Thursday, 20 October 2016

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Published in America by Dial Books in September 2014. Brilliance Audio edition narrated by Julia Whelan and Jesse Bernstein published in 2014.

Featured in This Time Last Year for Oct 2019

How I got this book:
Downloaded as part of the AudioSYNC 2016 season

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and 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 divisive ways...until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. 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.'

I managed to completely miss the hype about I'll Give You The Sun so downloaded the audiobook without any preconceptions other than it was a young adult novel. I don't think this label is well suited to the book though! Other than its main protagonists being in their mid-teens, this is just as much a book for adults as for teenagers. It explores universal concepts of family, loss, love and fate, and I enjoyed pretty much everything about it. In fact the only aspect that spoilt it for me was the narrators. Please publishers, if a book has a major character from another country, make sure you hire narrators than can actually pronounce words in the relevant accent. Whelan's English accent is mostly ok and gets better as we go along, but I don't think Bernstein ever even hit Europe, let alone Britain. It's so distracting and I wondered if Colombian listeners cringed as much every time Guillermo spoke!

Narration aside, Nelson's rich prose is frequently breathtaking and I loved her use of hyperbole and vivid colour to enhance her scenes. All the characters are complex and thoroughly believable so I felt totally immersed in their lives and am actually missing them now I have finished the book. The device of Noah and Jude individually speaking does result in some repetition, but it's not overmuch and the story has a good pace. Emotionally, I'll Give You The Sun hits hard with some intense scenes, but is also humorous and sexy, artistically passionate and great fun to experience. I would happily recommend this book.

Etsy Find!
by Lovely Bookish Marks in
Washington, USA

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Jandy Nelson / Young adult books / Books from America


  1. I have heard a lot about this book and I didn't miss out on the hype, but I haven't picked up this one and for some reason I'm still doubting about it for various reasons. But I am someone who loves a really good writing style and the use of hyperbole here sounds so good!

    1. I'd say give it a go because the writing is great fun, especially Noah's way of viewing the world and Grandma Sweetwine's maxims.