Rating: 4/5 Converse
Warning: Contains Mild Spoilers
The Sun Is Also A Star is written by the wonderful Nicola Yoon. Everything Everything, Yoon’s debut novel, is one of my favorite books, and when I heard that there was a movie coming out based around her second novel, I knew I needed to hop aboard the train and finally read The Sun Is Also A Star.
The Sun Is Also A Star is a beautifully written story about fate, romance, and the ever-present racism in America today. It follows Natasha, an undocumented Jamaican immigrant who is getting ready to be deported with the rest of her family that night, and Daniel, a Chinese-American struggling with what he truly wants to do in life and what his parents want him to do.
Determined to figure a way out of this mess so she can stay in America and have a normal American life, Natasha decides to visit a lawyer in New York City who is said to be the best to help undocumented immigrants get a repeal on their court cases to stay in the States.
As his parents so expressly wish, Daniel is told to go out into the city to get a haircut and prepare himself for his interview to get into Yale so he can be a successful doctor and make loads of money and marry a perfect Korean girl and have, what they consider, a successful life.
And in an unexpected twist of events, Daniel and Natasha’s lives are thrown together.
Natasha doesn’t believe in love. She doesn’t want anyone to fall in love with her ever, especially not on the day she’s going to be deported.
Daniel believes in love. He’s a poet. Love runs in his veins. And he tells Natasha that he will speak her language, science, to prove to her that not only love is very real, but that he can get her to fall in love with him.
But disasters can only await for them both. Daniel’s family is incredibly racist toward African-Americans. And the longer Natasha doesn’t tell Daniel about her deportation order, the more heartbreak is inevitable.
This book. In all honesty, Everything Everything is ten times better than this, in my opinion. That’s also because I loved Everything Everything, so maybe I’m a bit biased. But this book…it just wasn’t doing it for me. It was going to get 3 stars. And then the last 50-75 pages threw me into a tailspin, and I devoured the ending and wanted more.
One of my favorite things about this book is Nicola Yoon’s style. Her chapters are short, easy to read, and incredibly raw and authentic. You feel for each and every character, even the ones she introduces at one point that you don’t see again until the very end. And one of the best parts about this book was the way Yoon wove in different perspectives. She spends just a moment talking about how one person’s decision, even if you don’t know them, can so thoroughly impact your own. Daniel and Natasha never would have spent time together if Daniel hadn’t saved Natasha from getting run over by a driver that wasn’t paying any attention. But Yoon doesn’t stop there. She also spends a moment discussing why the person made that decision – reckless or foolish or smart. The driver that wasn’t paying attention, I believe she said, had been drinking. His life had gone into a tailspin after the death of his daughter and the bottom of a bottle was the only way he felt he could take the pain away. Isn’t that unique?
That being said, there were some things that didn’t really work for me. Natasha’s character was really hard for me to like 100%. She was coarse and very scientific and sometimes incredibly blunt, and I just…don’t tend to like people like that in real life. Thus, it was hard for me to be truly invested in her the entire story. On top of that, there was a lot of evolutionary mentions. I normally don’t mind – I clearly don’t believe in evolution, but normally it’s so subtle in the YA books I read that I can skip over it or dismiss it. However, in this story, because Natasha is so scientific, it ends up being brought up again and again and again. It almost wasn’t even discussed as Natasha’s belief anymore, but it was something the author was trying to insert just to get her point across, if that makes sense. I didn’t care for that all that much.
Also, depending on your sensitivity to language, there was a pretty decent amount throughout the book.
Overall, it was a good read, but the ending just tied everything up so nicely and it was so bittersweet and wonderful that it ended up being worthy of a 4th star from me. The very best part about this book, in my opinion, was learning about how racism and the American culture affects those of different races. It was very important to see that new side, and I really admire Yoon for not sugar coating anything and for being blunt and honest about it. We need more books like that.
Have you read The Sun Is Also A Star? What are your thoughts on it? Are you excited for the movie coming out soon?