Before starting this book, I’d heard wonderful things from everyone who has read it. I kept meaning to buy it but haven’t bought many books recently so when I got it as a birthday present from my girlfriend I couldn’t wait to start. Nicola Yoon’s other very popular book, Everything, Everything, was one of my favourite books I read last year so I had really high hopes for The Sun is Also a Star. Even though I really wanted to read it, I tried to stay away from any sort of information about it because I wanted to go into it and be surprised.
Title: The Sun Is Also A Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Publication Date: 3rd November 2016
Summary: 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?
Lately, I’ve been making sure to read novels that are more diverse, be that in terms of the protagonist or other characters being a poc or LGBTQ+, for example. It’s important to broaden what we read and be aware of it as often the mainstream is full of only ‘majority’ voices; books written by white, straight authors. Of course, there are other representations important too and I will do a post on this at some point. The Sun is Also a Star is such an inclusive and wonderful representation. Yoon writes the main characters and their families with such spirit and strong voices, they cannot be forgotten.
Now, I’m not usually a fan of the ‘Instalove’ trope and this book does use it, however, I really didn’t mind the way it was done here. Natasha and Daniel seem to have a connection and honestly, I didn’t find this annoying. It was cheesy, sure, especially the way aspiring poet, Daniel, describes it! Although it is set over one day and they fall in love, it does feel like they are meant to be. I know that’s cheesy but honestly I believed in it, and I hate the idea of love at first sight!
Daniel and Natasha are such perfect opposites. Their chapters, though often narrating the same things, are so different because of their tones and attitudes. Their individual personalities shine as well as their own experiences. It is so refreshing to read a story with characters living such ‘different’ lives. Some of their experiences are very different to most other mainstream YA characters and that is such a stand out feature of this book.
My other favourite aspect is the layout and format. The chapters are usually very short and there are chapters dedicated to the side characters who are so minor you wouldn’t even class them as a minor character! I adored this as it answered those questions you often have like “Why did this character do this?” or “What on earth is this stranger doing stopping the train now?” (that makes sense in context of the book okay)! I’ve never seen it done before and I really did love the added snippets of life it brought to small characters. There were other chapter styles too explaining things about, for example, Natasha’s culture or something scientific she brings up.
I feel like I keep giving everything a high rating lately but I’m reading lots of good books! Read this! Everything about it is unique and wonderful and it deserves to be read.