*SPOILERS* 'THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR' BY NICOLA YOON | LIBRARY MINI-REVIEW


Since this is a library book that has to go back soon, (I'm borrowing from Overdrive) I've chosen to do a mini-review of my first borrow, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. 

Trigger Warning (TW): attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts




Summary

The #1 New York Times bestseller and National Book Award Finalist from the bestselling author of Everything, Everything (streaming now!) will have you falling in love with Natasha and Daniel as they fall in love with each other!


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? 


Mini-Review

In a Nutshell

This book was really good! I didn't expect to love it as much because of Natasha's almost-cold, statistical personality and her initial treatment to Daniel. But as I read the historical facts between both points of view, I began to understand her better. Daniel was so cute and such a dreamer! I rooted for his ambitions throughout the whole book. 

"I've been to your country. I've been to Jamaica. I had a nice time. Everything is irie there, man. You'll be alright."

"Where did you go?"
"Negril," he says. "Very nice place."
"Did you leave the hotel grounds?"
"I wanted to, but my--"
"But your wife didn't want to because she was scared, right? The guidebook says it was best to stay on resort grounds. Was she concerned about her safety? Or maybe she just didn't want to ruin her vacation mood by seeing how poor everyone really is." The anger I've suppressed rises from my belly and into my throat. "You listened to Bob Marley, and a bartender got you some pot, and someone told you what irie means and you think you know something. You saw a tiki bar and a beach and your hotel room. That is not a country. That is a resort." 

What I Loved
I loved the slow-burn connection between Daniel, a Korean-American poet and dreamer, and Natasha, a Jamaican-American student who wants to be a data analyst. At first, I'd thought that Natasha didn't like Daniel at all, because Daniel comes across as very airy and dreams of writing poetry, doesn't want to go to Yale University (where his parents want him to go to). Daniel also doesn't know what he wants to do for a career, which is a bit of a turnoff for Natasha.

Natasha, on the other hand, is more strict and rigid in her thinking; she loves astrology and the stars. But her immigration family problem makes her thoughts hostile and angry, because she doesn't understand why a God in the sky is allowing all of this bad stuff to happen in her life. She also blames a lot of the immigration issues on her aspiring actor father, who never really took advantage of his dreams of being a thespian. Plus, he got a DUI and spilled everything about being in the U.S. illegally. So Natasha really is resentful towards her father, which makes her feel distant towards Daniel. 

I also liked how we never got to know Natasha's status until close to the end, or near the end. Even when she was confronting her dad with Daniel, it made me cry because she knew she had spent every last second of her previous hours trying to convince how she could stay in the U.S. But it wasn't enough.

Another scene I cried during was when Daniel first found out about Natasha's status through her immigration lawyer, who was also his Yale interviewer. Daniel had wanted to believe that they were destined to be together forever, but his interviewer's revelation really woke him up. And that epiphany showed that not everything has a happy ending. 

Observable fact: You should never take long shots. Better, to study the odds and take the probable shot. However, if the long shot is your only shot, then you have to take it. 

What I Wanted More Of
The extra points-of-view between Daniel and Natasha were a bit unnecessary for my taste. I personally can't take more than 2 points of view in one novel, so the fact that there were more within the story got confusing. The only ones whom were worked into the story properly were Natasha's father and Irene, the security guard at Natasha's United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. And only because Irene was planning to (trigger warning) commit suicide if it wasn't for Natasha's quick but friendly hello and Nirvana album. But yeah, the rest of the points of view were not needed, in my opinion. 

There's a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn't mean love at first sight. It's closer to love at second sight. It's the feeling when you meet someone that you're going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don't love them right away, but it's inevitable that you will. 

Writing Style
I found Nicola Yoon's writing style to be simplistic but moving. She wrote in shorthand a lot, but I understood more when she wasn't throwing random facts in between chapters. I related to Daniel's story more through Yoon's writing, which was really helpful. Yoon also showcases a lot of compassion through her writing, and it's not overwhelming, especially through Natasha's eyes. But it's nice to see her development through Yoon's writing. 

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. 

Final Thoughts
This novel was well-written, emotional, informative, well-paced, diverse in characters and dramatization, and artistic. While it wasn't a perfect read, I'm glad that I finally got the chance to read it! 

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

Did you read THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR? What were your thoughts on it? Comment below!

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