Book Review: The Sun is also a Star – Nicola Yoon

Book Rating : 5 stars

This book broke my heart, remolded it, and broke it again, but in ways that left me thinking that maybe, just maybe, the stars are looking down at us and fate is real after all.

I loved The Sun is also a Star, and it’s all the more sweeter because I didn’t expect to. A bookclub read, I dragged my feet on starting this book, because I don’t normally like romance, and especially not YA romance. But The Sun is also a Star is more than just two teens falling in love in the course of on day: it’s about fate, finding yourself, asserting your identity, and being strong in heartbreaking situations. It’s also about not giving up hope, even when everything is stacked against you.

Natasha Kingston is level-headed, a believer of stats and science. Daniel Bae is a believer in poetry and magic. The two bump into each other in New York City on a day Natasha is trying to prevent her family from being deported to Jamaica and Daniel is heading to a college alumni interview. Daniel notices Natasha’s deus ex machina backpack, and is intrigued by her. Plus, she’s pretty. He walks up to her, eventually convincing her to spend time with him. He offers up a scientific experiment where people fall in love by answering intimate questions and staring into each other’s eyes. Natasha is skeptical, Daniel is hopeful. The two proceed.

The story not only weaves in Natasha and Daniel, but other characters, showcasing how their lives are intertwined, and how strangers affect each other. From Irene, who’s lonely, depressed, and suicidal, to a dunk driver who nearly runs Natasha over, everyone circles each other, affects one another, and ultimately, can make or break someone’s life. It’s random, but it’s real.

Though it’s unrealistic how Natasha and Daniel fall in love in one day, (though this proves Daniel’s experiment), it is realistic how a single person can affect you profoundly, even if for a short time.

I loved this book, with the touches on immigration, culture, clashes, and class. I grew up in an immigrant family, and though mine is not Korean like Daniel’s, or Jamaican like Natasha’s, I felt deeply the sacrifices and choices the parents in the book made for their children. Daniel struggles with his parents’ expectation for him to become a doctor, while Natasha struggles with her family’s lower SES and the choices her father makes in wanting to become an actor but never making it.

Do yourself a favor and read The Sun is also a Star.

Favorite quotes from The Sun is also a Star:

“Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.”

“Observable fact: I don’t believe in magic.

Observable fact: We are magic.”

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