The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon (2016)
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Reading Time: 21/11/16 – 23/11/16
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?
This was the first of Nicola Yoon’s books that I have read and after finishing I felt compelled to contact her on social media and tell her how much I loved this book. I have never read a story like this before, it was diverse, it was different and it was beautiful.
This fleeting romance shows us so many different ways to think about life and the people we meet. This book’s chapters flicked between different people’s narratives, mainly Natasha and Daniel’s, but also people they met or had encounters with. It was really interesting to see a character from one person’s perspective and then see that character from their own point of view. I loved the different options it gave us to be able to look into their lives, it really gave the story depth.
This romance was one that happened in a day, of course while being unrealistic I think this was also the beauty of the story. Right in this moment Natasha and Daniel assess what is most important to them in their lives, they look at how things came to be and how they will continue to be. Yoon plays on the idea of fate and how one moment can change an outcome and this is such an interesting thing to think about. The main characters in this book meet by chance and it is chance that continues to bring them together and allow them to bond.
I love how determined Daniel is to get Natasha to love him, there is something sweet in his dedication to his cause. Daniel is instantly lovable in my opinion, yes he takes on the indie boy traits (poet, messy hair, defying his parents), but he is such a fun and interesting character that you forget the stereotypes. One of the things I loved about him was that if he saw someone crying he would cry too. I love it when men cry in books or films, because it peals away the layer of masculinity that seems to say men cannot cry. It makes men real to show their emotion like this, it is not something just women should do.
Natasha is a tough nut to crack, and you can see this through her chapters. Initially she is a moody girl in need of a quick fix in her life, she is trying to stay in America and not be deported to Jamaica. When she meets Daniel he is more of an inconvenience to her, but as the story continues we definitely see her becoming emotionally involved in him. I love how her views on him change and how, despite her situation, she can still the positivity in her relationship with him.
*The below paragraph will have a spoiler, only the below paragraph though – totally free to read on after that!*
The ending of this book broke me into pieces, it had me cry and that is something I don’t often do with a book. I was totally invested in the characters and their future and I was rooting for them. It broke my heart that Natasha had to go back to Jamaica anyway, but to see her settle in and her life not be as bad as she expected was a good example to set for people experiencing change. But the part that really got me was when they were on the plane at the end with Irene. A, the fact that Irene had not killed herself and was a happier person because of Natasha thanking her. B, Daniel is on the plane and Natasha is on the plane, what! How? They have been pulled back together and it is perfect, they are both adults and in control of their own lives now and they can have their happy ending, but do they get it? We don’t know! But I really, really hope so. Please give us a novella or a sequel Nicola Yoon!
Okay, no more spoilers now. So this book was amazing, the best I have read for a while. it made me feel a lot! I loved how it taught me things about immigrants that I had no idea about, that fact that Yoon had gone through some of this herself made it even more hard hitting. I am now really interested to read more into this topic, this has opened my eyes to those individual lives affected now.
I urge you to read this book, it is a quick read, the chapters are easy to get through. And if you don’t feel something when you finish it, then you are a robot.