BOOK REVIEW: Nicola Yoon “The Sun Is Also a Star”

9780552574242Title: The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Contemporary

My Rating: 1.5/5 stars

 

Natasha and her family are Jamaican immigrants that are about to be deported, but not if she can help it. On her last day in America, she’s determined to do everything she can to stay. Natasha snags an appointment with the top immigration lawyer in the city, but not before she meets Daniel.

Daniel was born in America to Korean parents who want only the best for him. They want him to go to Yale, become a doctor, marry a nice Korean girl and live the American dream. Unfortunately, that’s not what Daniel wants.

When Natasha walks into his life, he’s convinced it’s love at first sight, but she doesn’t believe in love. It’s all a series of chemicals and imbalances and such she assures him, but Daniel isn’t convinced. He believes she’s a sign, a miracle; so he’s determined to convince her, with science, that love is real.

My thoughts: 

This book reminded me of When Dimple Met Rishi in some ways; for instance the sense of familial obligation, cultural backgrounds, the charming male character and the mean, cold female MC. Why is it so hard to find good, likeable female characters in YA? And why does it seem that all the horrible ones are written by women? Why? Natasha was annoying, pretentious and mean, and I didn’t like anything about her.

The story takes place in the span of one day. This means that Natasha and Daniel meet and “fall in love” in less than 15 hours.

I’m the last person to tell you someone is moving too fast in a relationship. I started dating my husband in November of 2015 and we were engaged before our one-year anniversary. We knew that we wanted to get married like 3 months after we started dating; we were hopelessly in love and desperate to begin our lives together.

But I’m sorry, if you’re trying to tell me that two people fell in love (the real, sacrificial, all-consuming love that these teenagers claimed to have) in less than a day, I wouldn’t believe you.

Don’t even get me started on the way Daniel reacted when Natasha admitted she was getting deported. He had postponed an interview with a Yale alumni to hang out with Natasha more, and when he finds out that she’s leaving, he gets butt-hurt. He blames her for the cancellation and accuses her of leading him on. I’m sorry, you’ve known her for exactly 5-6 hours at this point, what right do you have? You’re not her boyfriend, you’re not her friend. Heck, he’s hardly an acquaintance, but he’s already acting possessive and honestly, the whole scene was ridiculous.

So no, I didn’t like their relationship. I don’t think it was love. Attraction, yes. Did they have feelings for each other? Sure. But they did not love each other.

If the entire book hadn’t focused on their relationship being “love at first sight” or “meant to be”, I might have gotten on board with their meet-cute, their romance. It would have been sweet, but Daniel blows the whole thing out of proportion.

I liked other things about the book. The book mainly follows Natasha and Daniel and their POVs, but occasionally it would show us what was going on in the head of someone close by, like a waitress or a bus driver. I thought this was a really interesting and special touch. The whole story is based on the idea that every little thing that happens and every decision you make can alter the future. So if one thing happens then something else will, and something else won’t. If Natasha hadn’t met Daniel in a record store then she would have gotten hit by a car and either been killed or mortally wounded, but of course ultimately, she wouldn’t have met Daniel. That kind of thing. I thought this was a really nice aspect to the story and saved this from being a 0 star read.

It’s disappointing, really, because I enjoyed Everything, Everything by this author and I had expectations for this. The Sun is Also a Star just didn’t live up.

Nicola Yoon: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Nicola Yoon “Everything, Everything”

22053372_1813520378678045_2121720862_nTitle: Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Contemporary

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

Madeline has a rare disease which makes it impossible for her to go outside. Basically, she is allergic to the world. So she lives a confined life with little-to-no social interaction, which she is satisfied with. That is, until the new neighbors move in.

She watches the family next door and memorizes their daily schedules. Madeline watches the wife garden in the morning, the husband come home every day with anger in his eyes, looking for a reason to attack his family. She watches the daughter leave cigarettes in the front yard, and then watches the son. His comings and goings. His lack of routine. She watches him climb onto the room, where she’s unable to see him anymore. And occasionally, she watches him watch her.

Madeline and Oliver eventually connect via email, typing IMs to each other. A special relationship blossoms between them, and suddenly, Madeline is no longer satisfied with her life indoors. She decides she wants more.

This was a sweet story, and I loved seeing Madeline and Oliver’s initial interactions via IM. I loved it when they met for the first time, the nervousness and the flirting.

Oliver’s character was well-developed, and I was so glad that there was more to him than “bad boy next door neighbor, likes to wear black”. I love that he never gave up on Madeline and his genuine love and concern for her wellbeing. He was more worried about her being healthy than being able to have a normal relationship with her. He was willing to settle for zero physical contact and 30 minute visits if it meant that she would be alright, so he was selfless and caring.

Madeline was also an easy character to like. She wasn’t totally pleased with her health situation, but she was living with it, which is a lot better than I would be doing. But she was also strong and when she finally started thinking for herself, she stuck to her guns and she did what she needed to.

Unfortunately, I predicted the ending, but was still relatively satisfied with it. This was a quick, adorable read, and I can’t wait to see the movie now!

 

Nicola Yoon: Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads