It’s sort of a tradition of mine to get a new YA book every time I go visit my friend in New York City. We’re both huge fans of young adult fiction and we both have similar tastes so usually, she would recommend me a new series to start reading. Last time I came, she got me addicted to An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I’ll write a review on that series when the last one is released but for those of you who have read it, you know how good it is.
This time around, I wasn’t really looking for anything in the fantasy department. Since I’m currently reading The Midnight Star, the last book in the Young Elites series by Marie Lu, I was in desperate need of a nice, mild, coming-of-age romance sort of story to counteract all the darkness that’s in The Midnight Star. Trust me, that book leaves you so desolate on the inside.
But I digress.
She recommended Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum but unfortunately, the Barnes & Noble we went to didn’t have it. So I searched up a list of YA romance novels and was introduced to The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. Right off the bat, I was taken by the cover of the book, but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover hehe. I did a quick flip through and saw that the format was nothing new, but it did have an interesting twist.
The Sun Is Also a Star tells a story of two seemingly incompatible teenagers in their senior year of high school who both live in the Big Apple – New York City. One of them, Natasha Kingsley, is an illegal immigrant from Jamaica set to be deported out of America by the end of the day. The other main character, Daniel Bae, is a Korean-American set to interview for “second best school” Yale (according to his parents).
Natasha is a realist.
Daniel is a dreamer.
Natasha bases everything on science and facts.
Daniel runs with his guts feelings and emotions.
Natasha wants to have a practical and sensible job in the future.
Daniel wants to be a poet.
Starting to get the picture?
On that fateful day, Natasha’s whole family was packing up their things since they were being deported that night. Not wanting to give up, she leaves and goes on her way to talk to immigration one last time. Daniel, who we learn early on that he doesn’t even really want to go to Yale, was on his way to get his hair cut for his interview. In a seemingly destined, coincidental series of events, Daniel is led straight to Natasha, and the two of them begin this incredible adventure of experiencing happiness, pain, and hope together, all condensed into the few hours they spend with each other. Natasha learns what it means to start to hope and dream again while Daniel learns how to finally speak what’s on his mind and control his own life.
Nicola Yoon paints such a beautiful picture of the city as the backdrop to this amazing book. This is definitely a great coming of age novel where I feel everyone will be able to relate to the characters in one way or another. The spark felt between Natasha and Daniel is so strong and tense at times that you can’t help but turn the page to find out what happens next. Yoon is able to write eloquently from both the perspectives of Natasha and Daniel, with a few extra surprises thrown in there. You can tell that a lot of planning went into perfecting the little details, all leading up to the final chapter where she gives us such a clean ending that leaves you smiling, hoping, and wanting more.
Well Written? Amazingly
Would I Read Again? Totally