- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (October 27, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142425761
- ISBN-13: 978-0142425763
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 787 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I'll Give You the Sun Paperback – October 27, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—A resplendent novel from the author of The Sky Is Everywhere (Dial, 2010). Fraternal twins and burgeoning artists Jude and Noah are inseparable until puberty hits and they find themselves competing for boys, a spot at an exclusive art school, and their parents' affections. Told in alternating perspectives and time lines, with Noah's chapters taking place when they are 13 and Jude's when they are 16, this novel explores how it's the people closest to us who have the power to both rend us utterly and knit us together. Jude's takes are peppered with entries from her bible of superstitions and conversations with her grandmother's ghost, and Noah continuously imagines portraits (complete with appropriately artsy titles) to cope with his emotions. In the intervening years, a terrible tragedy has torn their family apart, and the chasm between the siblings grows ever wider. Vibrant imagery and lyrical prose propel readers forward as the twins experience first love, loss, betrayal, acceptance, and forgiveness. Art and wonder fill each page, and threads of magical realism lend whimsy to the narrative. Readers will forgive convenient coincidences because of the characters' in-depth development and the swoon-worthy romances. The novel's evocative exploration of sexuality, grief, and sibling relationships will ring true with teens. For fans of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl (St. Martin's, 2013) and Melina Marchetta's realistic fiction. See author Q&A, p. 152.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Praise for I'll Give You the Sun:
Winner of the 2015 Michael L. Printz Award
Winner of a 2015 Stonewall Honor
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2014
A TIME Top Ten Young Adult Book of 2014
A Boston Globe Best Young Adult Novel of 2014
A Huffington Post Top 12 Young Adult Book of 2014
A 2014 Cybil Award Finalist
A 2015 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
A 2015 Topo Ten Rainbow List Selection
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2014
A 2014 Booklist Edtior's Choice Book
A Bustle.com Top 25 Young Adult Novel of 2014
"This is the big one—the blazing story of once inseparable twins whose lives are torn apart by tragedy."—Entertainment Weekly, "5 YA Novels to Watch Out For"
"Dazzling."—The New York Times Book Review
"Have you ever wanted to put a book in all of your friends' hands? This is that kind of book . . . Heartbreakingly honest."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Bold, even breathtaking. You get the sense [the] characters are bursting through the words, breaking free of normal metaphors and constructions, jubilantly trying to rise up from the prison of language . . . The book celebrates art’s capacity to heal, but it also shows us how we excavate meaning from the art we cherish, and how we find reflections of ourselves within it. . . . I’ll Give You the Sun is a dazzling mirror"—Lauren Oliver for the New York Times Book Review
"Both structurally virtuosic . . . and emotionally wrenching. That alone is a rare combination in literature, YA or otherwise. But then add in the characters . . . This book is a rebuttal to anyone suggesting YA, because it tells stories of young people, is somehow of lesser stuff. I’ll Give You The Sun is literature. Full stop. In my opinion, it’s not just the best YA book of the year, but one of the best books of the year."—Gayle Forman for Parade
"This book is many things at once, all of them engrossing. It's a book where teenagers think in almost indulgently poetic language while still sounding genuinely adolescent. It's two separate but equally intoxicating love stories. . . . Most of all, it's the mystery of what happened to tear Noah and Jude apart, and what—if anything—can bring them back together again."—NPR's Guide to 2014's Great Reads
"This book is about many things: grief, sexuality, creativity, bravery, identity, guilt. But mostly it's about love. Be prepared with more tissues than you needed for The Fault in Our Stars, a chunky notebook to scribble down all the quotes and a handful of witty responses when people ask why you're chuckling to yourself in the corner. Because this book will make you realise how beautiful words can be."—The Guardian
"Simply unforgettable. . . . If you’re looking for a book that’s deep and powerful and beautiful, look no further. You must read I’ll Give You the Sun."—Lisa Parkin for the Huffington Post’s “Top 12 Young Adult Books of 2014”
