Published by Delacorte Press on November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia
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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?
I knew I was going to love The Sun is Also a Star but I was unprepared for how much I loved it. It was not without some minor flaws but I enjoyed my reading experience of it and the epilogue definitely made me tear up from emotions.
What I loved most about this novel was the diversity. The two protagonists of the book were PoC and I loved that the book explored immigration and families with strong cultural backgrounds and traditions, which is a topic that I haven’t read a lot about in YA but is one that I can connect with deeply because my parents were immigrants themselves. In this book, we follow Natasha, who is an illegal immigrant from Jamaica. She moved to the United States with her family when she was 8 in order for her father to pursue an acting career, which has never really taken off. Daniel is a first generation Korean American and has always lived under the weight of his parents’ expectations. The book is set within a 12 hour period, on the day that Natasha and Daniel meet. On this day, Natasha’s family is being deported and she’s frantically rushing around New York City, trying to find a solution for her family. Daniel is getting ready for a college admission interview, despite not knowing whether he even wants to go to college and live the American Dream that his parents have always envisioned for him. When the two meet, they spend a whirlwind day together that changes their lives forever.
I really enjoyed the format of the book. It was written in extremely short chapters, which made it a very quick book to read. I love stories with dual perspectives and I enjoyed that they switched constantly in this book. There were also some ‘interlude’ chapters where we learnt more about the side characters and about certain concepts that were mentioned in the book. I thought this was an interesting format and made it a really well-rounded story that was enjoyable to read.
To make a thing as simple as an apple pie, you have to create the whole wide world.
I absolutely loved the two main characters, Natasha and Daniel. I loved that Natasha was a scientist and I’m happy that I can now add her to my list of fictional women in STEM. She really enjoyed seeing her passion for all things science and how teaching Daniel about scientific concepts made her come alive. I can’t vouch for whether all the scientific concepts were represented accurately but I didn’t read anything that jumped out at me as inaccurate. I just really appreciated that science was a theme in the book and it made me love the story even more. I connected with Natasha a lot as a character. I enjoyed that she was a realist but I also loved that Daniel was able to bring out the more sentimental side of her. And I loved Daniel equally as much. He was kind and genuine and what’s not to love about a boy who’s just genuinely nice. Plus he’s a poet and a hopeless romantic. And a contagious crier, which I am too!
My main issue with the book was the insta-love. I was able to look past it for the most part because I thought the romance between Natasha and Daniel was extremely adorable and heartwarming. But I did think that it was a bit unrealistic. The author did try to play it off as “love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them.” I was a bit confused by that because… isn’t that just insta-love or attraction? It just seemed like too much of a justification. Fate and destiny were also big themes in the book and I wasn’t a huge fan of it. There was too much attention drawn to the fact that they were meant to be and the universe worked in a way that allowed for them to meet. But I did enjoy the romance immensely and these small issues I had didn’t detract from the warming of my heart.
I absolutely loved The Sun is Also a Star! It had an adorable romance and was filled with diversity. I especially enjoyed that the book was about immigration and I appreciated what the author was trying to do with this story.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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