I'll Give You the Sun

I'll Give You the Sun

Book - 2014
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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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, [2014]
ISBN: 9780803734968 (hardcover)
0803734964 (hardcover)
9780142425763 (pbk.)
0142425761 (pbk.)
Branch Call Number: Y NELSON
Characteristics: 371, 8 pages ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: I will give you the sun


From Library Staff

List - LGBTQ+
KCLSTeenLibrarians: Genres Oct 24, 2013

Two twins, once inseparable, now barely speak to one another. The truth of what happened between them slowly unveils itself, and the real magic is in the family these two find in the people they meet outside of their home.

Twins Jude and Noah have two very different stories to share: Noah’s, told in flashback, involves coming out, crushing on the boy next door, and doing everything with his sister. But in the present, Jude falls for an artist, gets mentored by a man connected to their dead mother, and tries to mend... Read More »

List - Far From the Tree
KCLSRachelA Feb 13, 2018

Two twins, once inseparable, now barely speak to one another. The truth of what happened between them slowly unveils itself, and the real magic in is in the family these two find in the people they meet outside of their home.

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.

From the critics

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Mar 30, 2021

Twins Noah and Jude Sweetwine are extremely close, as close as any twins can be. Noah is a shy "revolutionary" who prefers the company of his sketchbooks, while confident Jude loves surfing and cliff-diving. However, time breaks apart even the closest of siblings. When tragedy strikes their family, the twins are emotionally separated, switching personalities and trying to each find their own way in life, battling their own inner secrets. It's only when the secrets are revealed and the truth slowly comes to light that the twins find their way back to each other and realize just how much their paths will always intertwine.
I loved this book and everything in it. It is able to portray a story of heartbreak, family, and redemption in such a beautiful way, through vibrant characters, time skips, and intersecting storylines. At any given point, it's difficult to predict what comes next, though everything makes sense in the end. It does take a chapter or two to get used to the certain style of writing as it can be a little difficult to grasp, but once you have it down, this is an extremely enjoyable book that shows all of the details and issues of youth.

Mar 03, 2021

“I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson is honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read in a while that puts the “realistic” in realistic fiction. The book centers on a pair of twins: Noah and Jude. While initially close, as the twins transition into their teen years, both meet their own individual problems and even share some tragedies, including the loss of their mom. These problems drive a wedge in their relationship, and they eventually drift apart. The book starts off at this point and features two points of view: Noah’s and Jude’s. Noah narrates the earlier years where they were both around 13 and leading up to their separateness. Jude narrates the later years as a sixteen-year old, following their lives apart. Both possess an incredible imagination and create a vivid telling of this story. Noah is an artist, who likes to insert ideas for paintings in the middle of his narration that convey his emotions in the story. Jude is superstitious, a trait she inherits from her grandmother that talks to her from the dead, and she follows her grandmother’s bible of beliefs and ways to find luck. Instead of portraits, she puts little tidbits of her grandmother’s bible that could apply to the emotions she feels and situations she puts in. This kind of storytelling can put the reader off at first, but if they adjust, the following story opens up a lot more. Looking past that, the story feels so beautifully real. What sets this apart from other teen fiction stories I’ve read is the fact that it isn’t unnecessarily filtered. There isn’t a parental filter on the story that can make it feel absolutely mushy, nor is there a negative stereotype of teenagers used that portrays them as cool-wannabes that constantly cuss in every other sentence. The characters feel like beautiful, stumbling, and awkward humans, with their own immature yet real thoughts and actions. Plus, seeing them come together and make an overall fulfilling story completes the package for me. Overall, I recommend this story for ANY teen or person looking for an emotional read. Also, readers who have enjoyed stories with multiple perspectives like “Wonder” will settle right into this book.

Feb 26, 2021

My heart is so happy right now.

Over five years ago, Jandy Nelson made me a fan for life after experiencing her writing in The Sky is Everywhere. I’m not sure why it took me this long to finally read her sophomore novel, but it’s young adult stories like this that remind me why I still enjoy reading quality YA literature. As I bob and weave through various YA entries, I only manage to hit pay dirt once in a blue moon. It hasn’t stopped me from trying, but it definitely has had an impact on the number of YA stories that I will add to my reading queue. It's been far too long. I (WE) need Jandy Nelson to continue writing stories of this caliber.

Jul 28, 2020

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is the quintessential YA realistic fiction novel. With that said, I did still enjoy reading this book. I’ll Give You the Sun follows the life of twins: Jude and Noah. The story is told from both of their perspectives with Noah telling the earlier years and Jude the later. In the beginning, Jude and Noah are attached at the hip. Their relationship exemplifies the classic cliche: Jude is outgoing and gutsy and Noah is shy yet incredibly artistic. Without giving too much of the plot away, a series of life altering events devastate their lives. Through a series of twists and turns, the novel explores a number of themes applicable to the lives of many teenagers.
I’ll Give You the Sun is a beautifully written coming of age story. One of my favorite parts of the novel was how the narration was split between Noah and Jude. While they experience similar life events, their perspectives on these events are so different yet you are able to sympathize with both sides. It allows you to realize ulterior motives, the unsaid thoughts in their minds, the reason why they act the way they act. However, Nelson will occasionally lean too much into the YA, coming of age cliches making the novel seem far from realistic and many of the metaphors, especially from Noah, get irritating at times. Nevertheless, the story Nelson presents is beautiful, compelling, complex, and most definitely will tug at your heartstrings.

