THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR
Written by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte Press, November 1, 2016
My star rating: 4.5 stars
This book surprised me in so many ways. I didn’t know much about this book going into it, but from the synopsis I still found a way to make assumptions about it. That seems to be my theme when it comes to Nicola Yoon. The descriptions seem so basic, familiar, and like something you’ve already read before. I almost didn’t pick up her books because the tropes seem overdone and annoying. But none of her stories go where you quite expect them to (for the most part) and the emotions and connections she’s able to bring out during a read are so powerful!
Natasha is spending her last day as an American citizen searching for a way to stop her family’s deportation. America has been her home since she was 8 years old and she doesn’t plan to leave now. Daniel is the son of Korean immigrant parents, was born in America, and struggles every day to find himself. His parents want him to be something, and America assumes that he’s another, but all he wants is to be himself. On a day that seems to be lead by fate, the two of them make many discoveries about themselves, their surroundings, their family members and how we are all somehow connected.
First of all, to all the young readers out there, there is some foul language and sexual content. It’s not extreme by any means but if this is something you aren’t looking forward to or aren’t prepared for then I would shy away from this book. Now, having said that, this book was unexpectedly funny! I found myself laughing out loud the whole way through. There are so many one liners that come out of nowhere. These are the people I would get along well with. When you are in a tough or stressful situation, make a joke or snide comment!
About the characters – I was in love. Nicola Yoon knows how to write really lovable characters. Natasha and Daniel were so real. They had dreams, fears, apprehension, passion, confusion and desired. They didn’t always make the right decisions and fought with themselves whether to follow the path they were expected to follow or to go after their hearts.
As much as I loved them, strangely enough it was the side characters that made the most impact to me. This book was told from the perspective of Natasha and Daniel, but every so often a chapter would be thrown in from a side character, an object (like hair), or a word (like Irie). Those chapters were usually only a page or two long but were written so powerfully they stand out to me more than the main characters. Within only a paragraph or two you were whipped into their lives and situations and begged for more.
The relationship that I found the most interesting was between Natasha and her father Samuel. Their relationship was explored from the time she was very young up until the present and reviewed the events that changed their dynamic. A few chapters were included from his perspective so you had the chance to hear from him why he did the things he did and how he felt not only as the father and man of the family, but also as himself and his own dreams. Natasha as a teenager didn’t understand him and he didn’t communicate with her about it either. As a parent I understand where he was coming from but I understood her perspective as well.
The only thing I didn’t necessarily love about this book was the insta-love. One look is all it takes to know that you are destined to be together. That also seems to be a theme with Nicola Yoon. But it went along well with the theme of fate and “meant to be” which is carried on throughout the book. I also felt that the book wrapped up too perfectly and neat. As in unnaturally and doubtfully neat.
Aside from my small problems with this book I found it incredibly enjoyable and would love to read it again.