people. SCRATCH THAT - MAGNIFICENT people. (You thought I was done talking about how much I love these characters? Ya burnt. I’m going to spend the rest of my life talking about them. Every review from now on? Name-dropping Noah and Jude. Get used to it.)

    What else, what else...the writing was just really beautiful. I’m always really happy to see that in YA. It’s pretty rare for a young adult contemporary to just be genuinely, no-holds-barred gorgeous.

    And y’all know I love when my books are filled with fun facts. I wish every book had some character just inserting cool information in every once in awhile. This book? EVERY CHARACTER IS DOING THAT. There’s so much fun sh*t about superstition and art and sculpting and space in this book. Ugh. God, it’s perfect. It’s like Jandy Nelson read my mind and made this book to check all my boxes. WHAT A DREAM.

    I thought there’d be one major downside. That’s the discussion of fate and ~true love~ in this book, neither of which I believe in and both of which I pretty consistently find dumb in like, every YA contemporary ever. But this book, no surprise at this point, IS DIFFERENT. It’s so well done and just makes you feel all warm inside and root for the characters. Hurray, hurray. I miss this book already.

    The cherry on top, you ask? The best fictional encapsulation of and response to slut-shaming I’ve ever seen is contained within THESE VERY PAGES. When thirteen/fourteen-year-old Jude and her mom are fighting about everything, including Jude’s clothing and makeup choices, mommy dearest always asks if she reallyyyyyy wants to be “that girl.” Pretty yuck, right? The only blemish on the perfect record of this masterpiece.

    But then. But then! Blemish surgically removed, or whatever. (That was really gross. I’m so sorry.) Jude has a realization. A great, perfect, better-than-cherry-on-top epiphany. I like cherries, but this is more like the lottery ticket on top, or the Zac Efron in Baywatch (a bad movie) on top. Jude realizes: “Maybe Mom was wrong about that girl after all. Because that girl spits on guys who treat her badly. Maybe it’s that girl who’s been missing. [...] I didn’t bring the bad luck to us, no matter how much it felt that way. It brought itself. It brings itself. And maybe it’s that girl who’s now brave enough to admit [it].”

    A little bit of editing to remove minor spoilers, but how amazing is that?

    Your clothing or your makeup don’t change who you are. They don’t prevent you from being a badass, or a good person, or brave.

    God, I love this book. Read it in a couple days, and miss it already.

    Can you believe how genuine this review was? That’s a testament to my loveeee for this book.

    Bottom line: This is going on the all-time favorites list. EVERYONE: READ THIS PLEASE. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Even better the second time around.

    Jandy Nelson, GIMME YOUR NEXT BOOK.

  9. says:

    This was the perfect book to finish on my birthday. I adored Jandy Nelson's first book, and didn't think I could love this one just as much!

  10. says:

    3 stars

    Okay, for starters I am so proud for finishing this book in the exam session.

    Probably by now you all know what I'll Give You The Sun is about so I'll skip straight to my opinion on this book.

    This is my second time trying to finish this book and I did succeed this time. The beginning was both times too boring for me. I did not care about the characters at all. The middle part was actually my favorite, and the last one was a good conclusion, but not that exciting.

    What I love about this book is the importance that it gives to relationships inside a family.

    I feel like I am alone in this but I did not like Oscar as a person that much??? And his relationship with Judy was a bit rushed in my opinion.

    And I feel like no one is talking about Noa putting Judy's toothbrush into the toilet everyday. That part freaked me out like literally freaked me out.

    I see that I have lost my ability to form genuine reviews so I will shut up now and yeah the book's great.