* “Readers are meant to feel big things, and they will—Nelson’s novel brims with emotion (grief, longing, and love in particular) as Noah, Jude, and the broken individuals in their lives find ways to heal.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "A resplendent novel...Art and wonder fill each page."—School Library Journal, starred review
* "Nelson’s prose is replete with moments of stunning emotional clarity, and her characters are as irresistible to the reader as they are to each other . . . No matter how they hurt each other, the love among all the characters is huge here—huge enough to destroy, huge enough to forgive, and huge enough to put their broken world back together again."—BCCB, starred review
* "In an electric style evoking the highly visual imaginations of the young narrators, Nelson captures the fraught, antagonistic, yet deeply loving relationship Jude and Noah share."—Booklist, starred review
* "An intricate and absorbing work of art emerges from the details of the interlaced sections. Few novels about twins capture so well the rewards and challenges . . . or the way in which people who have loved us remain in our minds after their deaths."—VOYA, perfect score
* "Readers will be hooked."—Library Media Connection
“The novel is structurally brilliant, moving back and forth across timelines to reveal each teen's respective exhilaration and anguish . . . Nelson's prose scintillates . . . dizzyingly visual . . . Here's a narrative experience readers won't soon forget.”—Kirkus
"Told in poetic prose with the barest hint of magical realism . . . a compelling meditation on love, grief, sexuality, family, and fate."—Horn Book
"I've gotten so involved in a book that I've missed my subway stop because I was reading; Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun might be the first time where I saw my stop and skipped it anyway."—The Daily Beast
"I'll Give You the Sun is a daydream . . . otherworldly and mesmerizing . . . Nelson's evocative language envelops one's imagination . . . an exquisite surrender to wonder and possibilities."—The Boston Globe
"I'll Give You the Sun gives the word 'intense' new meaning . . . a novel that makes you want to go out and skydive, but if you can read a novel like this now and then, you don't need to."—Newsday
"This one is going to be big... It is full of all the good stuff that sticks with you: love, identity struggles, loss, betrayal, and the complications of family, so you'll probably feel all the feels."—Bustle.com
"A blazing prismatic explosion of color . . . I'll Give You the Sun is that rare, immersive teen novel: To read it is a coming-of-age experience in itself."—Entertainment Weekly
"[These] viewpoints—Noah’s at 13 and 14, Jude's at 16—intersect in surprising ways, and eventually come together in a satisfying, if bittersweet, conclusion. . . . Young adults will learn they're not alone in navigating the emotional highs and lows of finding their identity; older readers will have moments of wistful recognition. I, for one, devoured this book.”—Montreal Gazette
"It's a meditation on life, art, family, fate, and how even the most broken people can help fix one another . . . This book will tear through you like a hurricane, leaving you in ruined awe."—Huffington Post
"Ingeniously told from the alternating perspectives of its spunky twin protagonists, this (technically) young adult noel jubilantly holds its own against the fall's grown-up offerings, with dead-on insights about surviving youth—and family."—O, the Oprah Magazine
"You'd think that we were plugging The Fault in Our Stars, but even that comparison might sell short I'll Give You the Sun... [It's] planted firmly in the positive, making for a gravity-defying, life-affirming experience."—San Francisco Magazine
"[Nelson] has an electrifying facility with description, especially how her characters feel at a given moment . . . [Jude], Noah, and the fine cast of subsidiary characters . . . are most memorable for how they poignantly illustrate the most basic of human emotions—love, grief, shame, remorse, joy."—Chicago Tribune
“One of Fall’s most anticipated YA books . . . it’s filled with complex and controversial themes that are relatable to anyone who has struggled with identity, sexuality, family ties and other struggles of growing up.”—Mashable.com
"Will pluck at your heartstrings."—People
"A wild, beautiful, and profoundly moving novel. Jandy Nelson’s writing is so electric, so alive, her pages practically glow in the dark." —Ransom Riggs, New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City
"Jandy Nelson is a rare, explosive talent, and one of the best writers working today. Her prose is vivid, breathtaking, and drenched in passion, and her stories remind me why words can change the world." —Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series
"I love this book. Jandy Nelson is my new writing hero. Read this book. She'll be your favorite author as well." —Holly Goldberg Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s
