Bookish Chat – I’ll Give You the Sun

August 8, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★½

Bookish Chat – I’ll Give You the SunI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Dial Books
Date Published: 2014
Genres: Death & Dying, Family, Love & Romance, Siblings, Social Issues, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 371
Audiobook Length: 12 hours 57 minutes
Audiobook Narrator: Jesse Bernstein, Julia Whelan
Source: Free audiobook download from Sync summer audio pairings
Rating: three-half-stars
Description: The New York Times Bestselling story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, Jenny Offill, Emma Straub, and Rainbow Rowell

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 . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. 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.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.


It’s time for another Bookish Chat with Julie and Lynn. Where we chat about a book. Because it’s more interesting (and easier) than a review! Also, it is way more fun! So let’s jump right into our Bookish Chat on I’ll Give You The Sun.


Lynnpic    I was re-reading the description. And I really do not like when the book descriptions compare books to other authors. This was in no way Rainbow Rowell-ish.

Julie Review Avatar    I don’t know that I’ve read enough Rainbow Rowell to know, but I agree. Stop with all the comparing. Let these books stand on their own.

Lynnpic    Not John Green, either. If that helps you.

Lynnpic    I think the comparisons just raise my expectations too high

Julie Review Avatar    Yea and they can really affect our enjoyment of the book. Glad I didn’t read the blurb recently. I went by cover and the fact that I’ve heard of it before as justification for reading it.

Julie Review Avatar    Also the free part.

Lynnpic    Yes. For me as well. Having heard of it. And the free part for sure. It’s on a lot of “read this” lists.

Lynnpic    I know that we both didn’t like this at first. Or well, were at least bored. What do you think was the turning point for you?

Julie Review Avatar    It was weird at first. Purple puke and all. I had a hard time connecting with the crazy siblings with all the jumping in time. I think when Jude started working with the sculptor and we got some British hot guy humor, that was my turning point. That’s when some of the secrets started coming out.

Lynnpic    It was weird at first. For me, it was definitely when the two different narrations between Jude and Noah were starting to meet up. And yes, finally make sense. I thought it was great how the author weaved those seemingly disparate store lines together.

Lynnpic    But yes, also, hot British guy, Even his story line with Noah made Noah slightly more interesting.

Julie Review Avatar    Yes I was hoping there would be more of him when we got the quick visit.

Julie Review Avatar    Noah’s section introduced him well as a likable and interesting someone. But we didn’t know who he would become for us.

Julie Review Avatar    I also really liked how Sculptor and Jude were both crazy and passionate and that helped make Jude more interesting for me.

Lynnpic    true about the sculptor and Jude. He really put her whole need to get the art out into perspective for me.

Lynnpic    I did find it especially hilarious that Jude was all worried about every disease. And that the sculptor really did help her relax.

Lynnpic    And cat Freda Kahlo. That’s a great name for a cat!

Julie Review Avatar    Yea she needed her own crazy quirks. Her brother had near hallucinations of exaggeration, so she needed diseases. Messed up pair there heh.

Julie Review Avatar    Haha yea that is a great cat name, and I like how she came to accept the disease-ridden thing haha

Lynnpic    Yes. Jude and Noah are definitely a pair!

Lynnpic    And she did warm up to the cat. And the dust. I’m glad.

Julie Review Avatar    What did you think of Brian?

Julie Review Avatar    I feel like his character wasn’t developed enough for me. We see him through Noah’s eyes, and a little bit of inner growth when Jude looks up his details later, but I feel like I got to know the other important characters more.

Lynnpic    Yes. Especially given that he was so important to Noah.

Lynnpic    But maybe because Noah didn’t know him well, we don’t? He was only there for the summer.

Lynnpic    I did like the bag o’ rocks that he carried around! That was pretty funny.

Julie Review Avatar    Haha yea I almost forgot about his meteorites. He’s quirky too. I like how everyone had quirks of some sort.

Lynnpic    yes, for sure. and how he and Noah met – with the hanging out on the roof.

Lynnpic    Loads of quirks in these characters!

Lynnpic    Speaking of. The whole Noah and the portraits what a bit disconcerting at first. Like what the heck were all of those about? How Noah sees everything?

Julie Review Avatar    Yea that’s how I took it. He imagines himself in those self portraits. And it kind of shows how his mind is just full of crazy purple puke!

Lynnpic    Maybe I just don’t get that, as I’m not an artist. But that might also explain the mural at the end. Getting all the art out of himself.

Julie Review Avatar    I loved that mural at the end! that he didn’t completely give up on that part of himself.

Lynnpic    me, too! I was glad to see that the part of him that was really him was still there, all along!

Julie Review Avatar    This is definitely a good book to come with illustrations though. I would love to see some of those self portraits and drawings of others. Like the British guy Jude gave up the sun for.

Lynnpic    time for a fan fic search!

