The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Published by: Penguin Random House
Format: ARC e-book
Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
It seems that all my favourite authors of last year are coming out with their next books around this time of year and I couldn’t be happier, because it means the last reading quarter is guaranteed to be a good one! Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star is no exception. After giving her debut, Everything, Everything 5 stars, I had high hopes for this book and it didn’t let me down. In fact, let’s talk about why this cosmic romance was so wonderful…
- Something really lovely about this book, that sets it apart from any other romance I’ve read this year, is the fact that the book only spans one day and yet still manages to craft such a convincing love story. Daniel, a Korean American, and Natasha, an immigrant from Jamaica, meet by chance one day and one falls in love at first sight with the other, promising to spend the rest of the day proving that love can form in a matter of hours.
- Daniel and Natasha, despite having such different personalities (in a kind of black-and-white one loves poetry, one loves science way, but still) do manage what Natasha thought was just chemicals.
- I loved the diversity of the characters. Their heritage plays a really important role in who they are and understanding what’s made them that way. The book is written in such a way that you get little third person glimpses into their parents’ lives and it gave the book another layer of story telling I wasn’t expecting going into it. In a lot of the books I’ve read, sadly, POC characters aren’t often the protagonists and it felt so lovely to read about people I haven’t read about before.
- The third person elements aren’t just limited to the parents of the couple. Instead, you get all these little asides to extremely minor characters, giving you an account of what’s happened in their life that day, giving them a backstory, to explain how fate has connect all these people to help Daniel and Natasha fall in love. There are also these little ‘A History’ sections that give you great context to any of the science-y things Natasha talks about, or the culture of Korean and Jamaica people. It reminded me a lot of the different points of view from Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan, which I love love love.
- The romance is delicious. It’s the kind of deep love that you desperately want to believe in. The course of their relationship, from strangers to being lost without each other, is so beautiful to watch unfold. My favourite part of any romance in any YA novel is reading about the characters getting to know each other and that pretty much lasted the whole book, so I was in heaven.
- Natasha and Daniel both have a lot going on in their lives. Natasha’s family is getting deported, Daniel feels a lot of pressure from his family to be exactly like his brother, there’s a Yale interview to get to, and it means that the relationship between the two has real grit. They argue and they support one another, and there’s a big climax of sexual tension. There’s always something going on to keep you turning the pages, because just when you think everything’s perfect, something gets in the way.
- The ending kind of broke me. It was satisfying and disheartening at the same time. Bittersweet but wonderfully hopeful. I liked that I could imagine the ending any way I wanted, and that it didn’t have to end at the end of the day Natasha and Daniel met.
Overall, I’m giving The Sun is Also a Star 4 stars. It was such a great romance, and I’ve come to expect nothing less from Nicola Yoon. I can’t wait for people to read it, and fall in love with Natasha and Daniel like I have!
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