The Sun Is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon
‘Love is just chemicals and coincidence’
The Sun is Also A Star is a beautiful light read, featuring illegal immigration, diversity and a love story that tugs on all the heart-strings.
I received an E-ARC via Netgalley from Penguin Random House UK Children’s and I am super excited to be able to read and review it for you!
Since this is a review, below is spoiler central, if you haven’t read the book, don’t read any further. You have been warned.
Nicola Yoon’s second novel follows three perspectives, Natasha, Daniel and The Universe. Natasha and her family are illegal immigrants living in America, to be deported the next day. Daniel is an aspiring poet which doesn’t cut it when his family have immigrated from South Korea and want the perfect life for him. The universe on the other hand doesn’t care what these two teens have in mind, and their paths align for an extraordinary day full of love, laughs and an adventure that may or may not end in heartbreak.
Natasha is a calculated strong headed girl who believes in figures, science and facts, instead of love, fate and destiny. Daniel on the other hand is a dreamer, poet and has enough charm to disarm Natasha. Daniel promises he can make Natasha fall in love with him and they begin their adventure to love while trying to juggle interviews for Yale and an impending deportation. Nicola Yoon writes characters well, you begin to become attached to them, and stress with them as they are put through different situations, The Sun Is Also a Star was no different. Natasha and Daniel were great leading characters, and I definitely think this story could even be brought forward into movie form.
It was obvious these two were going to fall in love, but this story was ‘insta-love‘ done correctly, I didn’t find it irritated me, I just found it beautiful to read. The best part of the characters were their interactions to each other. They were two people who fit perfectly together, opposites that attract, and who doesn’t like a story with a bit of young romance.
One thing I didn’t enjoy was the part both characters parents played within the story. I am aware it was imperative to the story, and may have been a realistic representation on the pressure that families put on their children. However, large part of the story line revolved around parents disapproval of their children’s choices. Whether it be of their love interest, or career choice, it became frustrating because it made both sets of parents unlikable at times. I imagine there are families that do have this perspective, strict upbringing only wanting the best for their children but harming them in the process. However, it was largely one sided, and this part of the story just wasn’t for me, it frustrated me to no end.
“I didn’t know you this morning, and now I don’t remember not knowing you.”
Nicola Yoon’s writing is something else entirely. It’s beautiful, it makes you laugh and has a tendency to make you teary. The ending especially because it doesn’t end in a predictable way, or the way you want it too, but Nicola was still able to give you a happy ending right when you needed it most.
The format was a bit odd at first to get used to, but the chapters are so short, and the format made for a quick enjoyable read. I didn’t think I would like the three perspectives that Nicola wrote in, but I didn’t mind it at all, I actually preferred having a third perspective that focused on other characters and gave us more of an overall view.
What I love most of about this story is the undertones weaved beautifully into the plot. The Universe’s point of view allowed us to delve into the minor characters and the struggles they were all individually having. It explored the notion that everybody is suffering an internal battle and not to judge anyone. Also a small thank-you or hello could save a life, or turn somebody’s life around and I just loved that this book explored these concepts that often we forget in our busy lives.
This story delved into diversity which I enjoyed reading. Both the main characters weren’t the norm for YA contemporary romance books, and I enjoyed that and thought it added a lot more depth to the story. Both Natasha and Daniel were multicultural characters from immigration backgrounds, and I enjoyed the references to their heritage and back ground of where both of the families came from originally and how they ended up in America.
Overall, I can’t help but compare The Sun Is Also a Star to Nicola’s debut novel Everything, Everything. Honestly, both of these books were fantastic and I would definitely recommend Nicola’s writing to everyone. The Sun Is Also a Star, draws readers in and was entertaining enough that I didn’t want to put it down.
Favourite Moment: That ending, and the fact that a small thank you from Natasha saved someones life… Beautiful.
Favourite Quote: “We are born to dream and make things we dream about.”