Summary: 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?
My rating: 5/5 stars
Pros: Good characters, Beautiful relationships, Beautiful writing, Dealt with important topics, Made me think, Made me feel
Cons: Multiple POV occasionally confusing
This review is long overdue. Probably the reason it’s taken so long is because I don’t have the words to describe how amazing this book was. Words are inadequate. This book was that good. It left me speechless.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m not the hugest fan of the contemporary genre. Books about normal people living their normal lives just don’t excite me the way fantasy/paranormal/sci fi books do. The Sun Is Also A Star is definitely an exception to that rule. I absolutely loved it. It blew me away.
Firstly, the characters. Natasha and Daniel are both well-written, well-developed main characters. Natasha is a lover of science and can be a bit cynical, in short everything I usually dislike in a character. However, I love Natasha. Her love for her family, her passion for music, her kindness, her determination to stand up for her rights, and her openmindedness to Daniel’s suggestion even when she thought it was silly all came together to make me love her. She’s a wonderful character, as is Daniel. Daniel. He’s a total hopeless romantic, a dreamer, a guy with a voice that is easy to relate to and a good sense of humor. I love him. Honestly, I could go on and on about these characters but I don’t want to take up the entire review.
Secondly, the relationships. Natasha and Daniel’s relationship, if it was in any other book, if it was written in any other way by any other author would be dismissed by me as instalove. However, it wasn’t. It really wasn’t. They met and fell in love in a day, sure. But it wasn’t the typical *guy/girl spots guy/girl and falls in love instantly* situation. It was more of a Daniel sees Natasha, thinks she seems cool and feels like he could fall in love with her, they get to know each other and fall in love once they do. That is the important part: they get to know each other. My problem with instalove is not that the characters fall in love quickly. Everyone falls in love at different speeds. No, my problem with instalove is that characters fall in love without truly getting to know each other. That is not the case with Natasha and Daniel. Natasha and Daniel’s relationship develops at a perfect pace and in the perfect way for both characters.Natasha and Daniel’s relationship, however, is not the only relationship in the story. Natasha’s relationships with her family and friends as well as Daniel’s relationships with his family are written equally well. It’s simply beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful, the writing in this book is amazing. It’s poetic. It’s full of quotable lines. It’s just wonderful. While reading, I was blown away by Nicola Yoon’s ability to state the most simple ideas in beautiful ways. I don’t have words for the beauty of this writing. I’m in awe of it.
This book also deals with important topics such as deportation, immigration, racism, family dynamics and expectations, and more in sensitive, realistic, and eye-opening ways. None of these topics are exploited for shock value nor are the characters solely defined by them. This book is just amazing.
This book made me think. It made me feel every emotion from elation to despair. This book took me on a physical, mental, and emotional journey. One that I would love to go on over and over due to the skill with which this journey was written, the wonderful characters and relationships in the story, and the important topics dealt with.
The only negative I can find in this amazing book is that the multiple points of view are occasionally confusing. I can always tell Natasha and Daniel’s voices apart but the other characters who occasionally got point of view chapters are not as distinctive. I also find the ending confusing. While reading, I wasn’t sure if the ending was meant to describe what is actually going to happen in the future or what would have happened if X event had happened. I choose to believe it’s the former but I’m still not quite sure.
In general, I absolutely loved this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone, even those (like me) who are not the hugest fans of contemporary books. This book is just that good. If you’re a fan of well-written characters, adorable romances, beautiful writing and important topics dealt with respectfully I would definitely recommend this book.
I read this book for #DiversityBingo2017.