"Jandy Nelson’s writing is poetic and mesmerizing. More importantly, Nelson weaves a novel that seeps into your bones like fire on a cold day . . . I’ll Give You the Sun is a novel that promises a story like nothing else and then delivers it.” —Garret Freymann-Weyr, author of Printz Honor book, My Heartbeat
"This is a stunning, artfully woven story. My heart burst open at the blazing, unforgettable end. Magnificent." —Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone
"An extraordinary book! I've never read anything like it. Lyrical-unique-passionate-magical-tragic-hopeful—Nelson's characters will fly off the page and into your heart." —Nancy Garden, author of Annie on my Mind
Praise for The Sky is Everywhere:
"Nelson's first novel is tender, romantic, and loaded with passion."—The Horn Book
"The author brilliantly navigates Lennie's course between despair and hope, sorrow and humor... a gripping love triangle."—Shelf Awareness
"In this amazing tale of love and loss, Nelson introduces a cast of characters who make the reader laugh and cry."—NPR's The Roundtable
"Nearly everyone who's staggering through life in the wake of a loved one's death will recognize themselves in this brilliant, piercing story."—The Denver Post
* "This is distinguished by the dreamy California setting and poetic images that will draw readers into Lennie's world..."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A joy to read. You'll remember [it] long after you've turned the last page."—The Romantic Times
* "It's romantic without being gooey and tear-jerking without being campy—what more could a reader want?"—BCCB, starred review
* "This is a passionate, vulnerable, wonderfully complete and irresistible book."—VOYA, starred review
"[Nelson] writes with abandon... it's a headlong kind of book, preferably devoured at a single setting."—Los Angeles Times
"Brimming with humor and life, full of music and the poems Lennie drops all over town, The Sky is Everywhere explores betrayal and forgiveness through a vibrant cast of characters."—SLJ
"Those who think young adult books can't be as literary, rich, and mature as their adult counterparts will be disabused of that notion after reading The Sky is Everywhere... A finely-drawn portrait of grief and first love."—The Daily Beast
"A story of love, loss, and healing that will resonate with readers long after they've finished reading."—Booklist
"A story about love and loss... both heartfelt and literary."—Kirkus Reviews
"Sky is both a profound meditation on loss and grieving and an exhilarating and very sexy romance. The book deserves multiple readings simply to savor Nelson's luscious language..."—NPR (chosen by Gayle Forman as one of the top five teen reads of 2010)
"How grief and love run side by side is sensitively and intensely explored in this energetic, poetic, and warm-blooded novel."—The Guardian
"An addictive, romantic, heartbreaking, and wise tale of one girl's epic loss—and equally epic self-discovery. Seriously, stop reading this blurb; start reading this book!"—Gayle Forman, author of the New York Times Bestseller If I Stay
"Wow. I sobbed my eyes out and then laughed through the tears. I have not fallen in love with a story and its characters like this in a long time. Stunning, heartbreaking, hilarious. A story that shakes the earth."—An Na, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award and National Book Award Finalist
"Okay, I admit it. I have a huge crush on this book—it's beautiful, brilliant, passionate, funny, sexy, and deep. Come to think of it, I might even want to marry this book."—Sonya Sones, author of What My Mother Doesn't Know
"Full of heart, quirky charm, and beautiful writing, The Sky Is Everywhere simply shines."—Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist and author of The Secret Life of Prince Charming
"Jandy Nelson's story of grief somehow manages to be an enchantment, a celebration, a romance—without forsaking the rock-hard truths of loss."—Sara Zarr, National Book Award Finalist and author of Story of a Girl and Sweethearts
"The Sky Is Everywhere evokes the intensity of desire and agony of heartache with breathtaking clarity. This beautifully written story will leave an indelible impression upon your soul."—Susane Colasanti, author of When It Happens
A Publishers Weekly Flying Start Title
A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominee
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Translated into seventeen different languages
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
I'll Give You The Sun is probably one of the most literary and imaginative YA novels I've ever read. Everything works - the writing is expressive and nuanced, with unique imagery. You can really tell that Jandy Nelson thought and thought, and thought again about every word in the novel. Every metaphor, every description fits in with the themes of breaking and remaking, family and relationships, art and inspiration. It's an incredibly tight novel, and it's one that could easily have been placed in the literary fiction section of a bookstore.
