Review: I’ll Give You the Sun

Posted December 6, 2015 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments

Review: I’ll Give You the SunI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
on September 16th 2014
(371 pages) • GoodreadsAmazon Barnes & Noble

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.

my thoughts pink

Why do I read stories I know I’m not going to like?????? I was pretty damn adamant that I wasn’t going to read this book (evidence 1 and 2). I heard somewhere that the writing style was metaphor-filled like We Were Liars, which I totally loathed. I was right. It was similar and heavy-handed and frustrating. I feel stupid when I read books like that because I can’t tell if the person is being literal or if it’s a metaphor. Anyways, because this book was very middle-of-the-road for me, I’ll break into my usual YES and NO lists…

What I Liked
  • In general, I was a fan of the two separate timelines. I thought it was interesting to read about Noah at 13 while reading about Jude at 16, because you wonder how things progress in those 2-3 years. I started putting puzzle pieces together early on and saw some click into place depending on whose chapters I was reading.
  • The storyline was pretty interesting. I was curious to see how it all ended up, especially because it seemed like the twins ended up switching personalities in those few years. I wanted to know what happened to cause that.
  • I thought the ending was sweet. I actually started to think, “did I really hate this book as much as I thought?” when I read the ending. It was enough to leave me with a generally positive feeling about the book, instead of the low score I was planning.
What I Didn’t Like
  • Good god, the writing style murdered me. Like I said, the metaphors felt very heavy-handed and way too frequent. I don’t mind reading books that are considered more “literary,” but sometimes it’s just too much for my evidently small brain.
  • NOAH WAS 13 IN HIS CHAPTERS? Ummm yeah okay. So they went to a party and drank and did sexual things etc. etc. at that age? I know some people blossom faster than others, but it seemed a bit much. And, going off of the previous bullet, all of the weird constant metaphors happened in Noah’s chapters. He’s clearly the smartest 13 year old I’ve ever encountered in my life. I don’t think a normal 13 year old boy can TALK or THINK like he did. I know there are some exceptions, obviously, but this just didn’t feel real to me.
  • I could say the same thing about Jude. I’m cool with weird, interesting characters… but these two were just out of control. How did they come up with this stuff? You really expect me to believe I’m in the head of a 13 or 16 year old? I know that they came from unique, professor/artsy parents, but come on. Because of these character-related issues, I just couldn’t connect to them.
  • The premise of the book suggests that there’s some big event that breaks these two apart and changes them, but I predicted what the “twist” was within the first chapter or two. I am terrible at predicting things in books, so I thought that was lame. And, really, the twists were mostly related to a bunch of little lies about the same thing.
  • The chapters were REALLY FUCKING LONG. It made me miserable.

feels from friends pinkfriends animated GIF

rating breakdown pink

Plot & Premise
Writing Style
Pacing & Flow
Feels or Swoons
Addiction Level
Overall: 2.9

8 responses to “Review: I’ll Give You the Sun

  1. You know, I feel like I’ve seen you write that you’ve predicted the twists in a lot of books lately despite not usually being one who is good at solving mysteries. However, I think you may need to rethink that, since you’ve clearly got a knack for guessing plot twists in YA 😉

  2. I listened to this via audiobook and had a hard time with it. I forced myself to listen to the entire story, but I just wasn’t feeling it at all. So you are not alone in your thoughts on this one. I had heard great things about it, but maybe it was the writing style or the metaphors, but I just didn’t care for it. I still haven’t written my own thoughts down about it and I’m not even sure I’m going to bother this time. 🙁 It makes me sad when I don’t love a book that so many have mentioned to me, but I know we can’t all like everything all the time.

    It’s refreshing to see a post that isn’t all sunshine and rainbows about a book. Cheers!

    • I’m the same way about writing style/metaphors. I really wish it worked because so many people loved it. Thanks so much! I think it makes blogging fun to see different opinions, so we’re not all bored with the same ones 😉

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