Nicola Yoon’s newest teen novel Everything, Everything became a bestseller for the same reason her latest read is a pleasure to snuggle up with – her writing is simply addictive. 3.5 stars.
The Sun is Also a Star follows the story of two very different teens, Natasha and Daniel, on the day they will meet for the first time. This happens to be the day that Natasha and her family will be deported back to Jamaica and the day Daniel has an interview for medicine at an ivy league college – both are fighting their fates and one step in the right direction brings them together.
Bits of sunshine from this book:
- Natasha is a determined black woman that young girls can look up to. Half of the story focuses on how Natasha successfully finds (and convinces) the best lawyer in New York to help her family fight their deportation. As a woman Natasha is intelligent, fiercely loyal and has a shed load of resilience. Sadly, black women as admirable protagonists in literature are still thin on the ground and I really noticed this as a black girl reader growing up: none of my favourite characters looked like me! Yoon’s characterisation of be-froed and self-assured Natasha is really uplifting step to increasing the black presence in popular lit.
- This book will make you feel warm inside. That’s a fact. As much as I’m not a fan of YA Romances Natasha and Daniel are a literary couple that just make perfect sense.
- I love that Yoon goes off on non-fiction tangents through TSIAAS! Her discussion of how politicised hair has become in the African American community stands out for me as opening several important discussions about culture, racism and inter-racial couples relationships that really need to be openly discussed today.
- Fate is pretty much as big as a topic as you can get but Nicola Yoon manages to present the voice of the universe without pretending to know it all. That’s a pretty admirable feat.
- The theme of father-child relationships adds a interesting dynamic to The Sun is Also a Star. Daniel (who often resents his Korean father) and Natasha (who blames her father for her family’s imminent deportation) both come to terms with this relationship throughout and this process is narrated with genuine heartache and introspection.
- This book made me cry laugh. Cry laugh.
- The romance plot is supplemented with a well written sub-plot surrounding a woman called Irene. THIS BIT WILL MAKE YOU WEEP.
Things that weren’t my cup of tea:
- I gave this 3.5 stars because I found it a breeze to read but found the characters and the plot a bit predictable. Whereas Everything, Everything kept me guessing for longer.
- I’m not a great fan of the ‘it all happening on one day’ format…I find it a bit of a unsatisfying cliche, almost as bad as an ‘it was all a dream’ as an ending.
- Young Adult romance is usually one my least favourite genres…because I am as cynical as they come and basically middle aged. However this book made me question my stubbornness and it is fabulous if you want to get stuck into a read that highlights what a wonderful melting pot of cultures our world is.
Read if you have loved: Everything Everything, Noughts and Crosses, One Day and Me Before You.
Have you read The Sun is Also a Star? What did you think?