The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Corgi Children’s (3rd Nov 2016)
Format/Source: ARC (sent by MPH Distributors for review)
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 Alsoa Star was my first book by Nicola Yoon and I fell completely in love with the story because Natasha and Daniel’s story was so complex and beautifully written. As if the cover didn’t blow me away with its explosion of colours, the book is beautiful on the inside and outside.
What I adored most about The Sun is Also a Star is how poetic and lyrical Nicola Yoon writes. I liked the book because of its little quirks and nuances and right now, I am still thinking about the book despite reading it a little bit over a month ago.
“We’re kindling amid lightning strikes, a lit match and dry wood, fire danger signs and a forest waiting to be burned.”
The book follows the story of two teenagers who find themselves destined to be together on several occasions in the span of a day in New York City. Now, isn’t that the makings of a wonderful, swoonworthy romance? Add that up with Nicola Yoon’s beautiful prose, unique storytelling and a cast of unforgettable characters. That’s The Sun is Also a Star, people. And it’s one of my favourite – possibly my best – contemporary YA books of 2016. If you’ve never read any of Nicola Yoon’s books, I strongly urge you to. Upon finishing The Sun is Also a Star, I have read her debut novel Everything, Everything which was just fantastic. I can officially declare myself as a fanboy of hers.
“Dark matter is love. It’s the attracting force.”
I am just going to admit it. It was love at first sight for me. The cover is just stunning, so much so that I really did sigh when I first set eyes on it. Seeing that I am such a cover whore, obviously I would fall deeply in love with it and you know what was the best part? I loved Natasha and Daniel’s story even more.
As a person who appreciates diversity in books, I am always on board with books where the main characters are people of colour. In The Sun is Also a Star, Natasha is an African-American whose lived most of her life in the US but is facing deportation, meaning she has to leave her life in the US behind. Daniel, is a Korean-American whose ambition is to be a poet, which isn’t considered a practical career choice by his parents who want him to have a bright future. As their lives become more and more intertwined, could it possibly be the Universe conspiring to bring them together for them to realise that to be happy, sometimes all it takes is the belief in yourself to make that leap of faith and embrace what makes you happy.
I am a firm believer of the mantra “everything happens for a reason” and everything in The Sun is Also a Star happened because of chance and coincidence. Which ties up the story beautifully.
“This is the life you’re living. It’s not temporary and it’s not pretend and there’s no do-overs.”
What really resonated with me was the fact that both Daniel and I are Asian and we do have different sets of ideals and perception towards certain things. For example, if you’re not pursuing your career in respectable fields such as medicine, engineering or law, you’re not really setting yourself up for a bright future. Which is donkey balls. I am so pleased that, unlike Daniel’s parents, mine are supportive of me pursuing my degree in English. I just felt that Nicola Yoon wrote about a character that I could really relate to, even though I have horrible taste in poetry, and this is one of the reasons why The Sun is Also a Star is a favourite of mine.
“I remind myself that stars are more than just poetic. If you need to, you can navigate your way by them.”
The book is written from the perspectives of Natasha and Daniel, but what really surprised me was the addition of multiple POVs of other characters in the book, such as Natasha and Daniel’s fathers, the people around them and so on. I felt that this really gave character to the story itself and it broaden and richens the story with different cultures and beliefs as it also introduces a string of diverse and interesting characters.
As always, I am a sucker for love stories and The Sun is Also a Star is a love story that was adorable, heartfelt and filled with witty anecdotes, clever observations of life and bursting with charm. I didn’t expect to fall in love with the story and its characters so quickly and completely but I did. I doubt I’ll be forgetting about the triumph that is The Sun is Also a Star anytime soon.
I’d like to thank MPH Distributors for an ARC of The Sun is Also a Star for review. The quotes were taken from the ARC.