Title: The Sun is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Corgis Children
UK Release Date: 3rd November 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Source: Borrowed from a friend
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 been looking forward to this book for such a long time – literally since June – so I was very happy when I finally managed to get my hands on a copy! Overall, I think that for me it wasn’t quite as amazing as Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon’s other novel (which was one of my favourite books I’ve read this year), but that’s not to say that The Sun is Also a Star isn’t a great book too.
The main story followed Daniel and Natasha over one crazy day in New York, where they met as a consequence of a string of coincidences, and then kept staying together, which was a product of more coincidences, as well as the characters themselves putting effort into it. I thought it was so much fun as a story, especially as the characters were so different – Natasha was cynical and focused, while Daniel was more of a romantic dreamer. This made a refreshing change for me, as I’m not sure if this is just my perception, but I feel like the boy is often the cynical one who has to be won over by the girl (I’m not sure if there is a similar stereotype for same-sex couples), so I appreciated the role reversal. In all honesty, it was unrealistic, but it was set over literally just one day, so I did anticipate this. The ending felt very fitting with the rest of the book, and definitely was not what I expected.
Throughout the book, not only was there the main plot from Daniel and Natasha, but there were also little chapters, sometimes only a page in length, exploring a word in what would start as a factual way and become more closely linked to the plot (I’m not sure how else to explain it), or exploring another character. The characters all linked very cleverly together, and it was such a lovely touch that really makes the book stand out. At first it was difficult to keep track of the shifting narrative, but I soon adapted to the style, and the links that were formed contributed to the plot in such a cool way, showing just how much planning must have gone into the book.
Nicola Yoon also used The Sun is Also a Star to explore culture and diversity. Natasha was Jamaican and an illegal immigrant, and Daniel’s parents were immigrants from South Korea. I often read books that have a range of sexualities, and make sexuality a theme within the book, but I haven’t read many books that make ethnicity as much of a theme as this book did, so I was very happy to read about it in this one! I found the way she presented the cultural stereotypes and expectations, as well as how ethnicity interacted with the personalities of the characters, very interesting and insightful.
Overall, The Sun is Also a Star is an almost magical story, cleverly done with the way everything links together, and with a particularly interesting exploration of culture and immigration. Even though it was definitely a tad unrealistic, I would still definitely recommend this to existing Nicola Yoon fans, as well as anyone who wants to read about love and is yet to discover her books.