The themes of I'll Give You The Sun are explored exquisitely - and the plot follows in a very sophisticated manner. This is a definitely a form-follows-function book - but it's done so damn brilliantly that you'll be in awe. The premise/form of the book is that Noah and Jude, fraternal twins, each have their own side of the story, Noah at age 13 and Jude at age 16. As a reader, we see both sides and how mistakes and choices change and shape each of them. The brilliance comes through how each reveal is made - to the reader and to the characters. And what makes the book even more complex is how each of those reveals follows the themes of breaking and remaking, of splitting apart and coming together that shape the characters and the novel.
The characters and relationships between them are full and clearly realized. I already mentioned the premise of the book, but let me just say that Noah and Jude are probably the most flawed and complex teen characters I've read EVER. I honestly can't think of more broken, fragile and alive characters that exist in YA fiction. We get every crazed, messed-up thought in their heads, all of their stupid actions, all of their esoteric behaviors...and it's just gorgeous to behold.
I'll Give You The Sun has one of the most realistic - and sexy - LGBTQ relationships I've ever read. This sounds weird to say, but in most YA I've read, I've never had to fan myself at a gay relationship - maybe that says more about what I read than what I don't read. This book, however, had what I imagine to be a very realistic gay relationship in its teens, and it's tumultuous and hard and beautifully steamy at a few moments.
The portrayal of art and the way it touches people will leave you inspired. I am probably the worst artist in the world (I can't even draw a straight line), but I was amazed and gratified by how art shapes the characters, how it changes and hurts them, and how it strengthens them. Art is almost like a secondary character in this book, and the way that Noah and Jude create and destroy is not just a metaphor for what they do but it almost turns into a way of living for them.
The romances are soul-crushing and soul-illuminating. Here's the thing: when Noah and Jude meet their respective partners, it's pretty much instantaneous intrigue. It's not quite total insta-love, but it's close. You guys know how I feel about insta-love (and one of them is a bad boy!)...but somehow, Jandy Nelson's writing can break all my rules and make me believe. I'm just going to give you one unbelievable passage, and you tell me you're not intrigued and kind of in love:
I know he's taking a hundred pictures, but I don't care anymore. A hot series of shivers is running through me as he continues clicking and saying: Yes, thank you, this is totally bloody it, perfect, yes, yes, sodding hell, God, look at you. It's like we're kissing, way more than kissing. I can't imagine what my face must look like.
"You're her," he says finally, putting the cover over the lens. "I'm sure of it."
"Who?" I ask.
But he doesn't answer, just walks down the aisle toward me, a lazy, lanky walk that makes me think of summer. He's completely unwound now, went from high gear to no gear the moment he covered the lens. As he approaches, I see that he has one green eye and one brown eye, like he's two people in one, two very intense people in one.
Jandy Nelson perfectly understands how closely entwined joy and sadness are. Guys, Jandy Nelson KNOWS. She understands why exquisite happiness is sometimes achieved only through understanding loss. She understands how grief can engulf and change and break a family, and how art can save and remake us. I don't know how else to explain the mingled feelings of happiness, bittersweet joy, and infinite sadness that engulfed me while reading except to say that Jandy Nelson is the YA Walt Whitman.
