[682]: The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

28763485 The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Stand Alone
Double Day Canada | November 1st, 2016
Source: ARC Paperback from Penguin Random House Canada
Young Adult Fiction | Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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?

Nicola Yoon has become an instant star in the annals of contemporary fiction for young adults. And this after only releasing one book under her belt. Everything, Everything showed me a glimpse of Nicola’s writing chops that I’ve only seen in some of the more experienced authors out there. She immortalized Maddie in such a revealing acuity. She also handled the delicate topic of a serious disease that may or may not have been brought on by an overprotective instinct by a mother that only wanted to protect her child. In this book, however, she goes beyond the personification of the main characters. She gave insights on side characters and nuances that was both amusing and somewhat informative. All the while tying them all in a nice cohesive bow of this story.

In this book, she tackles the plight of a couple of young immigrants in America. One is about to be deported. And the other, an American-born Korean boy whose future is already predetermined by his parents.

Having been situated in America for several years, Natasha has acclimated well in her life as an American teenager. She is determined to succeed and does very well in school. She doesn’t take anything for granted because she knows the alternative is a life back home where the future is unknown. Natasha is a big believer of things that can be explained. Love, God, and fate are words that give her pause.

By contrast, Daniel’s future is set in stone if his parents has a choice in the matter. But Daniel is a dreamer; a poet who believes in serendipity and love. If they’d met under different circumstances, and if time was on their side, Daniel and Natasha could’ve lived everyday discovering what makes them the way they were. But they live in a reality where their parents’ hopes, dreams, and indiscretions are hopelessly tied to their own.

This book has a lot of moments characteristic of a contemporary read. But underneath the surface belies the seriousness of what typically happens to the lives of immigrants in America. The family does what they can to survive, to make their dreams a reality. But sometimes, hard work is not enough. Nicola Yoon showed that with an honest clarity that a person like me (an immigrant) can whole-heartedly relate. I’ve seen my parents worked 12-15 hours everyday just to get us out of the basement we lived in when we got here. And while things turned out well for us, it sure hasn’t been easy. It’s the same reality I saw in Daniel’s and Natasha’s parents.

Daniel’s parents were well on their way to the fruition of their dreams, if only their oldest son didn’t screw up his short stint in Harvard. That’s why they’re doing everything they can for him to get accepted in Yale. On the other hand, Natasha’s parents only ever saw hardship. Because of the bad choices her father made fueled by his determination to pursue his dreams, things didn’t go so well for Natasha’s family.

Once again, Nicola Yoon delivers another unforgettable story rich in love, family, and diversity. It’s not all fun and games, but her succinct intuitiveness in all things about culture, race, and relationships shine cover to cover.

  • I haven’t read any of her books.. but I love how many are loving them 😀 So glad you enjoyed this book a bunch sweetie. <3 I'm curious about it, yet probably never reading it, lol. Seems cute, though 🙂

  • RO

    I wouldn’t have picked this up on my own, but after reading your review, I’m blown away by this type of love story. Hugs…

  • Sounds like this would be an eye opening read… Sometimes hard work is not enough, which is sad. Fabulous review Joy!

  • I love the sound of this book and I’ve only read positive reviews. I love how it covers the immigrant life and how relatable it is for us. Lovely review Joy!

  • I really want to read this one. Like you, I enjoyed her first book and this one sounds really good. I am glad that you enjoyed it. Great review!

  • This sounds amazing, I featured this in one of my Waiting on Wednesday and I’m definitely looking forward to it after your review! Tori @ In Tori Lex

  • I thought about reading the first one and then I found out the end so I didn’t 🙁 This one doesn’t seem like it would end well just from the circumstances. I know it’s probably wonderful though. I am glad you loved it!

  • shootingstarsmag

    I haven’t read Yoon’s debut, but I have been hearing great things about her work. I’m so glad you loved this one too and thought she did the immigrant story well.


  • I don’t think I’ve heard a bad thing about this one yet. I couldn’t get in to Everything, Everything, but I like the sound of this better. Great review!

  • I read Everything Everything, and have been planning to read this one as well. I am glad to see such positive thoughts about it. I don’t read a lot of YA, but there are a few books that I am glad to make an exception for.

  • How relevant especially with the current political climate here in the US. And as an immigrant, I’m sure I can relate to a lot of things in this book. It’s never easy, migrating to a new place, but if you find your way, it is very gratifying too.

  • You know I am not big on YA themes… But I want to read this one so badly. Sounds like this author brings so many great elements into one story

  • Oh wow… I have been wanting to try a book by her and I do think I will add this one to the wishlist. This sounds so good and I like the diversity angle. I also love that you connected to the experience in the book which makes me even more curious about the story. I’ve been looking for more diverse books so thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  • I really enjoyed the author’s debut, apart from one major gripe – glad to hear this one rocks as well! Her writing style is wonderful.

  • I actually follow this author on Twitter and she is super sweet! I’m excited about her first booo being made into a movie!♡♡ I had NO idea this book touched om so many different topics! And most of them are tough topics to even talk about! I’M xcited to read and see where she goes with this!

    Awesome review, love!

  • I haven’t tried this author but it’s great to see you had a nice time again and that it delivered so many things

  • Wasn’t this book beautiful? I love that she tackled the immigrant side and that there was lots of diversity in this book. I wasn’t expecting much from this book since I wasn’t a huge fan of Everything, Everything, but this one blew me away completely!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  • kindlemom1

    I love that this has some fact thrown in with the storyline so it feels real. I love reads like that. I just read The Spice Box Letters and it was a lot like I would imagine this one was as well. I need to add this to my reading list for sure now.

  • I was currently debating what to read next and now I know what I’ll read. I love the sound of this one, Joy. I mean I expected good things having loved Everything Everything, but your review makes it sound like it’s much much stronger. I’m excited to dive into it! I love that immigration is explored so honestly, especially. I hope I’ll love it as much as you did, Joy.

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    Fantastic review. I will definitely be adding this one and her other novel to my TBR list. I’m glad you enjoyed it – it sounds really memorable and I love that it focus on immigration — such an important and timely topic!

  • I’ve heard/read so many good things about this book. I’m going to have to pick it up. I really enjoy complex/layered characters, because in real life, we all have a lot going on in addition to adulting. Thanks for the great review. I really ❤️ your blog!!!

  • It seems like a good YA then 🙂