I have never felt as close to a writer or a fictional experience as I do to Nicola Yoon and The Sun Is Also a Star. It’s been said that having a wide variety of characters and cultures represented in literature is vital to our understanding of others and for others to understand us, and I’ve made that statement multiple times. What I never thought about before was how important it is to have a wide variety of characters and cultures represented in order to better understand ourselves. I understand myself and my family better because of The Sun is Also A Star.
The Sun Is Also a Star is a brilliant representation of humanity, and the roles love, fate, chance, and purpose play in how our world unfolds around us. Sun follows Natasha and David, two teenagers who are at points in their lives when their decisions have more weight, their futures uncertain, and their destinies seemingly in everyone else’s hands but their own. The story takes place over the course of a day, on the busy streets of New York City, and uses a unique narrative consisting of multiple POVs. Nicola Yoon converges lives and shows that even within our own story, the rest of the world matters.
Sun is about dreamers. It’s about the romantics and it’s about the realists. It’s about everyone who simply dreams of a life filled with happiness, passion, and love. It’s also about those who practically dream of security and freedom. Sun is about the immigrant story, one that’s more important than ever.
Sun follows Daniel, a Korean American boy who doesn’t fit into his family, and doesn’t fit into his country. It’s about Natasha, an undocumented Jamaican immigrant, who would appear more “American” than most Americans, because she certainly doesn’t “act Jamaican” but she’s not and she’s about to be deported. Sun is about our parents, who grew up with dreams as well, and we may or may not have played a part in those dreams. Sun is about the strangers around us, whose decisions can have unforeseeable, and long-lasting effects on our lives. It’s also about the strangers who are also affected by the decisions we make.
This is a story I think everyone should experience. It’s both global and intimate. It’s a love story, but also so much more. The characters in this book are layered and multifaceted. The story is thoughtful, profound, romantic, and hopeful. Yes, it’s a teenage love story—one that I fell hard and fast for—but it’s also about family and history. And of course, I was all in once I saw that it’s a reflection of my culture, and myself, and Nicola Yoon brightly showcases the beautiful complexity of my history, the complicated relationships intertwined, the dreams of my past and my future.
If you’ve read Everything, Everything, then you’ll recognize the exceptional style of Nicola Yoon’s prose. It’s gorgeous really, and even more so because she has this way of including seemingly random gems and factoids, and making the dry seem poetic. It’s hard to understand unless you’ve read her (read her!), but like Natasha, Nicola is a scientist and a romantic, and when those two combine, magic happens.
The Sun Is Also a Star is magic. It’s sweet, it’s meaningful, it’s heartbreaking, it’s buoyant, it sweeps you away, and yet keeps you grounded at the same time. This thought provoking love story is one I had a difficult time reviewing because I didn’t think I could truly convey what it meant to me. I reviewed it, but still haven’t expressed all I felt. I’ll just say that The Sun Is Also a Star shows how love provides hope and reason in a sometimes unfair and unreasonable world, and that message is everything to a romantic in a cynical world. I highly recommend.
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?