Lynnpic    I guess fan ART not fic


Julie Review Avatar    It was almost like both siblings put on disguises to hide their true selves. they didn’t want to be “that girl” or the artist who didn’t get into his dream school, even though the spirits warned him of such haha

Julie Review Avatar    Omg speaking of… that crazy faith stuff that Jude was following from her Grandma’s teachings. That was the quirkiest quirk of all.

Lynnpic    that was the quirkiest quirk. And way past folk lore.

Lynnpic    I wonder though, if like you said about masking their true selves, this was how Jude coped with the grief. By only doing the things in the book. Like that would STOP the grief

Julie Review Avatar    though I’m glad her seeing/talking to ghosts still leader to meet Sculptor and find out “where the hell is Ralph?”

Julie Review Avatar    Maybe. She really did believe it, and thought it would save her from falling for Oscar.

Lynnpic    true. The ghosts at least pushed her

Lynnpic    And I still don’t get the Ralph thing. Yes, that was Oscar’s last name. But was that the “Ralph” the bird was talking about?

Julie Review Avatar    that’s what Noah took it as

Julie Review Avatar    as soon as he introduced himself as Oscar Ralph, Noah said well now we have our answer.

Julie Review Avatar    And I took that too, as one of Grandma’s signs hehe

Lynnpic    oh – I didn’t think about it being Grandma’s sign. That kind of makes sense. And I guess I was trying to connect the dots in a straight line. And this book is definitely NOT a straight line kind of book.

Julie Review Avatar    not even a little. It takes the windiest of paths to get to the point that by the time you get there you almost forgot what we were talking about.

Lynnpic    lol. Very true.

Julie Review Avatar    I liked the Dad. He just was so no-nonsense. Upon learning the truth he’s like, ok, that makes sense. Even if the truth wasn’t what he was hoping for, it settled him better than a lie.

Lynnpic    He fit the bill for the mostly absent parent in YA, for sure.

Lynnpic    And his quirk of walking.

Lynnpic    Plus, I dig that he was interested in moving onto a house boat. That is super cool

Julie Review Avatar    Yea that really was. I can’t imagine living on a boat!

Lynnpic    for sure. sounds like motion sickness waiting to happen. Constantly.

Lynnpic    But I was glad they were moving. Moving on. Moving to a new place. All moving forward.

Julie Review Avatar    Yes they finally got their closure after all the truths came out. And they could try new adventures.

Lynnpic    yes. And what about Oscar and Jude. He wanted to wait til she’s older. But then she doesn’t. Their relationship looks like it might work out.

Julie Review Avatar    I liked that he was thinking about being willing to wait. That was awesome. And I like how she took charge of that conversation.

Julie Review Avatar    And earlier, stole his jacket.

Lynnpic    ending the boy boycott. Which I thought was a hilarious turn of phrase. The whole book.

Julie Review Avatar    yes, that boy boycott was silly. wasn’t going to make up for what she did earlier, but was just punishing herself. I’m glad she allowed herself to be happy.

Lynnpic    Weird that both Jude and Noah did horrible things to their mother. And then she had that accident. I’m sure the guilt would be horrible. For both / either of them.

Julie Review Avatar    Yea they did both feel awful guilt. for years! and so much anger. and their poor dad didn’t even know what was going on or how to help them through it.

Lynnpic    for sure. They didn’t even help each other. Which for twins, is probably unusual.

Lynnpic    Oh – what about this quote

“I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.”

Lynnpic    The title! She gives up the sun. For a drawing of Oscar.

Lynnpic    That is pretty cool. And super romantic, if you ask me.

Julie Review Avatar    YES! that’s why it was so awesome when they met and we the reader knew who he was and that she gave up so much for the drawing. And it was HIM!

Lynnpic    I know! I thought that tie together was so fantastic!

Lynnpic    and my fav scene with them was on the motorcycle

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.


Julie Review Avatar    haha! yes, some great quotables in this book. so pretty good writing. I’d read another of her books.

Lynnpic    I have not read any of her other books. Might need to now! I think by the end, I was really invested in the book. And the characters. It just took a circuitous route to get there. (pun intended.)

Julie Review Avatar    yea! I read some other reviews when people gave up after 100 pages and said it was awful. And other reviews when people stuck it out and said they were glad they did. I think starting so strangely wasn’t doing that book any favors.

Lynnpic    agreed. I’m glad I powered through, as well. And that you were ahead of me to tell me to power through! I might have given up myself!

Julie Review Avatar    No giving up on hot British dudes 🙂

Lynnpic    hahahahaha. That is very true!

Julie Review Avatar    Verdict? The ending was so good I almost wanted to give it 4 stars, but the beginning was so weird that I ended up giving it 3 stars.

Lynnpic    I’m going with 3 1/2 stars. But I’d have to agree with you. Pretty close to a 4.

Julie Review Avatar    Apparently they’re making a movie of this!?

Lynnpic    hah – I was reading that internet post. from 2014. Nothing more recent. It might make a good movie. All the art was very visual.

Lynnpic    If they don’t mess it up


Who else has read I’ll Give You The Sun? Any thoughts you want to add?

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