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I'll Give You the Sun (2014)

by Jandy Nelson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0381583,922 (4.3)53
"A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different points in time, and in separate voices, by artists Jude and her twin brother Noah"--
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» See also 53 mentions

English (157)  Dutch (1)  All languages (158)
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
Ecstatic. ( )
  Adamantium | Aug 21, 2022 |
Maybe if you are a bit more into art, you'll appreciate the book more then I did. A tale of twins whose lives break apart and then wind up back together again. Along with some family drama to boot. I loved the idea of the story, I just unfortunately had a hard time with all of the art metaphors. It really took me away from the story because I just didn't get it. And that's okay. It was still a good story, just not told in a way I could fully appreciate. ( )
  kayfeif | Jul 7, 2022 |
Star and a half. The first time I read this, I enjoyed the melodramatic, flowery, seemingly nonsensical descriptions. It was like a puzzle, as I tried to figure out what each meant in context. Now? It's boring, annoying, can be jarring, and isn't clever the author wants it to be. The book opens up with one of the twins being beaten up. It was not an effective opening at all. It was done for shock value. As happened on first read, I had trouble understanding what Noah was doing when he--anyways, he takes breaks in his own inner monologue to give moments or poses artistic titles. Like it's an oil painting or charcoal series. This really, really annoyed me the second read. Jude and the mom, in the beginning chapters, seriously creeped me out. I felt so bad for the dad. It fascinated me on second read to witness the parents' marriage fall apart. The author disintegrated it skillfully.

Jude's magical thinking annoyed me both times I read this. It was too much to keep track of, on the first. Second: uhhgh. Fine. Characterization. Before Jude's tragic backstory was revealed, I thought that she should get over herself and let herself have a crush on a boy. When the trauma was later revealed, her behavior made more sense until Oscar showed up. Her relationship with her dead grandmother saddened, irritated, and unsettled me all at once. It might have something to do with her horrible mother, who Noah acknowledges regularly ignored Jude when the three of them were together. Their mother went so far as to absentmindedly abandon Jude at an art museum, however briefly, -after looking at only Noah's portfolio.- This instance is narrated by Noah, but the book quickly shift's to Jude's POV and stays there for most of the book.

Artists are name-dropped a lot. It tells me nothing except the author knows a lot of names. Tell me, Noah and Jude and Mother, about your relationship to these artists and their works! Who do you think is the most underrated? Whose work is overly simplistic, yet garners high praise from critics? Who makes you smile? Who are you tired of? Instead, it's Name Name Name Name. Until it becomes aaaallll about a sculptor that Jude wants to mentor her. I felt cheated, but whatever, this is the story this author is setting up. Jude soft-core stalks the prospective mentor, and considers breaking and entering. The stone sculptor is a racial stereotype and deserved much, much better treatment. He's this majorly accomplished stone sculptor, and out of hundreds of people who want him as mentor, he picks a white teenager he's never met before, and who almost broke into his house, because she cries at him. She makes fun of his accent with the resident hot English guy.

Her views on her crush on the hot English guy, and attraction to him, are straight out of middle school. "NOT THAT I NOTICED," she shrieks in her inner monologues that span paragraphs. She also makes fun of his Eastern European ex (?) girlfriend, specifically her accent, since Jude sees her as a threat, and shrieks to herself about. Was--was the author going for "I'm xenophobic towards everyone whether they're a mentor, a threat or a sex object teehee!" character, in Jude, or--what? The author was clearly trying to show Jude healing in some way from her assault a few years earlier, halfway through the book. Instead: annoying middle school girl in a teenager's body. Euughugh. They have similar tragic backstories in their mothers' deaths and--I didn't buy them bonding, if that's indeed what the author was trying to portray. I practically died of secondhand embarrassment when attempts to write nonverbal UST between the two were made. Super harsh of me, and I'm self-conscious to admit it, but true.

This book had an enormously cliche ending. Normally I wouldn't mind, but this book was ultimately so uninteresting and problematic on second read. I'm glad I read it again, though, so I know now. ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 28, 2022 |
The book definitely lived up to its hype !
The book revolves around the twins Noah and Jude who are both artists.It covers important themes such as Identity and Codependency as well as self expression , grief and guilt.
By the end of the book everyone has grown, changed, shed their grief, and learned to accept the truth of who they really are—and who the people they love the most have become. ( )
  kritieeee | Jun 16, 2022 |
The story sweeps you away in a long, drawn-out grieving over a mother's death and the damage/love that fiercely competitive twins do to one another. Realistic, sad, magical, intense. Full of beauty and brilliant art. Full of unexpected, inevitable connections. Full of betrayals and bullying and forgiveness and fierceness.

Alcohol/drug abuse (some). High pressure underage sex, that is deeply regretted. Gay boy love story. Divorce. Death and hauntings. Fury. Difficult family relationships. Bullying. And love that comes around and around again. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
I'll Give You The Sun is a colourful, fantastical novel about art, love and jealousy. Despite the fact that parts of the story were a little hand-knitted I found it an enjoyable read. The way it talked about art was interesting and beautiful and the characters were vivid and engaging. This book tells the story of twins Noah and Jude who share an almost telepathic bond until they are torn apart by tragedy and jealousy. It alternates between 13-year-old Noah's perspective and 16-year-old Jude's. This way of telling the story was original and interesting but it took me a while to get used to and the novel would have been much easier to read if the chapters had been shorter. I would forget what had been happening in the previous chapter and often there was no convenient place to stop reading. ... I would recommend this novel to readers aged 13 and up, but I think readers need to make their own decision about whether I'll Give You The Sun is for them, having read my review. It had its ups and downs, but for me, it was a compelling, involving read that I won't be forgetting anytime soon.
added by Cynfelyn | editThe Guardian, Valentine (Jan 23, 2015)
 
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Epigraph
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.  I'll meet you there.  --Rumi
I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the truth of the imagination. --John Keats
Where there is great love, there are always miracles.
--Willa Cather
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. --E.E. Cummings
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for Dad and Carol
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This is how it all begins.
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"A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different points in time, and in separate voices, by artists Jude and her twin brother Noah"--

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