Title: The Sun is Also a Star (2016)
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance and Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s and Corgi Children’s
Release Date: 3rd November 2016
Reviewed by: Lois
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?
A lot can happen in just one day. The Sun is Also a Star tells the story of Daniel and Natasha. Daniel is always trying to be dutiful to his parent who immigrated from South Korea before Daniel was born. Natasha has her entire life planned out but she is an undocumented immigrant who is being deported back to Jamaica in 12 hours.
I wasn’t too sure when I started this book if I was going to be a fan or not. I’m really not a fan of ‘insta-love’ and ‘boy-meets-girl-and-instantly-falls-in-love’ storylines. But this story is so much more than that.
The story is told from the first-person perspectives of Daniel and Natasha. But from time to time the story deviates from Daniel and Natasha so as to focus briefly on other characters from the story. These characters only appear for a brief moment but their appearances drive a crucial plot point. But sometimes these deviations focus on a scientific concept that is mentioned in the story. A lot of people have not been a fan of this because at times it really can get confusing to keep switching perspectives. However, I am a big fan of stories that flip between different perspectives so as soon as I realised The Sun is Also a Star did this I was excited to read further. This writing style definitely works for this story.
This book covers a lot of issues throughout the storyline. The main issue being family immigration. Daniel and Natasha have their own issues coming from the main issue of immigration. Daniel’s parents immigrated from South Korea before Daniel was born. Daniel doesn’t quite know how much he is willing o sacrifice in order to fulfil his parent’s expectation on what is a ‘good life’ to lead whilst in America. Natasha is having to deal with being deported back to Jamaica after living in America since she was aged 8. All of this because of one mistake that her Father has made. I could tell that Nicola Yoon had taken her time to extensively research the topic of immigration. You can tell she had researched about immigration because of how authentic and respectful her portrayal of such an important and current topic in this day and age. These are not the only issues that this book covers. It also briefly covers the issues of suicide, depression, career choices and how what you do everyday affects others.
The characters in this book are beautiful and so well written, that even though this book takes place over very small period of time you really do feel like you know that characters and their stories by the end of the book. I cannot forget to mention the diversity of characters that Nicola Yoon has used in this book. The two main characters are Jamaican and Korean and you don’t see this in many YA books.
The one downside I could give to this book is definitely about the ‘insta-love’ that the character Daniel and Natasha has. I know that for the story to work as it did it had to be like this. I just wish we got to see them fall in love over a long time period. As it seemed somewhat cliché and unrealistic for them to fall in love that quickly. But I can also see how it shows the reality of the situation they are both in and the fact that Natasha doesn’t have long left in America.
Overall, I was very impressed with this story. The ending really will take your breath away. It did mine. This is the second Nicola Yoon novel that I have really enjoyed and I will definitely be picking up her next novel whenever that comes out. I would recommend this book to any Young Adult, romance and contemporary fan out there. It is a really fun and touching read that covers a lot of current issues.
Thank to Nicola Yoon, Penguin Random House UK Children’s, Corgi Children’s and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Until next time,