book review: i'll give you the sun



Despite being disappointed with Jandy Nelson's other book, The Sky is Everywhere, i actually had expectations for this one because everyone was saying that it was much better than that one. I'm so glad they're right!I am rating this book 4.4 out of 5!(i can't get myself to give it 5 stars on Goodreads because the first half wasn't easy to get into)

I'll Give You The Sun is a unique story about a pair of twins, Jude and Noah, and how a tragedy had affected their powerful relationship. Jude, the fervently superstitious one who has unresolved issues with the person who died, tries to find a way to amend her faults towards the dead and towards her twin brother Noah. Noah, an extraordinarily talented artist who happens to have interest in a boy he meets, struggles with his feelings and dilemmas to protect the ones he loves. This story is a deep one about family and a wonderful one about being true to yourself.


What started off as quite an ordinary read during the first half of the book turned out to be a story that's surprisingly full of depth and emotion. Although i was a little disappointed with the slow start that was quite full of mystery, i ended up understanding and even appreciating the pace because of the flood of feels that came in the second half of the book. It was brilliant!

I absolutely loved the realization when finding out how all the characters are linked to one another. The chapters were organized by two points of views alternately; Jude at age 16 and Noah at age 14. It was so interesting to read about how different the two characters were at both ages, and to wonder what the hell made them change in between that time. It was great to read the next chapter and be able to fill in the gaps from the previous one.  I love how the author made me come up with my own assumptions and later am shocked with some twists of the story.

The two main characters were absolutely unique and incredibly interesting. I would say that Noah was more of a wonder compared to Jude, but I personally liked Jude more as a character. The writing was so wonderful and was done incredibly well that i was actually able to distinct the two characters by the style of writing. Noah was the funnier one and his thoughts were freaking hilarious and entertaining to read. It was so cool to have the occasional "self-portrait" parts where we see titles of the artistic image he randomly paints in his mind.

Jude on the other hand, had a lot of superstitious kind of thoughts which were really ridiculous that it was really funny to read. Perhaps it was because she had the POV of herself at 16 and Noah had his at 14, but she sounded like the more mature one out of the two. I love how protective she can get and how she would always want things to be right between them in the end.

Okay, time to talk about the style of writing. Holy freaking crap. The writing is freaking magical. I can't really explain how it's unique, but the way things were described and thought about was weird, funny and incredibly interesting. It doesn't use typical mundane descriptions you would read in most books. No wonder it took three whole years to write. Even though the pacing for the first half was slow, the writing managed to keep me reading anyway.

***SPOILER SECTION***

At first, i didn't like Jude that much because she seemed so selfish as a twin sister, while Noah was the more reserved one who seemed like he deserves to be loved more. But after a while, i grew rather fond of Jude especially when finding out how much she had struggled to get her mum's love and attention. I totally started to understand how horrible it must have been to have to fight for your own mother's love. To actually experience her forgetting about you, not noticing your talents, and see her idolize your TWIN instead. Although it was real bitchy of her to set Brian up to be her partner in the closet, i understood her rage towards Noah, who was stealing everyone away from her. Plus, she had tried to make amends with Noah who freakin ditched her! That was when my fondness for the two characters balanced out. I love them both.


Okay, Noah and Jude are BOTH jerks toward one another. Jude not mailing Noah's application was very low of her, and i was shocked and angry when i found out. But Noah was selfish too, he didn't even want to share their mother's attention, didn't want their mum to know Jude's artistic talents as well. It was so funny and interesting to read about twins with such a tight bond to fight like that. Oh, and the whole rock-paper-scissors thing is SO cool. Even though it's obviously unrealistic that they would ALWAYS come up with the same gesture, it was still so cool.

The "emotion of feels" i referred to earlier is the baggage of burden i realized both characters had to go through. I was so sympathetic towards Jude for having had to go through a traumatic intimate experience at the age of 14, right before her mum died. It was so devastating that at the one moment she had actually needed her, wanted her to be there, that it was too late. And that she blames herself for it. My heart felt for her when I found out the real reason why she wanted to make the stone sculpture of her mum so bad, because of what she had done to Noah's dreams. Reading that she was still trying to make amends with her mistakes made me like her character a lot. The whole love story between her and Oscar was kinda random though, and i didn't really buy into it that much because of the whole sudden "true love" thing. But i did find the idea of a split-apart really wonderful. And i loved her for telling Oscar that she doesn't want to share a soul with someone, that she wants her own soul. YOU GO GIRL.

Oh God, where do i start with Noah's burdens? That poor boy! He carried so much baggage, so many secrets and had even changed who he truly was to keep everyone else happy. I love, love how his relationship with his dad grew, and what he was willing to do to protect his father. i loved how he tried staying loyal to both his parents when they separated. Even though he's selfish sometimes, i think he deserved happiness in the end. I just wish we had gotten a final chapter from Noah, at age 16. The final chapter should have been about his conversation with Brian in the woods before they came out and before Jude had her final chapter. That would have made it perfect.

The whole twist with Guillermo and their mum was so random but undeniably so romantic and sad. I'm glad that Noah(or was it Jude?) acknowledged that it was quite traitorous of her to cheat on their dad and to choose another man, but i also like the question Noah/Jude raised; would it really be wrong if she was staying true to herself? If she was going to be honest to everyone and just love who her heart loves? Oh God, her final encounter with Noah was just devastating. I can't believe she mouthed "i love you" to her son when he freaking yelled that he hated her. Damn, that was intense.

I don't really have many thoughts about Oscar. I don't really like him that much, he's not really the romantic cliche type but idk something about him made me feel a little meh. I didn't even like Brian that much either. The romantic aspect of this book didn't really cling on to me. It was massively about the relationship between the twins and their family. That's what i enjoyed reading about the most.

***END OF SPOILER ***

This book has a bit of mature content in it(language and sex but just a bit. and there is also a bit of gay romance), but i also think the style of writing may not be easy to follow for some younger readers. So i would probably recommend it to those above the age of 15 or maybe 16. But it was definitely a refreshing read, something i definitely have not come across before. I think i would read it again, maybe somebody. If you're looking for a contemporary book that's different but not-that-different at the same time and has a unique style of writing, go read this.




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if a house is made from a thousand bricks, then let me be one of those bricks, to help keep the house together, to make a significant difference.

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Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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