I read this book last year and the review has been ready for ages, but I’m only just getting to post it now.
Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star had been doing the rounds of BookTube as well as Bookstagram with quite a few mixed reviews. It was the cover of the book that pulled me in. It is so, so intriguing and beautiful that I figured (like so many other books before and so many other books to come) that I would find out if the cover lives up to the hype. And not to preempt my review or anything but God oh God, was it a good decision!
The Sun is Also a Star is the story of two teenagers Natasha and Daniel who run into each other one fine day. Or rather, Daniel decides to act on instinct. But the thing is, Natasha and her family are about to be deported to Jamaica, thanks to one of her father’s blunders. And Daniel’s family is dead against his following his dreams of becoming a poet. While Natasha thinks of herself as a person who believes in facts, she desperately wants to overturn the fact of the looming deportation. And Daniel? He desperately wants to escape his parents’ high expectations and his older brother’s shadow.
When these two meet, there is something between them that feels like the Universe had been working up just to bring them to this point. Will they have a future? Will their dreams overturn the fact that dictate their current lives? What exactly does the future have in store for them?
Oh, God! Where do I start with this book? Natasha and Daniel are so close to reality, yet, there is poetry in their conversations. Or should I say, that is exactly why I find poetry in their conversations? They are flawed, yes, but still do they find acceptance within one another – another shadow of reality right there. They couldn’t be more different – Natasha looks for science in everything while Daniel looks for poetry in everything. These two souls meeting and acquainting over the timespan of one day is everything that I didn’t even know I needed.
The first 10-odd pages paint the picture of immigrants fighting against an administration that is bound to throw them out. But that is really not the case. It is all about the emotions simmering between these two individuals who are fighting to stand on their own two feet in a world that seems annoyingly desperate to keep them apart. Reading through these pages really does gives you reality bites that you probably didn’t want or expect when you picked this book up.
The Sun is Also a Star has short sections for different characters in the book. Even those that would be deemed insignificant characters in any other book have their own sections. And that gives me a strange sense of hope. Some of them are in first person – giving an emotional insight into the life and minds of the character in question. Some of them are in third person – giving an unbiased, factual view of what’s going on in the story. And I love the mixture that these two make!
Halfway into the story, I was reminded of another story that I read online a couple of years ago. I don’t remember the name but I loved it too much at the time. It was about a girl – German-Thai, I think, who struggles with her identity. Just like Daniel does in this book, though Daniel isn’t at that level of identity crisis. It was pure nostalgia for me. Of course, this is just a tiny part of the book, but it’s there.
The Sun is Also a Star is a book that everyone must read, not only because it talks about two people from radically different backgrounds, but also because it tells us that it’s okay to follow your heart in the moment. Everything won’t happen according to what you want, but plant your feet in reality as your mind soars and your life could surprise even you.
I’m so glad I picked this book and I’m also glad I went in with fewer expectations because that way, I discovered that a book appeals to me better. Yet, I think I’d have loved the book even if I had read it without looking at the reviews. It is that good!
So if you’re looking for a deep, yet enjoyable read, go grab The Sun is Also a Star. You might just fall in love with it and the characters the way I did!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life. 🙂