Bright Blue Barf & A Strange Plot ~ Let’s Discuss I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, 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.


I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Format & Pages: Hardcover, 371

Published: September 16th 2014 by Dial Books

Source: Providence Public Libraries

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 

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COVER REVIEW: Simplistic and colorful. I definitely love the feel of this cover.



zI didn’t love these characters. And I have to give you a warning, I didn’t like a lot of things in this book, so be prepared for some pretty strong hype-crushing opinions.

I guess I just couldn’t empathize with them enough. I didn’t understand Jude, I didn’t get a deeper feeling of her. Noah was so… I’m not sure exactly how to word this :)! They all gave me a very alienated feel, and the writing made it so that I couldn’t exactly figure out what they were so upset about, so… it all wrapped itself into one very confused mess.


There is almost no plot to this book. And it’s a contemporary, so I don’t have a big deal with that. There was a huge tragedy (no spoilers) and then these artistic twins had to recooperate and fell apart.

z1However, the way the story unfolds is extremely confusing. First Noah (the gay brother) tells us about his life when he’s 13, then we go into Jude’s (the sculptor sister) mind, and then it goes back and forth a couple times. The switches were kind of abrupt and weird, but each twin did have a very distinct voice, so… it was a kinda-sorta win win.

There was huge character development, especially with Jude, which was very beautiful and helped me connect. There were also a lot of twists and turns, which helped get the story moving. But overall, I feel like I’m still confused and aggravated because I don’t understand what’s going on.


Now, much like Tahereh Mafi’s book Shatter Me (which I have a review of), this writing was extremely metaphorical and visual, with a lot of strange quotes like:

She barfed bright blue barf all over the kitchen table.

Now obviously this didn’t literally happen, but the narrator visualized it as something that was going on inside her head.

This writing style tends to be a huge hit or miss for readers. In Tahereh Mafi’s case, it was a huge success and I fangirled about it nonstop. But for this book, it just blew over me and I ended up not being satisfied at all with the story.

For me, the writing style of this book made it hard to concentrate on the story at hand. The protagonists of this book were artists, and so the writing was very expressive. I believe a lot of people adore this book for that, and I wholeheartedly support that opinion. I think it differs between person to person, and in this case it just didn’t work for me.


-That ending… Oh my goodness. *sniff*

-Jude became such a badass! Yaas!

-Brian turned Noah’s mistake into such a beautiful triumph

-There were so many touching scenes that I fully enjoyed


-The alienating feeling that lingered with me

-The writing style

-The chapter breaks

-The ‘bible’ (I felt like that was a little offensive to Catholics)


I think how much you enjoy this book will really depend on how well the writing style works for you. In my case, it didn’t really work, but there were still a lot of beautiful scenes that made me smile and cry. I don’t think this will be a reread, but I certainly won’t forget this book for a while.

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


Jandy Nelson is an American author of young adult fiction. Prior to her career as an author, Nelson worked for 13 years as a literary agent. She holds a BA from Cornell University as well as MFAs in poetry and children’s writing from Brown University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. Nelson lives in San Francisco, California.


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