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I'll Give You the Sun
Cover of I'll Give You the Sun
I'll Give You the Sun
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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 "We were all heading for each other on a collision...
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 "We were all heading for each other on a collision...
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  • 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

    "We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story."

    At first, Jude and her twin brother are NoahandJude; inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them.
    Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways . . . but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor.
    The early years are Noah's to tell; the later years are Jude's. But they each have only half the story, and if they can only find their way back to one another, they'll have a chance to remake their world.
    This radiant, award-winning novel from the acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.
    Printz Award Winner
    Stonewall Honor Book

    "A wild, beautiful, and profoundly moving novel. Jandy Nelson's writing is so electric, so alive, her pages practically glow in the dark." —Ransom Riggs, New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City
    "Jandy Nelson is a rare, explosive talent, and one of the best writers working today. Her prose is vivid, breathtaking, and drenched in passion, and her stories remind me why words can change the world." —Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series.
    "I love this book. Jandy Nelson is my new writing hero. Read this book. She'll be your favorite author as well." —Holly Goldberg Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s
    "Jandy Nelson's writing is poetic and mesmerizing. More importantly, Nelson weaves a novel that seeps into your bones like fire on a cold day . . . I'll Give You the Sun is a novel that promises a story like nothing else and then delivers it." —Garret Freymann-Weyr, author of Printz Honor book, My Heartbeat
    "This is a stunning, artfully woven story. My heart burst open at the blazing, unforgettable end. Magnificent." —Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone
    "An extraordinary book! I've never read anything like it. Lyrical-unique-passionate-magical-tragic-hopeful—Nelson's characters will fly off the page and into your heart." —Nancy Garden, author of Annie on my Mind
    From the Hardcover edition.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    This is how it all begins.

    With Zephyr and Fry—reigning neighborhood sociopaths—torpedoing after me and the whole forest floor shaking under my feet as I blast through air, trees, this white-hot panic.

    "You're going over, you pussy!" Fry shouts.

    Then Zephyr's on me, has one, both of my arms behind my back, and Fry's grabbed my sketchpad. I lunge for it but I'm armless, helpless. I try to wriggle out of Zephyr's grasp. Can't. Try to blink them into moths. No. They're still themselves: fifteen-foot-tall, tenth-grade asshats who toss living, breathing thirteen-year-old people like me over cliffs for kicks.

    Zephyr's got me in a headlock from behind and his chest's heaving into my back, my back into his chest. We're swimming in sweat. Fry starts leafing through the pad. "Whatcha been drawing, Bubble?" I imagine him getting run over by a truck. He holds up a page of sketches. "Zeph, look at all these naked dudes."

    The blood in my body stops moving.

    "They're not dudes. They're David," I get out, praying I won't sound like a gerbil, praying he won't turn to later drawings in the pad, drawings done today, when I was spying, drawings of them, rising out of the water, with their surfboards under arm, no wetsuits, no nothing, totally glistening, and, uh: holding hands. I might have taken some artistic license. So they're going to think . . . They're going to kill me even before they kill me is what they're going to do. The world starts somersaulting. I fling words at Fry: "You know? Michelangelo? Ever heard of him?" I'm not going to act like me. Act tough and you are tough, as Dad has said and said and said—like I'm some kind of broken umbrella.

    "Yeah, I've heard of him," Fry says out of the big bulgy mouth that clumps with the rest of his big bulgy features under the world's most massive forehead, making it very easy to mistake him for a hippopotamus. He rips the page out of the sketchpad. "Heard he was gay."

    He was—my mom wrote a whole book about it—not that Fry knows. He calls everyone gay when he's not calling them homo and pussy. And me: homo and pussy and Bubble.

    Zephyr laughs a dark demon laugh. It vibrates through me.

    Fry holds up the next sketch. More David. The bottom half of him. A study in detail. I go cold.

    They're both laughing now. It's echoing through the forest. It's coming out of birds.

    Again, I try to break free of the lock Zephyr has me in so I can snatch the pad out of Fry's hands, but it only tightens Zephyr's hold. Zephyr, who's freaking Thor. One of his arms is choked around my neck, the other braced across my torso like a seat belt. He's bare-chested, straight off the beach, and the heat of him is seeping through my T-shirt. His coconut suntan lotion's filling my nose, my whole head—the strong smell of the ocean too, like he's carrying it on his back . . . Zephyr dragging the tide along like a blanket behind him . . . That would be good, that would be it (PORTRAIT: The Boy Who Walked Off with the Sea)—but not now, Noah, so not the time to mind-paint this cretin. I snap back, taste the salt on my lips, remind myself I'm about to die—

    Zephyr's long seaweedy hair is wet and dripping down my neck and shoulders. I notice we're breathing in synch, heavy, bulky breaths. I try to unsynch with him. I try to unsynch with the law of gravity and float up. Can't do either. Can't do anything. The wind's whipping pieces of my drawings—mostly family portraits now—out of Fry's hands as he tears up one, then another. He rips one of Jude and me down the middle, cuts me...

