A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell.
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.
This radiant, fully alive novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing - often all at once.
©2014 Jandy Nelson. (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded with permission of the Author, c/o Pippen Properties, Inc.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Jude and Noah, male and female twins are opposite, yet one, and sibling rivalry runs high. Both apply to a prestigious art high school, desperately seeking approval from their mother. Noah views every situation as a portrait and nervously fidgets, drawing what he sees. He paints, she sculpts and both believe Noah is the favorite and a lock for admission.
Nelson is a fabulous writer, giving Noah a quirky sense of humor, narrating from the age of 13-14 and edgy angst to Jude, narrating from their current time; age 16. There are strong themes, including a tragic event, first love, rivalry, lies, and the desire to belong and be accepted. Both narrators did a fantastic job, sounding just as I'd picture their characters. Don't read other reviews giving away too many details, just enjoy this amazing and well-written coming of age story. If you liked "The Perks of Being a Wall Flower", you will love this. If you haven't read that one, read/listen to both.
Yes, this is technically a Young Adult novel, but in my opinion, it's categorized as YA because it's ABOUT young adults. It is however FOR any reader at any age.
Noah and Jude are paternal twins and they are both artists. I’ll Give You the Sun is about their dynamic relationship during their teenaged years.
I could not stop reading this book. It perfectly captures the emotional volatility of growing up, but more specifically growing up as an artist. The story of Noah and Jude is weaved beautifully and unpredictably throughout, as the author jumps back and forth between perspectives and time periods.
To call Jandy Nelson's language descriptive or colorful would be an understatement. And to say that she has a mastery over the modern teenage vernacular would be missing the point. Her luminous use of metaphor gives you entreé into the twins' minds, and allows you to see the world from their individual and distinct points of view, which only makes you love them even more and care about their personal and artistic trajectories.
I'll Give You the Sun packs a mean emotional punch which will knock you on your ass and make you want to dance at the same time.
I just loved how the whole story came together. The narrators did great with the accents of Guillermo & Oscar. They kept it upbeat enough that I never was lulled to sleep like I can be with some audiobooks.
I loved the relationship between Jude & Noah both when it was bad and when it was good
I liked Jude as performed by Julia Whelan. I just could feel all the emotions in her voice.
The chapters alternate between the points of view of twins Jude and Noah in order to tell the story of how they grew apart and quit communicating with each other when their family their family faces some problems. Jude's story takes place when the twins are sixteen,after an important family event, while Noah describes what happened when they were 14, when the problems began. It's one of those books where the story unfolds slowly, all of the puzzle pieces eventually fall into place and the reader breaks out in goosebumps (at least I did!)
Art plays a huge role in the lives of the twins, since their mother teaches art, Noah expresses himself through his nonstop sketches and painting, and Jude has a flair for sculpture. The beautiful metaphors and visual imagery that Jandy Nelson uses to describe not only the scenes, but also the feelings of the characters strongly mirrors the references to art that are throughout the book. It's almost like one very long poem, and the reader becomes immersed in the colors and mood of the descriptions. The writing was simply stunning, and I felt an emotional connection with both of the characters.
Julia Whelan is one of my favorite female narrators, and she did an excellent job portraying all of the emotions Jude went through in the book. She can build the suspense and voice heartbreak. I love her voice, and her pacing was perfect.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (fiction) - This is a beautifully written book about young adults, but it is definitely not YA. Noah and Jude are boy/girl twins who are age 14 through 16 throughout the duration of the story. They are both gifted artists, and they think in metaphors and self-portraits. Jude talks to her dead grandmother, and Noah draws everything he sees. They are incredibly close when they don't hate each other. They are brilliant except when they act stupid. They are true to themselves until they change. They grapple with the mysteries of life until they conquer them.
The story jumps between past and present and is told alternately from each twin's point of view. It gets a little confusing when someone who is dead gets in a car and drives off (really!!!) but I enjoyed this way of getting to know Noah and Jude. Prepare to be "in the heads" of these unique twins as they deal with normal teenage challenges and others that are not so normal. You will feel their joy and sadness but, most of all, you will get lost in the wonderful creative language of the author.
PERFORMANCE - There is a male narrator for Noah and a female for Jude. Their voices are both age-appropriate, and their performances are perfect! (Even at speed 1.5X).
OVERALL - This story is about teenagers, but I'd recommend it for only very mature teenagers as well as adults. There is sexual exploration but only one small mention of actual sex. There is a sprinkling of bad language. The story is very character-driven and a little slow getting started, but the ending is great!
I am a 35 yr old woman and I absolutely loved this story. All of it. Though it may be classified YA, the themes transcend age and are something many can relate to - love, death, relationships, lies and truth. I can absolutely relate to the idea of running away from pain and at the same time abandoning your true self.
Both narrators are fantastic and add tremendously to the charm of this book.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes coming of age and family relationship stories.
Oh, everything: the alternating voices; the non-linear structure; the characters; the beautiful, layered, and funny writing. It's unabashedly romantic, in the best possible way.
I'm fond of everyone, but Noah and Jude are my favorites. Near the end, it hit me that Jesse Bernstein sounds like a cross between Woody Allen and Matthew Broderick - that's not a criticism, just an observation. Julia Whelan was awesome.
