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Publication Date: November 3rd 2016 (first published November 1st 2016)
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Part of Series? No
Goodreads Blurb: 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?
Insta-love isn’t always weird
I am such a sucker for cute romances and this book was no less. You must have heard how this book is all about insta-love and how people usually hate that. I agree. I too hate insta-loves in most of the cases, but this book doesn’t fall into that case, for me. Despite insta-love-y storyline, in the beginning, I loved it because it was more than that. I loved both Daniel and Natasha as the characters and I loved Nicola Yoon’s writing, though it was my first ever read of hers.
The whole story takes place in ONE day so you can’t argue with the insta-love plot, can you? I mean there are always limitations to writing a story in such a short period of time. I usually don’t understand how two people meet for the first time and fall in love instantly when they are quite different? But believe me, this story was so perfectly written that you would actually ignore the insta-love plot and would start rooting for Daniel and Natasha 🙂
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.
Probably, I should talk about the ending at the end of this review but I think it is better if I do it right here. We have a nice perception related to insta-love stories regarding how they would end. I had same expectations from this story too. But Nicola Yoon did a wonderful job with the ending part. Though my little heart broke badly, I was happy that she chose this ending. That made the story more believable but yes I wished it to be a little longer.
Lovely characters with perfect storyline
Do you believe in destiny? Do you believe that everything you do has a meaning? Like you do something and later you think that it was because of the other thing that you did earlier? Have you ever thought that you haven’t met an amazing person or gone to a place if “that” thing hadn’t happened? This exact feeling came to Natasha that day, though she was no believer in God or destiny or love but just science.
Natasha and Daniel are two teens who find each other one fine day in New York. Natasha was an undocumented migrant and was about to be deported to Jamaica that day because of a mistake her father made. Daniel was the son of two South Korean parents but was born in America. Daniel and Natasha were totally different. One was a believer in love while another was a believer in science. Nicola Yoon created an atmosphere where two people meet who are so different yet bound together by time, destiny, love and who are “meant to be” somehow.
Daniel wanted to show Natasha that real love does exist and it is actually a good thing. Natasha was reluctant to believe that whole thing and she always had scientific answers for each of the arguments Daniel made. But I loved how Daniel didn’t give up and actually made her fall for him.
We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write poetry. You probably hate poetry, but it’s hard to argue with ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate’ in terms of sheer beauty. We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.
A unique thing about the representation of the story was the change of perspectives. I loved how the story was switched between Natasha’s and Daniel’s perspectives, but the better thing was including the perspectives of minor side characters and third person chapters too, which made the story more interesting. For example, there were chapters related to the history of hair products for black people, which definitely made the little insights into the story more interesting. There were some chapters related to past of a few characters who played a significant role in the story. Those memories show us how the choices made by a person can affect their future and how those choices can impact other peoples lives.
“Stars are important,” I say, laughing.
“Sure, but why not more poems about the sun? The sun is also a star, and it’s our most important one. That alone should be worth a poem or two.”
This is more than just romance
Don’t get me wrong when I say that this book is more than just romance. I loved the romance. It was adorable and heartbreaking and Daniel and Natasha are beautiful characters. This story was more about life than love. No matter what decision you make, it is going to affect your present and future. And if it is meant to be, then it has to be. Life is full of surprises and you don’t know what would come next. But giving up is not the option.
“People make mistakes all the time. Small ones, like you get in the wrong checkout line. The one with the lady with a hundred coupons and a checkbook.
Sometimes you make medium-sized ones. You go to medical school instead of pursuing you passion.
Sometimes you make big ones.
You give up.”
Nicola Yoon has presented a lot of diversity in this book. There is a strong representation of immigration issues and race. Daniel and Natasha both are immigrants but the difference is one is legal while the another is undocumented. The migration story from both the perspectives offer their own messages and struggles and represent family and identity thus making the story more than just the romance.
“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.”
Apart from diversity, the issues like loneliness and mental health have also been raised. There is a side character whose story I loved. This tells you that how little gestures can make an impact on peoples lives. This story gives you hope and courage. but most importantly, it makes you find the light within yourself.
Overall, this was a fantastic read and now I am a fan of Nicol Yoon’s writing. The build-up of the story was good and the characters were adorable. The story was well written and also it was fast-paced. All the immigrant’s issues were presented so well. They were hard to digest but I am glad that Nicola Yoon has not sugarcoated anything. If you are looking for a diverse YA contemporary read with a cute romance, then this book is definitely for you. This story is just magical!
If you are looking for a diverse YA contemporary read with a cute romance, then The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon is definitely for you. This story is just magical!
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Have you read this book? Did you enjoyed it
Do you like insta-love romance plots?