Lately, I’ve been in the mood for some light, fun reads. After finishing grad school, I’m not ready to jump into some of the more dense books on my TBR. Nicola Yoon’s sophomore novel, The Sun is Also a Star was the perfect book to pick up, and I am glad I finally got around to reading it!
(From Goodreads) 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?
The Sun is Also a Star was a ridiculously cute read. So cute, I had to continuously remind myself that I hate instalove (i.e. the whole Romeo and Juliet, teenagers fall in love in a day thing). That is one of the few things I didn’t like about this book, even though Yoon pulled it off better than pretty much any other author I’ve read. Usually, instalove annoys me, but there were moments in this book when I hardly noticed it. The main characters were just so cute I couldn’t help but fall in love with them, so the fact they fell in love with each other didn’t seem like that much of a stretch.
I really loved how diverse this book is. This was one of the few (if not the only) books I’ve ever read that I felt accurately represented America. It felt real. I also like that the characters faced a lot of the issues first and second generation immigrants encounter. This might be something I am aware of, but I think this book will serve to bring these issues to people (especially young people) who might not know about the problems many immigrants face. It was largely about immigrants, but it was also kind of just about people with very real problems. And I that made me happy.
I think the family dynamics – in both of the main characters’ families – were really well-done. Again, I think they reflected the fact that the characters were immigrants. But they also felt like real, human families. They had their problems, but they weren’t over-the-top or unrealistic. Most of the problems stemmed from misguided reactions to insecurities, which is definitely something I’ve experienced before. It was nice seeing that in a book, because, in my experience, that’s pretty rare.
My only other complaint about this book was that the ending wasn’t that satisfying. It was predictable in the way that I knew Yoon wasn’t going to do what was expected, and I think I might have liked it more had it gone the expected, cheesy route or given me something a little bit more. It wasn’t bad, it just fell flat.
Overall, I loved this book, and I highly recommend it, especially for young adult readers. It was a bit cheesy, and a bit predictable, but ultimately an enjoyable, quick read. It also solidified my appreciation of Nicola Yoon’s writing. I thought it was even better than her debut novel, Everything, Everything, and I look forward to reading her next novel!
If you’ve read The Sun is Also a Star, share your thoughts in the comments!