[Book Review] I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Fair warning: this is going to be an ode to a book. If you’re not about that life, you’ll probably want to click away from this page right now.

As I am writing this, I literally finished reading I’ll Give You The Sun approximately 15 minutes ago. Everything is fresh. Everything is vivid. This book… it’s like Jandy Nelson took a chunk of my soul and formed it into a story. That’s not to say that it’s about my life; I’ve never experienced really anything that happens in this book. But I felt it – deeply and powerfully.

Let’s take a look at my Goodreads updates:

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As you can see, by 5% of the way through the book, I was sold. The first chapter is like a breath of fresh air, with a character I could see myself in, but in a more metaphorical way than I ever have before. Everything about this book – the narration, the structure, the descriptions, and the plot itself – is a work of art. But it is laugh-out-loud funny, too, which completely caught me off guard! I knew it was going to be poignant. I knew it was going to be powerful. A number of people had recommended it to me over the last few months, so I knew it was going to be good. But I had no idea it was going to essentially become a part of me.

You know how there are some books that get hyped and hyped and hyped and you’re SO excited to read them, and then you do and it’s just… meh? I was afraid that was going to happen here. After SO many recs, I honestly didn’t expect much. I kept putting it off because of this. But at the same time, it feels as though this week was probably the most perfect time for me to read a work of art. Honestly, that’s a story for a different day. Maybe this will be a two-part ode… but I really needed it this week.

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So, the synopsis for the book, as found on Goodreads and Amazon goes something like this:

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.

And, yeah, that’s kind of what it’s about, but it also barely scratches the surface. I understand why it’s written this way – and I honestly don’t want to say much more about the plot for fear of killing some of the reveals – but seriously, people. Not even close.

 First of all, there’s Noah. Noah is the cinnamon-rolliest cinnamon roll to ever roll cinnamons. Fact. He sees the world through an artist’s eyes, and consistently emotes using titles of hypothetical paintings as a prominent part of his inner monologue. Let me tell you, I could always see the painting in my head. Noah resonated with me in the very core of my being. I’ve never loved a fictional character more.

Jude, on the other hand, I struggled with. But only in chapter 1, which is told from Noah’s point of view. To be fair, they’re both pubescent in chapter 1. Age 13 isn’t easy for anyone. Especially girls. By the time we get to 16-year-old Jude’s point of view in chapter 2, everything changes. She’s no longer the normal, popular, flirtatious girl we met in chapter 1, and so begins the unraveling of the true story.

IGYTS contains more passion, heartbreak, honesty, and hope than any work of fiction I have ever experienced. It took me 3 days to read. I could have done it in one sitting if I could have A) kept my emotions in check and B) read it consistently without stopping on every page to talk to somebody about something that just happened. No joke. This is a thing I did. I’d say I talked (in person) to or messaged  a total of 15 different people during the course of the last three days. All to talk about this book. And only maybe 3 of them had read it before. Basically, I am pushing this book on everyone I know. Shamelessly.

So, please. If you’re looking for something that will touch your heart and make you squee with joy, pick up this book.  If you want something to help deal with pain, pick up this book. If you want something that will just make you see the beauty in the world, pick up this book. It’s actually less than $7 on Amazon right now *wink wink*

As if I even need to include this, my final rating for
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson:

5 star

Duh.

Until Next Time ❤

 UPDATE (20 minutes later): Apologies for the utter word-vomit that is this review. I had some feels and I had to get them out. If you don’t understand, then you have no soul.

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Flash Fiction Wednesday: The Nurse is In

Happy FlashFic Wednesday, all! Thanks for tolerating my hiatus! I figured this would be the perfect day to pop back in with a little writing. As always, this is an exercise in writing short pieces, but mine happen to continue a single narrative. You can find parts one & two here. Constructive feedback is always welcome!


Sienna just stared at him. What do you even do in a situation like this? There certainly had to be a way to break this awkward silence, but first she needed to break the connection. Reluctantly, she dropped Luke’s hand back to his knee and put some distance between the two of them by standing & pressing herself into the wall, those currents still pulsing through her body as if they had become an integral part of her bloodstream.

The expression on Luke’s face had not changed. He stared up at her with equal parts confusion and awe plastered all over his face, as well as just a hint of desire. He wanted that feeling back, and so did she.  Also, she needed to get that glass out of his hand before it caused even more problems, right? Right.

Sienna slowly knelt down on the floor in front of where Luke was sitting. She reached up to grab a pair of latex gloves out of the first aid kit and put them on. Tentatively, she reached for Luke’s hand again, gently touching his skin with her fingertips through the gloves. While not nearly as effective as she had hoped, the gloves did a decent job of numbing the sensation; enough that she could keep her head clear while she set to work cleaning out his palm.

It occurred to her – as she was practically holding her breath and using every last ounce of concentration to keep her features neutral – that neither of them had spoken for a while… how long had it been? Twenty minutes? Surely longer than is socially acceptable, but Sienna could not string together a sentence right now to save her life. Instead, she merely peeked up at Luke through her lashes, more than a little pleased to find him also holding his breath and still looking dumbfounded. At least she wasn’t the only one who didn’t have a clue what to say. Or do.

She made quick work of the last few pieces of glass (to the best of her ability ignoring the magnetism  and grabbed the peroxide from the kit to disinfect the small cuts. As she dampened a cotton pad, she chanced another look at him, only to find him inspecting his palm.

“You’re pretty good at this. Are you in nursing school, or something?” his eyes did not leave his hand.

“No, I, um… I have a little brother who thinks he’s Evel Knievel. I can’t count the number of times I’ve cleaned gravel out of that kid’s knees.”

Sienna fumbled with the peroxide, grateful that Luke was so entranced by his own palm that he did not notice. She reached for his hand once again, warning him, “this is going to sting.” He flinched a little, but didn’t pull away.

Once she was satisfied that the cuts were sufficiently disinfected, she wrapped up his hand & tossed the gloves in the small trashcan. “Well, you’re all patched up. Maybe next time you’ll think twice before starting a cage match in proximity to a glass coffee table?” She tried to fix him with an indifferent stare, but he just smirked as he stood up and reached for her face. Everything in Sienna’s world went technicolor.


Flash Fiction Wednesday is a monthly writing challenge, initiated by @loudlysilent, to write a piece of fiction, 600 words or less, on the first Wednesday of every month. Check out FlashFicWed on tumblr for more writing from across the web!

Until Next Time ❤