Book Reviews

The Sun is Also a Star

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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
on November 1st 2016
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Family, High School, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Pages: 348
Goodreads

Reaction Upon Reading: Heartbreakingly Diverse!


“There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: Koi no Yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.”


Synopsis:

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?


“Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.”


Overall Thoughts:

I adored ‘Everything Everything’ and I was really worried that I had hyped this book up in my mind too much, but I actually liked it better!

The characters were so diverse in their culture and personalities and I felt like every piece of dialogue was quotable and relatable to my own life.

The story begins with Natasha, a Jamaican girl whose family is going be deported in 12 hours. She loves science and facts. One fact she knows for sure is that love is an illusion or better yet, a delusion for those who are struck by it. Natasha is a strong character who is very true to herself. She keeps it real and sticks to her guns.  On the day of her deportation she meets Daniel, a Korean-American boy who is all about love and poetry…basically the polar opposite of herself. He wants to rebel against his family’s wishes of becoming a doctor, yet he is unsure of what life has in store for him. Daniel is an optimist. He is pure, kind and honest. Daniel is the kind of character that you root for.

After meeting, Daniel explains to Natasha that there is science behind falling in love, better yet, falling in love at first sight. He tells her of this study where there are set questions that pairs answer followed by a length of time spent looking each other directly in the eyes. Thus begins the journey of Natasha and Daniel.

The stories in this book aren’t just related to witnessing Natasha and Daniel fall in love. We hear from multiple characters about their aspirations, views on love alongside their own trials and tribulations. I especially loved the insight we got into each of the families. Natasha struggles with a father whose own ambition and hunger for the spotlight have ripped apart their family. Daniel struggles with an overprotective father who disapproves of his American ways – yet he is unable to fit into either of his two cultures. To his family, he is too ‘American’ and yet to his friends he is too ‘Korean’. This is something I can’t relate to personally but have seen my own students struggle with. An identity crisis is a hard thing at any age, but as a teenager can be crippling.

Daniel reminds me a lot of most seventeen-year-olds. There is so much pressure to go to university immediately after high school or enter the workforce in particular areas, yet what seventeen years olds confidently know what they want to do with their lives? I think Daniel’s character is a great role model for just exploring what you are passionate about and battling against those external pressures.

This book is very similar to Eleanor and Park, both in writing style, diversity and the use of alternating POVs. I loved this story and will read anything else Nicola Yoon writes! The ending was perfect! Everything came full circle, reinforcing the whole notion of the book of fate and destiny. You make think it is merely a coincidence but everything has aligned for a reason.


“We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.”


Loves:

  • That book cover!
  • The book is so freaking quotable it’s ridiculous!
  • The audiobook is an absolute must. It brings life to these characters that I don’t think any other reading experience could provide. The accents, expressions and inflexions of the two characters are integral to the plot.
  • A book about diverse cultures!
  • A book that discusses the painful reality of being an immigrant. Both characters are immigrants.
  • Each character had a very different POV – their viewpoints on love were very different. This meant they were complex. Yay!
  • I love that the story takes place over a day – this is quite unique and refreshing.
  • I actually oddly enjoyed the random POVs of the other characters – the train conductor, the security lady and the secretary – only because I felt like it explained some of the cause and effect of those coincidences or fate that drew the two lovebirds together.
  • IRENE!!!

Dislikes:

  • It felt very much like INSTALOVE – which is the worst kind.
  • It was somewhat unbelievable to be strangers to head over heels in love in 8 hours.

“I didn’t know you this morning, and now I don’t remember not knowing you.”


What did you think of this book? Leave a comment below.

Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Pacing
four-half-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

About Kassey

27-year-old teacher. Currently living in New Zealand with aspirations to travel the world and photograph it all.

27-year-old teacher. Currently living in New Zealand with aspirations to travel the world and photograph it all.

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