The Final Word:
I could go on and on about I'll Give You The Sun, but honestly, it won't hold a candle to the book itself. If you like literary novels, if you want all the feels, this book needs to be on top of your TBR list. Read it now. Bask in the beauty. And then give it to a friend, because a book this good demands to be shared.
Jude and Noah Sweetwine are twins, so close they often think of themselves as NoahandJude. They can read each other's thoughts and know each other's fears. At age 13, both are artistically creative and emotionally sensitive in their own ways, yet they're also quite different. Jude is a daredevil who loves to surf, take risks, and is rapidly becoming the type of girl who intrigues and attracts all the boys, while Noah tries to live his life unnoticed so he won't be bullied, lives in his own artistic fantasy world, and is fighting his attraction to/obsession with the new boy next door.
Yet three years later, Noah and Jude are barely speaking, and everything has changed. Jude lives in constant fear and has isolated herself from the possibility of a romantic relationship, and while she feels a profound need to create art, she can't seem to express herself the way she wants to. And Noah has completely given up art, dives off of cliffs, and become the person no one ever thought he'd be. What happened in their lives, and between them, to change everything so drastically? When Jude meets a charismatic young man she can't stop thinking about, someone with a connection to Noah, and then meets a troubled artist whose talent may help her free her artistic block, these encounters provide answers and yet more questions.
"'Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,' I say. 'Maybe we're accumulating these new selves all the time.' Hauling them in as we make choices good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things."
I'll Give You the Sun shifts in perspective between Noah and Jude. Noah's narration takes place when the twins are 13, Jude's takes place three years later. Each of them holds half of the answers yet aren't willing to share them with the other to complete their understanding. How can a relationship that was so interdependent, so interconnected, turn so painful?
"This is what I want: 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."
This is a book about the half-truths we tell ourselves and our reluctance to see what is in front of us and say what we truly feel. It's a book about following your heart and accepting the truth, even if it leads you somewhere you're afraid of, and realizing you must live the life that ignites your passions. It's also a book about how simple it is to hurt those closest to us, and how the simplest actions can cause so much pain.
Nelson is an absolutely exquisite writer. I cannot tell you how many sentences I read over and over again because they took my breath away. That being said, I found Noah's narration—while tremendously heartfelt and emotionally provoking—a little difficult to follow, because he speaks in a stream of consciousness-type way, as he sees everything in his head as a painting. It took a little getting used to, but it truly touched my heart. Jude and Noah are such vivid, beautiful characters I absolutely loved, even as I wanted to shake them for making the mistakes they did.
This is one of those books I wish were so much longer because I didn't want to give up these characters. I hope someday Nelson gives us a glimpse into their lives again, but even if she doesn't, I know she is an author I'll need to keep reading. This one blew me away.
It's so beautifully written. I definitely related to all the characters in this book. They were flawed without you actually hating one character. The world Noah lives in is so beautiful that you yourself will paint that beautiful world with the vivid imagery Jandy uses to describe it. This book felt so nostalgic for me, bringing me back to all those firsts for me: love, heart break, lost of innocence, realities. And then when Jude comes in with her perspective, (ugh) she reminded me of all those moments after all the firsts are gone and you build layers and layers of walls to surround yourself in so those on the outside keep away.
When you first start the book, Noah and Jude are like every twins you've ever imagined doing things together and reading each other minds.But with age, you grow apart, sometimes from those you were closest too. You read from Noah's past and Jude's present future. You read where and what cause them to end up how they are. How little lies can cause such detrimental damage to not just you but those around you, and that in the end, you have to be true to yourself to set yourself free from those lies.
I loved this book and had already started recommending it to friends and because I seriously buy books off of the reviews on Amazon. So I needed to write one for this book just in case there is someone like me who buys book off reviews too :)
FYI: this is my first book review. My thoughts are everywhere trying to gather what I can to do this book justice. :)