Review of The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Publication Date: November 1, 2016.

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books.

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, and Romance.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice

Synopsis: 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?

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The Sun Is Also a Star is a book I have had on my to be read list for quite some time, and it did not disappoint when I finally read it. If you are in search of a young adult story that will pull you in, make you both laugh and cry, and at the same time be thought-provoking in the way it portrays what is meant to be and what choices shape our future, look no further. The Sun Is Also a Star has it all and is the perfect blend of sweet, sour, and bitter in the same way that reality and uncertainty is. The story’s two main characters are both of color — Natasha is Jamaican and Daniel is Korean-American — and the book itself shows the way immigration in the U.S. works.

Today is my last chance to try to convince someone—or fate—to help me find a way to stay in America. To be clear: I don’t believe in fate. But I’m desperate.

The Sun Is Also a Star takes place in the span of a day and is about the importance a day can have in one’s life; the day in question is Natasha and her family’s last day in the US before they are deported to Jamacia. That is unless she can do something to reverse the decision.

The Sun Is Also a Star is the story of Natasha and Daniel, but it is also the story about the people they encounter during this life-changing day they spend together and how these side characters, those we in a typical story would not think much about, are changed and impacted as well. All of this is shown by Nicola Yoon’s excellent writing and the phenomenal way she sets up this novel. The chapters are short and while most of them focus on Natasha and Daniel’s story, there are also chapters where we see other perspectives of the story and its details. There is history about and from side characters that are in one way or another connected to Natasha or Daniel and there are also chapters from the point of view of characters we might normally deem irrelevant to the main story. However, these chapters give the reader a deeper insight into who these people are and why things turn out the way they do. What we find out gives their actions a much deeper meaning; it’s truly magnificent storytelling at play.

She looks up from her broken headphones. As our eyes meet, I get a kind of déjà vu, but instead of feeling like I’m repeating something in the past, it feels like I’m experiencing something that will happen in my future. I see us in old age. I can’t see our faces; I don’t know where or even when we are. But I have a strange and happy feeling that I can’t quite describe. It’s like knowing all the words to a song but still finding them beautiful and surprising.

At the core of this story about Natasha’s last day before her deportation, there is also a romance story. Despite only knowing each other for a day, technically even less than that, Natasha and Daniel find that they have found something special in each other. There is potential for something real, something deep, and something that could last years. You can claim that they are destined to be together, that fate brought them together and that is both what makes this book so beautiful and so heartbreaking: sometimes destiny is not enough. The chemistry between Natasha and Daniel is undeniable and I was rooting for them and their happy ending from the first moment they met. I love how their relationship was built up and explored, how amazing and different Natasha and Daniel are as people and how they showed each other their individual relationship with their culture. Moreover, I love how science was so incorporated into the novel, especially considering Natasha’s love for it, and trust me when I say this, the romantic scenes were just all the more electric for it.

The atoms in my body align themselves with the atoms in his. It’s the way I knew he was still in the lobby earlier today. He kisses the center of my palm again, and I sigh. Touching him is order and chaos, like being assembled and disassembled at the same time.

The ending of The Sun Is Also a Star was astonishing, it knocked me out, and I really think it couldn’t have ended in any other way. I was holding my breath from 70 % into the book and onwards until the last few sentences. It’s safe to say that this book did a number on me and I cried lots as I read the last parts of the story. If it was possible, I would have loved an epilogue of that epilogue just to see more of these characters and their destiny. I recommend The Sun Is Also a Star to everyone who is a fan of young adult contemporary novels that will pull at your heartstrings. This book is a must for readers of all ages. Also, you’ll be pleased to hear that this book is being adapted into a movie coming out in theaters May 2019. Don’t miss that!

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