Title: The Sun is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Doubleday Canada, 2016
Edition: Hardcover, 344 pages
The story of a girl, a boy, and the universe
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?
I really enjoyed Nicola Yoon’s first YA novel – Everything, Everything – but I have to admit, The Sun is Also a Star fell a little short of my expectations.
To start, the synopsis didn’t really draw me in; I probably wouldn’t have even considered it at all if it wasn’t for the fact that this was written by Nicola Yoon. The synopsis just seemed too… typical? Predictable? Cheesy? And I suppose that was the main thing that I didn’t really enjoy as I was reading the novel itself.
What I did liked: some of the humour and witty banter between our two main characters, Natasha and Daniel. I liked the first-person narrations that jumped between their perspectives. I also enjoyed the little snippets into the side and minor characters that contributed to the whole idea that everything and everyone in the universe is connected in some way. I liked that Yoon gave us some information about culture and science as it was relateable to our characters and what make them them.
What I didn’t connect with: the corniness. The ways in which Daniel would speak of fate and destiny and how they were meant to be. And honestly, I don’t know, do teenagers – or anyone really – actually talk the way they do? Because I certainly don’t and I have never met anyone who did. But I will allow for the creative license and possibility that there truly are people who are like Natasha and Daniel in the world. There are billions of us around the world, after all. But nevertheless, I couldn’t connect with either character – they felt like two extremes.
“I didn’t know you this morning, and now I don’t remember not knowing you.” ― Nicola Yoon,
The ending (no spoilers, I promise) was actually okay. Perhaps because it brought it all together and despite my cynicism (or realism?), I can see the possibility of the ending that Yoon brought her characters towards.
Would I recommend The Sun is Also a Star? Not to any of my personal friends – but it would appear that this novel is loved based on the ratings on Goodreads (at the time this review was written, it’s at a 4.32 out of 5). So perhaps that shows that most people who have read it have connected to it in a positive way. And honestly, you could go pick up the book because that really is one beautiful and photogenic cover design right there.