08/9/16

One day + inventive storytelling | THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon

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Novel: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon | Goodreads
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: ARC
Source: BookPeople Teen Reviewing

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?

I’ve read enough books set over the course of one day to know that they are usually not my cup of tea. I struggle with the insta-love that tends to happen, a lacking setting, and not enough character development. But then I read The Sun Is Also a Star and it became the anomaly in this grouping because it was amazing. 

Me upon finishing:

Nicola Yoon’s debut, Everything, Everything definitely hit me in the feels, but I also had a complicated relationship with it. The book made me angry. It made me hate the mother, angry that the entire story felt like a lie, and that made the reading experience not incredibly enjoyable for me. BUT! The Sun Is Also a Star blew me away.

I consumed this book.

I was immediately struck by two unique characters: a girl about to be deported, and a boy going to an admissions interview for Yale, a school he doesn’t even want to go to. They were dynamic and raw and real from page one, and I think it was this connection to the characters that kept me reading. Then their banter hit me in the feels and the evolving romance broke me half and the TENSION and the question of whether or not Natasha would be deported…I just…I couldn’t stop reading.

The story is beautiful. It’s real. It’s not a happily-ever-after ending, but I think that’s what I loved so much about it. I loved that the ending was a testament to true life: that people’s choices impact our own. (I’m not going to say anything more because I don’t want to spoil but if you’ve read you know what I’m talking about because I was literally YELLING AT THE BOOK at that ending.) Nicola Yoon does a fantastic job of building tension over the course of the book as well as allowing the characters to evolve organically. I loved the character development and how they pushed each other to be honest with themselves.

My #2 favorite thing: the random bits of history about random characters, words, or concepts. There are these short chapters scattered throughout the story told from the perspective of a minor character or someone Natasha and Daniel encounter in passing, or of a scientific concept Natasha mentions. These chapters added a new dimension to the story and allowed the book to feel well-rounded and well-developed, despite the short time frame in which it’s set.

And then my #3 favorite thing: THE FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS. JUST. YES, NICOLA. THANK YOU. Thank you for authentic family dynamics, for complex relationships with heritage, for apologies and understanding. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. The family parts broke me almost as much as the romance did.

So, in conclusion, I loved The Sun Is Also a Star, and I desperately hope this one is as popular as Everything, Everything was, if not more. Yoon has crafted a honest story about heritage, growing up, and love, and I loved every second of it. 

  • I’ve had a copy of this gorgeous looking book for a while, and have been interested in it because of the promised science elements, but you’ve totally convinced me on it now Willa! I’m sure I’ll be reading this one soon.

  • I’m so interested in reading The Sun is Also a Star! The premise just sounds so interesting, and I’m always a sucker for a story that happens over the course in one day (whether I wind up falling in love with it or not). So happy to hear you liked this one!

  • I enjoyed Everything, Everything, so when I heard that she was writing another book I automatically added it to my TBR. I had my problems with Everything, Everything as well, but the heart of the story really hit me in the feels. I was frustrated at her mother. I sympathized with Maddy. And the banter made my heart swell. I loved the book because it made me feel things. But I was a little bit disappointed with the last third of the book.
    Hopefully, I will like The Sun is Also a Star just as much, if not more than, Everything, Everything. Thanks for the great review!