The Sun is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publication: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s
Format: e-ARC, 384 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Read: October 2016
I received an e-ARC of this book from Penguin Random House UK Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book was so good! The plot takes place in the course of one day. The basic plot is about the whirlwind romance of the two main characters and they obstacles they have to overcome individually and together. However, it also deals with family, race, immigration, discrimination, love, regret, faith and honesty. The way all of these themes are interwoven together in this book is just beautiful.
Writing Style – 5 out of 5 stars
I became a huge fan of Yoon’s writing style when I read her debut novel, Everything, Everything but this one was so much more! She has a tendency to always add unique formats to her storytelling and this book was enchanting because of that special aspect. It’s beautiful, intense, powerful and smart. It deals with the different themes head on and both points of view were interesting and easy to read. I loved it.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Natasha and Daniel are the main characters in this novel and they couldn’t be more different from each other. Natasha is an immigrant from Jamaica who has spent most of her adolescent life in the United States. She’s about to start her senior year when her family gets deported and that makes her angry and jaded and scared. She’s really smart and she’s loves science. But she has a very practical and logical view of the world which would honestly drive me crazy if she was my friend. She’s sad and vulnerable and on her last day in the US is where Daniel shows up. He is a first generation Korean American who has dreams of becoming a poet but is dealing with the expectations his parents have for his future. He’s sweet and kind and romantic. He lets himself be taken away by life and what it brings into his path. He has a lot of pressure on his shoulders and he almost feels like he’s going down the path of eternal unhappiness so he takes a little detour and becomes rebellious. They worked well together despite all of their differences. And one of my favorite things about this book is getting to know their side characters and their stories from the little anecdotes written in from their points of view.
I absolutely and completely fell in love with this book, it was so beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time.
The plot is honest. We follow Natasha and Daniel, two teens on different paths who meet unexpectedly and spend their day together, falling in love against all odds. This book honestly could’ve gone so wrong. The premise of this book revolves around the romance of the two main characters yet they only spend one day together. It’s instalove and I’m sure that word just makes you want to take off running for the hills. But it was so great! This is the only book that I can say has managed to pull off instalove in a way that made me root for the characters as individuals and as a couple. And I think it worked because while their romance is the focus, it’s not the only thing they are dealing with. There were so many more things and themes explored in this book that the characters have to work through: family expectations (the difference between what you want and what your parents want for you), immigration (how it feels to be pushed out of the only place you feel at home), what love is all about (in all its aspects in life) and how the smallest thing you do can change not only your life but someone else’s life completely. The entire journey was just so endearing and heart-warming, while still being honest and raw about the harshness of life and its disappointments. One of my favorite things about this book is how we get to know the side characters. Every time one of our main characters stumble upon someone in their everyday life, we get a small glimpse of what they’re going through in their point of view. From the lawyer trying to help Natasha stay in the country, to Daniel’s asshole of a brother, to even the security lady in the immigration office. Each person somehow ends up being affected by Natasha and Daniel and visa versa. It just made the story that much more real because that’s how life is, you never know it but what you do in life whether for yourself or for somebody else affects the people around you. The entity of this book was well done because of it’s honesty and power.
Natasha and Daniel are totally opposites but I think that’s what made them work so well together. She’s a cynic, he’s a romantic. She’s a thinker, he’s a dreamer. When seeing them separately it’d look like a recipe for disaster, but where they were in their lives at that specific moment that they met affected their connection. They learned a lot from and about each other in that one day that ended up changing their perspective on life and how they viewed the world. Both of them grew by leaps and bounds within this book and I am still a bit shocked when I think back on how they started because it seems so impossible for just one day to affect a person that much. But sometimes that’s all you need. I have to say that I liked Daniel a lot more, because he was so whimsical and romantic compared to her that he tended to lighten up the book. But I connected a lot more to Natasha’s story. I was a young immigrant myself when I first moved to the US and I was extremely blessed and lucky to have had an American older relative which made my “illegal” stay very short even if I grew up there. Just picturing having to deal with the news that Natasha did, considering how I also moved back to Venezuela before senior year though for different reasons, really affected me and how I feel as an immigrant. People place such a stigma on that word and on the people that carry that word but they don’t see past their status to the people they really are. I just feel so much for her and for how crushing that news would’ve been.
I didn’t really know how this book was going to end but I was glad that it wasn’t something stereotypical or “easy”. It was just as honest and heartbreaking and real as the rest of the book was and while my shipper heart took a hit because of it, I appreciated how the author kept the integrity of the book, of the characters and their story intact. And that epilogue was just so sweetly open ended and so uplifting that I honestly wanted to pick this book right back up as soon as I finished.
Overall, I loved this book. It was a really honest and candid portrayal of life in America and of life in general. I loved the way the plot developed so thoroughly in the span of one day and how we got to see the way things affect the lives of everyone you meet as you go through life. The instalove romance felt real and it captured my love and attention so quickly. The ending was realistic and hopeful and I can’t wait to re-read this book as soon as I can.
So that’s it for this post! I really hope that this review will convince you to read this amazing book because I will recommend it until my dying breath. Don’t let the instalove scare you off I promise, you won’t regret giving this a try. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!