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?
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Publication Date: November 1, 2016 by Delacorte Press
I NEVER read romances – especially not of the YA variety. Maybe I’m just cynical or perhaps I’m just past the age range that can really appreciate such sappy, often trite, stories about doomed relationships. I’m happy and perhaps a little surprised to say that Nicola Yoon has taken me out of my comfort zone and did not cause extensive eye-rolling along the way.
The Sun Is Also a Star may not be unique for its take on the somewhat Romeo & Juliet like romance – boy meets girl and BAM – love at first sight. While there may not be any star-cross’d lover suicides in Yoon’s novel, I was still a bit wary about taking on an insta-love YA novel that had the potential to just make me feel nauseous.
Luckily, Nicola Yoon proved quickly that she wasn’t looking to write JUST a romance. The Sun Is Also a Star tackles issues of identity, family, and immigration in such a beautifully written way that it’s hard not to feel heartbroken not only for Tasha and Daniel, but for their families as well (particularly, Tasha’s parents). As someone whose family history is a little more removed from the immigration experience, I can’t say I could relate to Tasha or Daniel, but Yoon is a talented writer and I became so swept up in their story that I finished this entire book in one sitting.
If people who were actually born here had to prove they were worthy enough to live in America, this would be a much less populated country.
Yoon shares a story about what it means to be undocumented in this country that is probably very different than what most people would assume and I really loved that about this book. While I make a point to try and read diverse books by diverse authors, this was my first experience with reading a YA novel about immigration and it left me wondering why there aren’t more books that tackle this subject out there (or perhaps I just haven’t found them yet?). This is the type of book that belongs in every school library across the country not only because of the issues it addresses, but also because it’s a story with diverse characters and that is exactly what we need in literature more than ever.
Perhaps I started this novel a bit like Tasha – realistic (with a hint of cynicism) and quick to dismiss romance as something silly and far-fetched. And while I still don’t necessarily agree with the idea of “fate” and events and relationships that are “meant to be”, The Sun Is Also a Star is both a creative and unique novel and I’m happy to say that Yoon has written a stunningly beautiful story with a depth I wasn’t expecting. Lesson learned – there are more and more YA books out there that are absolutely worth reading and The Sun Is Also a Star is definitely one of them!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.