Book: The Sun is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
My Rating: 2.75/5 Stars
“I love this part of getting to know someone. How every new piece of information, every new expression, seems magical. I can’t imagine this becoming old and boring. I can’t imagine not wanting to hear what she has to say.”
This was one of those books that I added to my collection years ago but never read until now, when I randomly picked it for a reading vlog. The vlog motivated me to pick it up, but I was also looking forward to watching the movie adaptation. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book and watched an already released adaptation right after, so you could say I was pretty excited.
Natasha is desperate. That is precisely why she spends her last day in New York City avoiding her packing to talk to a lawyer, hoping they could stop her family from being deported to Jamaica. Daniel is stuck. He wants to be a poet but his parents’ expectations for his career choice are too high to pursue that dream, which is why he has an unwanted interview with a Yale alum. When Natasha and Daniel’s paths cross at the start of their important day, he instantly feels a connection and believes that fate brought them together, but she’s not convinced. So he bets that he could make her fall in love with him by the end of the day. What Daniel does not know is that Natasha only has that day, unless she could turn her family’s situation around.
Usually I would hate instalove but I couldn’t see why I would with this book when it’s a romance set in the span of a day, with the two characters only just meeting. How could it not get instalovey? I recognize that that was the point, which is why I can’t really critique it. But at the same time, Daniel was making it really difficult for me with all of his extraness. He was rubbing the instalove in my face with his constant talk of fate and destiny. I was begging him to take it down a notch so that I wouldn’t experience death by cringing.
“I’m looking to get overwhelmed by love and meant-to-be and destiny so that the decisions about my future will be out of my hands. It won’t be me defying my parents. It will be fate.”
Beyond the perspectives of the two main characters, we got a third perspective from “the universe,” as I understand it. It explained the characteristics and lives of people that were in the background but who still briefly impacted the story in some way. It gave us information that Natasha and Daniel would not have been able to provide for us. These chapters also gave more in-depth information about the characters’ situations and families, as well as, defined certain words that were brought up in previous conversations. I enjoyed the context that it gave us.
Still on the topic of perspectives, I thought it was interesting how we got two different ideas on life from Natasha and Daniel, not just from what they had to say, but from what they observed. Natasha was all about science and facts while Daniel was all about fate and dreams. A scene that stood out to me highlighted their beliefs: Natasha passed a couple arguing, wondering if they would break up, and after that Daniel passed the same couple making out, hoping that they would stay together forever.
“How can this be the same day? How can all these people be going about their lives totally oblivious to what’s been happening to mine? Sometimes your world shakes so hard, it’s difficult to imagine that everyone else isn’t feeling it too.”
I was very skeptical about the idea that a child could take care of the legal issues of her family. Wouldn’t the lawyer need a parent to be present in order to talk to her? Maybe I’m wrong and this is completely normal, but it was really confusing to me.
I guess my thoughts about this book are mixed. It’s been awhile since I’ve read YA contemporary; maybe I’ve outgrown it or maybe this particular book just wasn’t for me.