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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Story

As Bright as 1000 White Hot Suns

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.

61 of 65 people found this review helpful

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  • W.P.
  • Watermill, NY, United States
  • 10-15-14

An Emotionally Explosive Experience

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.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully written vivid story of love and family

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.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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My heart beated so hard while listening!

You can Google me for the rest of the review! I have a whole review of this book in my Blogger and Wordpress blog:

"Inkish Kingdoms"

I am in the same kind of state of ecstasy that I got in when reading “Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe.” If you loved that book that much to the point of almost going crazy, you will love this book like you love to lay down on a Sunday afternoon under your blanket reading a book while it is pouring outside your window. This weird and lovely chilly warm that you feel going through your body is the sensation that I got while reading this book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely wonderful!!!!

Any additional comments?

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.<br/><br/> 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!!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Mother of Clark Gable...

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Tara
  • Greenwood, IN, United States
  • 12-02-14

Loved it, plain and simple!

What did you love best about I'll Give You the Sun?

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.

Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan and Jesse Bernstein – was your favorite?

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.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, both. It is definitely and laugh-and-cry kind of book.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Soooo Romantic.

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.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful, hopeful, sweet

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.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Aimee
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 12-17-14

I'll give you the sun

Where does I'll Give You the Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I really enjoyed it but it would only be in my top 40 of books. I have listened to some amazing books this year

Have you listened to any of Julia Whelan and Jesse Bernstein ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to Julia a few times but never Jesse, he was nice to listen to

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed the story and liked how part of it was told when they were 13 and the other part from 16. It's well worth listening to

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Jem16
  • 06-19-15

A twice-over listen!

What did you like most about I'll Give You the Sun?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan and Jesse Bernstein – was your favourite?

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, <br/>Julia made Jude come to life in my mind, and I loved Jesse's thoughtful reading of Noah.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

Any additional comments?

I look forward to further books by Jandy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-19-15

Original, entralling and memorable

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mi
  • 10-19-17

really great ending

I found the book a little hard to get into but the ending was well worth the wait.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-03-17

Loved it.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters voices are just right! Would recommend this book to anyone over 12, who is looking for a heart-warming story about family and love and art and being who you want to be. Made me smile, almost cry and laugh! Read it!!

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  • Saadiya
  • 07-07-17

beautiful

such a beautiful story about with amazing writing!! I couldn't stop listening to it
m

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-24-17

Great story but shame about the British accent.

I absolutely loved the story and could barely stand to pause it for work having played it in the car. However, upon first hearing the attempt at a British accent (male narrator) I nearly stopped listening. It was truly horrific and very hard to listen to if you have any idea what the accent should sound like. Please, for the love of God, stop hiring people who can't do it well. It makes it nearly unlistenable. Luckily, the female narrator was better and was somewhat closer to getting it right and she for the most part continued that role. Please invest some time in getting it right as the British market won't all persevere with listening to it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-17

Favorite Book!

There aren't words to explain how much I love this book! So creative and inspiring!

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  • Deb
  • 04-27-17

Love this story

I'm 50 and this is my 20 yr old daughter's favourite book (along with 'the sky is everywhere'. Thought I'd give it a go.
What a beautiful story, told with eloquence and imagination.
Very current themes and I'm sure it's probably a teen book but I enjoyed it so much that I didn't want it to end.
I think it might be one of my favourites too now and it's a shame the other book isn't an audible.
Recommended but there are adult themes including homosexuality.
Very well written and I enjoyed the story tellers too. You have to hang your brain on a meat hook regarding the accents. They certainly didn't detract from the story in any way in my opinion.
Passionate story about love, art and family. I absolutely love it and will listen again, and again.

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  • heather
  • 03-14-17

Took a while to warm to it but a real page turner

Great intertwined plot with fantastic twists and turns.
Only thing that let it down for me was the voice of the English Oscar... sounded more like an old man than a heartthrob!

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  • Libby
  • 03-06-16

Story great. reading poor.

I loved the story but the terrible English accents really spoilt the character of Oscar for me.