I’ll Give You the Sun » Book Review

Posted March 7, 2016 by Ellen in Book Review / 5 Comments

I’ll Give You the Sun » Book ReviewI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Published by Dial Books on September 16th 2014
Pages: 371
Format: Hardcover

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell
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’m giving I’ll Give You the Sun 2.5 stars, because while I liked it, I wasn’t blown away.

I wanted to be.  It’s like that scene in Pride and Prejudice: “Bingley was ready, Georgiana eager, and Darcy determined, to be pleased.”

I was ready, eager, determined to be pleased with this Printz winner, I’ll Give You the Sun. I wanted to fall in love with it.

But I wasn’t and I didn’t.

Most of it is the characters and how they thought…

The book is narrated by twins, Noah and Jude, three years apart.  Together, their stories weave together to form a complete picture of a mysterious event.

Noah starts us out, narrating to us when the twins are thirteen.  He and Jude have always been close, but they find themselves growing apart…  Jude wears red lipstick and short dresses, hangs out with popular kids and surfs. She also makes cool sand sculptures, sews wacky dresses, and is obsessed with her dead grandmother.

Noah, on the other hand, doesn’t hide his weirdness as well.  He loves to spy on people, and draw them the way he sees them (often unflatteringly).  He doesn’t speak much, but keeps up a dark, intense inner monologue inside his head.  He seethes with resentment and jealousy.  I mean seethes. 

And I think this was the reason I didn’t love the book.

Even though the prose was stylish — artistic and wacky…

Even though the stakes were high and compelling…

Even though he pace was intricate and well-crafted…

The characters were ultimately unlikable.  

There were so many questionable words, emotions, thoughts, and actions in this book. I compiled a list of them, actually.

It is NOT Okay to…

All of these crimes are committed at some point by a character in I’ll Give You the Sun.  It was too much for me.  Sure, each character in this novel does a lot of good things, on top of their despicable things, but overall, I just got fed up.

You’re too much for me, manic pixie dream book.  Too much.


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