Yes, both. It is definitely and laugh-and-cry kind of book.
This audiobook was unputdownable. As much as it is a young adult love story, I have never read something so heartwrenching and heartwarming at the same time. The story is absolutely beautifully crafted and so full of emotion, one tide after another, and although the characters are far from perfect, even far from good for that matter, somehow they make you want to make them happy. So badly. Because as fictionally beautiful they seem, I can imagine them being flesh-and-bone humans. I remember three fourths into the story when things went terribly awful and raw, thinking to myself no it's never ever gonna work out and I'll be crying tears of regret when the book ends, but I was proven wrong. Perhaps my only concern is that, perhaps, the mishaps and the coincidences and the perfect ending at the end, seemed to stretch luck a little too far, and I have trouble imagining this storyline in real life, though for the record (haha Jude) I wish more than anything for this artistic world to take me in. The narration was clearly delivered, with perfect emotion for the teenagers, especially the girl, and the dialogue was done seamlessly. I recommend this to anyone looking for a miracle.
I loved this book!!! It was probably my favorite listen as well. The narrators captured the spirit of Noah and Jude perfectly. There were (hour to almost two hour long) chapters that I listened to and then started them over again just because it was so beautifully written and told! I didn't even realize this story was considered YA until I finished. Like another reviewer said, I think it was categorized as YA because it is ABOUT young adults.It is beautiful, romantic story of love and loss that has easily become one of my favorite books.
I had this in my wishlist for so long and wish I had bought it sooner. If you are trying to decide on a book, PICK THIS ONE!! You will not regret it!!
Put your books into my ears!!!
I cannot express how completely in love with this book I am. I want to listen to it again and I'm sad that it's over.
Jandy Nelson uses such amazing descriptive language, literally painting the emotions for us. I was amazed at how similar and how different she was able to write the twins in both actions and feelings. Noah described everything with colors.... Jude with movement, capturing their unique personalities.
The book kept me listening intently throughout the entire thing. The story line was interesting enough to keep me wondering what was going to happen. The emotions the characters describe were incredibly real. Everything did get wrapped up in a nice bow, which can be disappointing, but honestly I fell head over heels for these characters and wanted nothing more than a happy ending.
"A twice-over listen!"
This was such a satisfying, enthralling story. I loved and empathised with the main characters, and found I really cared about what happened to them.
The complicated relationships, beautifully interwoven in the plot line, and the flawed but totally likeable characters. It explored the love, resentment, betrayal, guilt and remorse within the family in such heartbreaking colour. I loved this book.
I thought both were extremely well performed - the narration was perfect and very sensitively read. I'd find it hard to choose between the two,
Julia made Jude come to life in my mind, and I loved Jesse's thoughtful reading of Noah.
Yes. I listened to it over about three days, and immediately listened to it a second time as I loved it so much and didn't want to let it go.
I look forward to further books by Jandy.
"Original, entralling and memorable"
The story is just so good. An original and complex story of love and loves of every kind, and a story about art and expression. Carefully chosen and created characters weave in and through each other's lives with truth and lies, bringing surprises, tragedy and joy. All this and well read by two narrators (one for Noah, one for Jude) whose only real faults were the English accents - are they really that hard? ;) I'd recommend this book to anyone. A must read.
"Story great. reading poor."
I loved the story but the terrible English accents really spoilt the character of Oscar for me.
"This is a great book."
This is a superb interwoven yarn of life and love, captivating, sad but yet full of hope and beauty. I highly recommend it.
"Just not for me"
I think I may be partly to blame for not doing a bit of research before buying this audio book. For context I'm a 22 year old male and felt a bit too old to be listening to this.
Having said that the story was reasonably intriguing and it was nice to see the characters progress (although somewhat unrealistically) but the writing style annoyed me and I must confess to disliking most of the characters somewhat. The little artistic cutaway sections that Noah indulges in were particularly tedious for me. Although the tone of a young boy is captured quite well.
The performance was particularly poor and in fact becomes quite distracting, especially the accents. The British was an affront to all living britons and the Spanish sounded more like easten European verging on comedy dracula..
overall not a terrible book but one I won't be reading again. I'd also probably recommend it to younger readers.
"Not As Good As Hype."
I only enjoyed half of the book. So don't think it was the best time well spent.
The most interesting was from Noah's perspective. He was a great hopeful and joyful character. His twin sister is not so much. I don't feel she gave much to the story.
I think they did great but I think I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn't used the audiobook or had a paperback and audio.
No. This book is bad enough as it is, no dragging out is needed.
I really enjoyed this story, and the performance was fine when the actors were reading in their own voices. Any other accents though...oh dear. The English, Spanish, Transylvanian accents?? All completely appalling!!
A 43 year old who loved it. Wouldn't want my 13 year old to listen to it though, lots of language and abit too raunchy in places.
"You Gave Me The Sun"
Wonderful, funny, hopeful, romantic, emotional. This was a complete and thoroughly enjoyable surprise, it had me hooked from the beginning. Usually I fall in love with one maybe two of the characters I'm reading or listening to but I fell in Love with all the characters in this book. The use of imagery to describe Noah's and Jude's feelings had me lost in a sea of pictures in my head. A book to get lost in and to listen to again. I'm also going to buy the book to read. 5 stars plus.
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