Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book Review: The Sun is also a Star

Title: The Sun is also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC

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 (goodreads)?


Plot: Earlier this year, I read Everything, Everything in less than a day and I knew that there was something special about Mrs. Nicola Yoon. And now? Nicola Yoon is an auto-buy author.

The Sun is also a Star opens with two characters, Natasha and Daniel, who feel as though the world is out to get them. Natasha's undocumented family is being sent back to Jamaica in less than 24 hours, and Daniel is feeling the pressure of being the family's "perfect son." Through a series of random events and coincidences, they meet and are forced to acknowledge the instant chemistry between the two of them and how to approach their uncertain futures. 

For a book that only takes place over the course of 14 hours, it packs a crazy emotional punch. Part of this is because Natasha and Daniel aren't the only characters we are exposed to. Yoon includes histories of characters who you assume are just there to move the plot along, but they too have their own complex lives that beg to be explored. The Sun is also a Star is a journey of self-discovery, race, and love under impossible circumstances. I dare you not to cry while reading it. 

Characters: Natasha and Daniel couldn't have been more different and their connection was nothing short but charming. Natasha is a no-nonsense Jamaican girl who only believes in facts. Daniel is a first-generation Korean American who just wants to write poetry about stars and true love. I loved their constant tug of war and how they helped each other discover find their true passions in life. I mentioned earlier that while the novel centers around Natasha and Daniel, they are not the only characters that matter. Most often than not, it was the secondary characters only had two or three pages dedicated to them that had me bawling. I loved that The Sun is also a Star was not about what is right or wrong, but chose to focus on the effects of love with very little judgment.  

Worldbuilding: I've always been one of those stubborn people who doesn't want to visit New York City. Like ever. Nicola has changed my mind (just a smidge). Her portrayal of NYC is so real and I felt that I was in every facet of the boroughs. I could picture myself in the cramped living room in Brooklyn, in the cozy Korean restaurant in Koreatown, and the glitz and excitement of Manhattan. Yoon has a way of writing such beauty in ordinary occurrences that I couldn't help but fall in love with Daniel and Natasha's city. 

Short N Sweet: The Sun is also a Star is a beautiful novel of love, understanding race in the United States, and contemplating the impossibilities of the universe. I highly recommend to everyone. 


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