“I don’t believe in love.”
“It’s not a religion,” he says. “It exists whether you believe in it or not.”
This is my first Nicola Yoon book, and I’ll be honest — I primarily picked it up due to the upcoming movie. The cast is excellent, and I’ve obviously been on a good romance/love book kick. Let’s see how this one holds up! It’s a bit of a shorter review as I don’t want to spoil the book, and the thing I love most of all is the ending of this book.
The Sun is Also a Star
by Nicola Yoon
Published Date: November 2016
Read Date: March 2019
Genre: YA, Romance
Rating: 4/5 Moose
Number of Pages: 384 Pages
Can you fall in love in one day, even when your whole life might be falling apart?
Natasha – Natasha is doing everything she can to keep her family in America after her father, after being caught driving under the influence, gets them deported for overstaying their visa.
Daniel – Daniel is on his way to an interview with Yale, even though he isn’t sure he wants to go to Yale or be a doctor.
Rants, Raves, and Thoughts
This book caused so many emotions for me. I am working on my fear of alternate realities, and even still, when I finished this book I burst into tears. There’s a lot about it I don’t like, but I ended up devouring the book quickly. No matter my feelings overall, Nicola Yoon can write well.
This book is told from dual first person point of views, and yet overall it still feels like it is and should be Natasha’s story. Daniel just feels flat through most of the story — he doesn’t seem to have a character arc really. But I still like him and enjoyed his chapters. I still want Natasha to fall in love with him. But really, he exists to help Natasha see herself and that everything’s going to be okay.
Okay, there is the plot line with his brother, and I am glad that isn’t entirely resolved in the book.
Natasha, on the other hand, is more our lead main character. Her story is more developed and has a beginning, middle, and end. We find out if her entire day working to achieve this goal of staying in America is successful or not. And she exists as more than just….wanting Daniel.
There is also the “side character” of the universe, which pops up in and out as different characters. There is the security guard at the building Natasha goes to in the beginning who is planning to kill herself, the lawyer who fucks up Natasha’s case, his assistant/love of his life, a waitress, parents….a reminder that while this one day is going on (because really, outside of the epilogue it IS one day) our main characters aren’t alone, nor are they the sole enforcements of their life.
People just want to believe. Otherwise they would have to admit that life is just a random series of good and bad things that happen until one day you die.
This book was a solid three stars for me, until the epilogue. Which starts as “In an alternate universe,” which leads me to believe that the universe we are existing in doesn’t have a similar ending, that maybe it’s a different kind of happy or sad. All it did was cause me to burst into tears of bitter happiness. I can’t deny how powerful it is.
How can you trust something that can end as suddenly as it begins?
I still hate the concept of alternate realities and how they make me feel. Maybe one day I’ll accept that I am happy with this life and who I am. This book doesn’t necessarily help that (in some ways it hurts me more than helps) but nonetheless, I am glad I read it.
I also love that Nicola Yoon pulls from her own life experiences and her husband’s (she’s Jamaican and her husband is Korean) even though this isn’t the story of how they met, it still adds to the love and care that went into this book.
Also: while there is a lot of subway travel, there is an understanding of the city’s logistics which I think many books about NYC miss if the author didn’t live there for any time.
I am incredibly excited for this movie given the cast and how much fun they look like they’re having. I mean the announcement of the “Paradise” song video is wonderful enough!
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