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  • Writer's pictureElira Barnes

Book Review: "The Sun Is Also A Star" by Nicola Yoon


"The Sun Is Also A Star" by author Nicola Yoon is soon to hit the big screens.

But have you red the book yet? Is there something holding you back from reading it?


When I received my copy of the book in January 2019, I placed it on my shelf along my other to-be-read books, where it stayed until February. I wish I'd picked it up sooner, especially considering the fact that I loved the author's previous book, "Everything, Everything".


"The Sun Is Also A Star" was such an interesting read. Here's why.




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I purchased a copy of this book because of the hype around it. But once I got my copy, it stayed on my shelf for a while because the back cover blurb did not catch my attention. It just sounded like the typical "boy meets girl and they fall in love" kind of story.

But when I started reading the book, I realised right from the first pages that there was more to it.


"The Sun Is Also A Star" is a young adult contemporary novel, written by #1 New York Times bestselling author of "Everything, Everything", Nicola Yoon.


Synopsis


Natasha Kingsley is a Jamaican teenager. She and her family are being deported to Jamaica in less than 24 hours. Once her family is deported, she will miss prom, graduation, and her best friend. She decides to go for one last attempt at keeping her family in the United States, legally.


Daniel Bae is a Korean teenager who dreams of becoming a poet, but is on his way to a college admissions interview to attend Yale, as requested by his parents. He is not looking forward to it, because he couldn't care less about the prestigious institution.


When Natasha is almost hit by a car, Daniel saves her from what could have been.

And this is how they meet.


As a poet, Daniel believes he was destined to meet Natasha. She on the other hand, is far more rational and believes there is a scientific explanation for everything.


The two spend the rest of the day together, Daniel trying to prove to her that he can make her fall in love with him by the end of the day, and not much to her disappointment, Natasha surprisingly finds herself becoming attached to him, and has a new reason to want to stay in the States.



What I loved about this book


Nicola Yoon managed to give us an understanding of what it's like to be a young black woman, living in a western world that tries to convince you your hair is meant to be long and straight, not short and curly like Natasha's afro.


In the same way, we feel for Daniel who is an American by birth, but born of Korean parents who pressure him to go for the education, future and opportunities that they did not have in their home country, instead of encouraging him to follow his dreams.


And then, there are these awkward but funny scenes, where Natasha meets Daniel's family and where he meets hers. On both sides, the parents are absolutely against a relationship between our protagonists. Why? Because somehow, although we are in the 21st century, most parents are still not okay with their children being in an interracial romantic (and sometimes just friendly) relationship.



I found the discussions between Natasha and Daniel to be very constructive and educational. The two have interesting exchanges about science and history, destiny and hope. The deep POV allows us to get into both character's minds and I personally loved the way their thoughts messed with mine.



One final aspect about this book that needs to be mentioned, is that Nicola also writes about the background of minor characters we meet along the way, in their own POV, and it's surprising how these finally interconnect with Daniel and Natasha's story.



What I didn't really like


Daniel and Natasha's story is not so relatable. All the events in this story happen in one day. Most people don't believe in love at first sight; maybe they believe in an instant connection, but not love.



Who would this book appeal to?


This book is perfect for readers who like romance novels, but don't want too much of it in a story. There are a few cliché moments in this novel, but we can easily get around it because when these happen, even the characters realise how cheesy their behaviour is.



Conclusion and rating


"The Sun Is Also A Star" was an enjoyable read for me, it kept me interested and curious as to whether the two protagonists would have a happy ending or not. This book made me feel and made me smile. The only thing I would change about it is the back cover blurb..


I give this book 5/5 stars because it definitely exceeded my expectations.



And you?

Have you read "The Sun Is Also A Star"? What were your thoughts?

If you haven't read it, will you give it a go before the movie comes out?



Any requests or suggestions for what book I should review next?

Let me know in the comments below.


Happy reading!



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