Review: ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’ by Jandy Nelson

Oh. My. Goodness.

I only finished this book about five minutes ago, but I have to write this review immediately because I have to channel my feelings about it into something!

I'll give you the sun cover img
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (UK cover)

This book is absolutely spectacular. I adored it, every moment, every word, every page. This author has an amazing way with words, a way with characters. I am blown away by how beautiful this book is. It has made me cry, it has made me laugh out loud, it has made my heart hurt and explode with joy.

This book is about a pair of twins, Noah and Jude, and it is about lots of different kinds of love, especially between the two of them. It’s about bad things happening, about grief, pain, guilt, about healing and family, and finding other people. It’s about being an artist, about creation and creativity. It’s about so, so, so many things.

From reading the author’s note at the beginning of the book, I knew that I would love it. Nelson describes her experience of writing the story and her hopes for your experience reading the story wonderfully starting Dear Reader.

As a writer, I know I’m onto a winner when I start reading something and my thoughts fly straight to: I want to be able to write like this.

The prose is elegant, potent and full of titanic imagery. If the mark of good writing is not just communicating that it’s raining but giving the feeling of being rained on, this is the closest words have to come making me feel that. The voices of the two twins are so incredibly strong, so similar and yet absolutely distinct.

As a physical object, the book is also incredibly beautiful: I have the UK paperback copy, with a bright yellow cover, but my copy also has yellow-edged pages. The illustrations throughout the book that interact with the text work brilliantly.

I’m sure I could find a thousand more ways to express my love for this book but essentially it comes down to a massive, full-volume recommendation. This book instantly earned a spot in my Favourites, and set the bar higher for everything else I’ll read after it.

This is for anyone who has felt like the outsider, anyone who has grieved and struggled with it, anyone who is creative and artistic and lives inside their own head. Anyone who has felt like they have multiple selves, who has made mistakes and not known how to find themselves afterwards.

Have you read I’ll Give You the Sun? Did you love it as much as I did, or have you got a different perspective? Let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Review: ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’ by Jandy Nelson

  1. […] 1 – I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson This is my favourite book of the year so far, and since reading it first I have already gone back to it twice. The language is gorgeous, the characters are vivid and while they both have romantic plots involved, these are never the focus of their stories – they are parts of very complex lives which overlap with the themes of the whole work. I wish that fifteen or sixteen year old me had had this book. Read my original full review here. […]

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