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.

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