Monday, March 7, 2016

I'll Give You the Sun » Book Review

I'm giving I'll Give You the Sun 2.5 stars, because while I liked it, I wasn't blown away.

I wanted to be.  It's like that scene in Pride and Prejudice: "Bingley was ready, Georgiana eager, and Darcy determined, to be pleased."

I was ready, eager, determined to be pleased with this Printz winner, I'll Give You the Sun. I wanted to fall in love with it.

But I wasn't and I didn't.

Most of it is the characters and how they thought...

The book is narrated by twins, Noah and Jude, three years apart.  Together, their stories weave together to form a complete picture of a mysterious event.

Noah starts us out, narrating to us when the twins are thirteen.  He and Jude have always been close, but they find themselves growing apart...  Jude wears red lipstick and short dresses, hangs out with popular kids and surfs. She also makes cool sand sculptures, sews wacky dresses, and is obsessed with her dead grandmother.

Noah, on the other hand, doesn't hide his weirdness as well.  He loves to spy on people, and draw them the way he sees them (often unflatteringly).  He doesn't speak much, but keeps up a dark, intense inner monologue inside his head.  He seethes with resentment and jealousy.  I mean seethes. 

And I think this was the reason I didn't love the book.

Even though the prose was stylish — artistic and wacky...

Even though the stakes were high and compelling...

Even though he pace was intricate and well-crafted...

The characters were ultimately unlikable.  

There were so many questionable words, emotions, thoughts, and actions in this book. I compiled a list of them, actually.

It is NOT Okay to...

  • [spoiler]Destroy a piece of artwork because it's better than yours.[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Rip up someone's art school application.[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Favor one child over the other in an obvious fashion.[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Play two kids off one another.[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Be consumed by jealousy [/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Out a gay person against their will[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Have affairs. [/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Drive recklessly on a motorcycle.[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Jump off dangerous cliffs repeatedly, tormenting your family and friends with your suicidal ideations. It's not artistic and cool. That's a mental illness that deserves professional help.[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Trespass on private property.[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Look at naked people without their permission.[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Wish evil upon others[/spoiler]

  • [spoiler]Be severely passive aggressive, instead of communicating[/spoiler]

All of these crimes are committed at some point by a character in I'll Give You the Sun.  It was too much for me.  Sure, each character in this novel does a lot of good things, on top of their despicable things, but overall, I just got fed up.

You're too much for me, manic pixie dream book.  Too much.



  1. Oh gosh, I'm so glad I never ended up buying this, those things would have bothered me as well. It doesn't sound like any of it was handled very well.

  2. Okay, I can't comment on the spoilery section, because I haven't read this yet. I picked up a copy of this a few weeks ago in a sale! To be honest, I'm kind of "glad" to see a non-raving review? I feel like my expectations for this were too high prior to reading your review. I'm sad you didn't like it more (because I'm always that way with books) but I'm glad to see an honest and different review too.

  3. I loove this book. I'm sorry you didn't. *sad panda face*

  4. Lolol. Your review is fantastic. I'm glad to see you were brutally honest, especially since this has been on my TBR list for forever it seems. Especially with the suicide issue, I think I would've hated it, too.

    Glad to know I can skip this one with no regrets.

  5. It's hard to be honest at times, but I think people DO appreciate it!