Apr 01, 2020

The first book about twins I've read.
I love the complexity and simplicity of the connections throughout the book.
This goes to show that if you have a different point of view from someone, doesn't mean you are wrong.
One of my favorite books.
A must-read to everyone. 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 . . . the rest is for you to find out! A novel similar to this one is The Sky is Everywhere.

Nov 27, 2019

This book is unlike everything I've ever read. All books affect you differently - but this one is definitely something special. So, so beautiful and concise. It's very transformative in terms of how you view family relationships and growing up. I highly, highly recommed at least giving it a try.

Jul 07, 2019

Writing quality was so poor compared to everything else I was reading that I just had to put it down. From what I've heard the story is beautiful but I just could not get over the rubbish writing.

JCLTiffanyR Apr 19, 2019

I was wowed by this book and it's landed a firm spot on my top ten best books of all time list! Nelson's prose is vivid and lyrical. I found myself sucked into the story of Noah and Jude, fraternal twins and gifted artists. Their story of estrangement and familial dysfunction seeped into my soul as I grew to truly care for the twins and their struggles, like they were part of my own family. I'll Give You the Sun is one of the best depictions of what it must be like to have an artist's soul that I've ever experienced, written by one of the most talented authors I've ever come across. Those that say YA is lowbrow haven't read I'll Give You the Sun.

Mar 29, 2019

Really beautifully written. The main characters are teenagers but I read it as an adult and could still absolutely relate to it.

Jan 29, 2019

This book is simply amazing. It captures the feelings of the characters very well, and though a lot of people complain that Nelson uses too many metaphors in this book, I don’t mind them at all. I actually really like them. Brian and Noah’s relationship is very cute, though heart wrenching in some scenes. The change of personality over the years with Noah and Jude is very interesting, and the crossovers as well. I loved this book and I really recommend it.

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Mar 03, 2021

thaitea7009 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jul 28, 2020

karyn8787 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 26, 2020

navy_turtle_237 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 24, 2019

blue_moose_382 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 18

Apr 13, 2019

Ravindersidhu thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

brihawkins13 Apr 06, 2018

brihawkins13 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 03, 2017

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 27, 2017

Emma_Fireblossom thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 28, 2016

LIUYANG2012 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Dec 30, 2015

dclansdowne thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add a Quote
Mar 14, 2021

“Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”
—Jandy Nelson, I'll Give You the Sun

Mar 14, 2021

“No hot guy should be allowed to have an English accent and drive a motorcycle.
Not to mention wear the leather jacket or sport the cool shades. Hot guys should be forced into footie pajamas.”
—Jandy Nelson, I'll Give You the Sun

Jun 26, 2020

"We walk and walk through the gray ashy dusk and the forest starts to fall asleep: The trees lie down side by side, the creek halts, the plants sink back into the earth, the animals switch places with their shadows, and then, so do we" (Nelson 69).

Jun 22, 2020

"His soul might be a sun. I've never met anyone who had the sun for a soul."

Jul 03, 2017

Noah: "Mom has a massive sunflower for a soul so big there's hardly any room in her for organs. Jude and me have one soul between us that we have to share: a tree with its leaves on fire. And Dad has a plate of maggots for his."

Jul 21, 2016

"I want to grab my brother's hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders. Things don't really turn out like you think."

Jul 21, 2016

"Quick, make a wish. Take a (second or third or fourth) chance. Remake the world."—Jandy Nelson, I'll Give You the Sun

Jun 02, 2016

"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."

ellensix Oct 09, 2015

"Quick, make a wish. Take a (second or third or fourth) chance. Remake the world."
—Jandy Nelson, I'll Give You the Sun

Jul 21, 2015

“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.”

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Add a Summary
Jun 26, 2020

"I’ll Give You the Sun" is an enthralling young adult fiction novel that follows two fraternal twins (Noah and Jude) throughout their young adult lives. Noah struggles with his identity as he falls in love with the boy next door. Jude enjoys the thrills in life, but she feels pressured by the people around her.

Their family isn’t perfect. In fact they fight a lot, but tragic things can change people. Noah and Jude start off inseparable, but after several years they are barely speaking. The entirety of this book is packed with juicy details that any novel lover would be ecstatic to get their hands on. I would recommend this to all people who seek a page turner.

siammarino Oct 02, 2015

Noah and Jude are twins whose parents split up. This is a great story, told alternately in both of their voices, about growing up, sibling jealousy, coming out, dealing with divorce, and what it's like to be an artist and an outsider. Colorful and emotional language.

LibraryK8 Mar 09, 2015

Jude and Noah are twins who share more than just the same birthday, they share the world. The two are incredibly close and share their secrets, friends, talents and more. A novel told from two perspectives, in two different times in the twins' lives, I'll Give You The Sun shows the rift that came between the twins, then shows the reader the trauma that began their separation.

In middle school, Noah and Jude prepare their applications for art school at the urging of their mother, an art journalist. When their mother praises Noah's art without even looking at Jude's the twins know who is her favorite, driving a wedge between them. The distance only gets farther when Jude kisses a boy that Noah likes at a party. The chasm is cemented when their mother passes away that summer.

In high school, Jude feels like an outsider at art school, unable to make her hands communicate what she wants to say. Her sculptures are all mysteriously broken, falling off shelves, cracking in the kiln. Jude it is convinced it is the vengeful spirit of her mother taking revenge on Jude for a past wrong-doing. Meanwhile, Noah languishes in pubic school. He has stopped drawing, and stopped talking to Jude as he slowly fades away.


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