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books sshans2 - In short, this book leaves you with enough thoughts about life, morality, betrayal, and family, to last you a lifetime. Noah and Jude are the closest twins you'll ever meet: they're each other's best friends, have their own inside jokes, original games, and know each other better than anyone. Noah has always been less social than Jude, an outsider, an outcast, spending his time with his sketchbook and paints. Jude, on the other hand, has always fit in at school, making friends, cliff-diving, and wearing red lipstick. Once it's time to enter high school, however, jealousy and competition get the best of them, demolishing all the closeness that made up their relationship. They lose people, meet people, and fall in love, on the path back to how it once was. Nelson managed to write this all so elegantly through alternating perspectives told from twins' eyes (rather than a couple's), and during alternating times. Jude's story is told from when they're 16. Noah's is from when they're 13-14. How Nelson made this work so beautifully?-- I have no idea.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 23, 2014
    Twins Noah and Jude are inseparable until misunderstandings, jealousies, and a major loss rip them apart. Both are talented artists, and creating art plays a major role in their narratives. Both also struggle with their sexuality—Noah is gay, which both thrills and terrifies him, while Jude is recovering from a terrible first sexual experience at age 14, one of two important reasons she has sworn off dating. Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere) unravels the twins’ stories in long chapters that alternate between their perspectives. Noah’s sections are set when the twins are 13, Jude’s at age 16, giving readers slanted insights into how their relationship deteriorated and how it begins to mend. The twins’ artistic passions and viewpoints suffuse their distinctive voices; Noah tends toward wild, dramatic overstatements, and Jude’s world is wrapped up in her late grandmother’s quirky superstitions and truisms. Readers are meant to feel big things, and they will—Nelson’s novel brims with emotion (grief, longing, and love in particular) as Noah, Jude, and the broken individuals in their lives find ways to heal. Ages 14–up. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties.

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2014
    Twins Noah and Jude used to be NoahandJude-inseparable till betrayal and tragedy ripped them apart.Nelson tells her tale of grief and healing in separate storylines, one that takes place before their art-historian mother's fatal car accident and one that takes place after, allowing readers and twins to slowly understand all that's happened. An immensely talented painter, Noah is 13 1/2 in his thread, when Brian moves in next door to their coastal Northern California home. His intense attraction to Brian is first love at its most consuming. Jude is 16 in hers, observing a "boy boycott" since their mother's death two years earlier; she is also a sculpture student at the California School of the Arts-which, inexplicably, Noah did not get into. Haunted by both her mother and her grandmother, she turns to an eccentric sculptor for mentoring and meets his protege, a dangerously charismatic British college student. The novel is structurally brilliant, moving back and forth across timelines to reveal each teen's respective exhilaration and anguish but holding the ultimate revelations back until just the right time. Similarly, Nelson's prose scintillates: Noah's narration is dizzyingly visual, conjuring the surreal images that make up his "invisible museum"; Jude's is visceral, conveying her emotions with startling physicality. So successful are these elements that the overdetermined, even trite conclusion will probably strike readers as a minor bump in the road. Here's a narrative experience readers won't soon forget. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-A resplendent novel from the author of The Sky Is Everywhere (Dial, 2010). Fraternal twins and burgeoning artists Jude and Noah are inseparable until puberty hits and they find themselves competing for boys, a spot at an exclusive art school, and their parents' affections. Told in alternating perspectives and time lines, with Noah's chapters taking place when they are 13 and Jude's when they are 16, this novel explores how it's the people closest to us who have the power to both rend us utterly and knit us together. Jude's takes are peppered with entries from her bible of superstitions and conversations with her grandmother's ghost, and Noah continuously imagines portraits (complete with appropriately artsy titles) to cope with his emotions. In the intervening years, a terrible tragedy has torn their family apart, and the chasm between the siblings grows ever wider. Vibrant imagery and lyrical prose propel readers forward as the twins experience first love, loss, betrayal, acceptance, and forgiveness. Art and wonder fill each page, and threads of magical realism lend whimsy to the narrative. Readers will forgive convenient coincidences because of the characters' in-depth development and the swoon-worthy romances. The novel's evocative exploration of sexuality, grief, and sibling relationships will ring true with teens. For fans of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl (St. Martin's, 2013) and Melina Marchetta's realistic fiction. See author Q&A, p. 152.-Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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