Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon.
The Sun Is Also A Star is a beautifully written tale about fate, chance and, of course, falling in love. It follows two protagonists: pragmatist Natasha, an illegal immigrant who is due to leave America in a matter of hours, and romantic Daniel, whose own ambitions clash with what his parents want. The book takes place over the timespan of just twenty four hours, which only adds to the magic.
Fate is a primary theme in this book, and I loved the way Yoon incorporated it throughout. A chance encounter led to so much more, and it was really interesting to read about everything that had led up to the moment they first met, and Daniel’s immediate interest in Natasha, and her gradual change in attitudes towards him.
Similarly, Yoon explored the importance of coincidences and everything they could lead to. Each moment in the book proved to be pivotal and crucial to Daniel and Natasha’s relationship and time together. The Sun Is Also A Star made me reflect on how much significance seemingly mundane everyday things can hold, and how something that doesn’t seem particularly extraordinary at the time can actually change your life forever. As Daniel says: “What a difference a day makes.”
Another aspect that I loved were the references to reverse deja vu – that is, recognising someone from their behaviour and, of course, glimpses of the future. I thought this was a really interesting idea of Yoon’s and I’d never even considered this notion before, but it piqued my interest and I found myself longing for the future they saw to come true for them.
Of course, I can’t write much more before mentioning their undeniable connection. I’ve never been one to believe in fate and being ‘meant to be’ but Daniel and Natasha’s relationship made me begin to question that. Daniel and Natasha just clicked – there wasn’t any denying it, and the only real explanation for the instant bond that they shared seemed to be fate.
Despite this, Yoon didn’t overdo it, and the book was anything but cheesy. Daniel and Natasha’s relationship was written beautifully, and the story between them felt really real and natural, despite the characters being fictional. This was at least partially due to how well matched the two were – I guess it’s true that opposites attract!
Another aspect explored were the little side stories, which I adored. Obviously the majority of the book alternated between Daniel and Natasha’s POVs, but every so often there would be a little part about history, perhaps, or from another character’s perspective. I found these really useful when reading it as it provided the reader with backstory and it gave even the most minor of characters a voice and a story.
Despite being a romance, Yoon also worked incorporated some key issues in society today: immigrants and racism, which both got in the way of Daniel and Natasha’s future and relationship (although one was a much more prominent obstacle). As I mentioned at the beginning, Natasha’s family were illegal immigrants, and Yoon didn’t brush over that. Instead, she explored the desperation and frustration Natasha felt when trying to get help and solve her father’s mistake. In addition to this, Daniel’s family was Korean whilst Natasha’s was Jamaican, and they each faced some racism when meeting each other’s family, particularly Natasha, which also didn’t help matters.
Family was another central theme to the book. Both Natasha and Daniel’s families were fully delved into, and were quite important characters (which is rare to find in YA, where normally the families are brushed into the shadows), with Yoon exploring their history and whole dynamic. Of course, Natasha’s whole family was in a truly awful situation, but Yoon also explored the strain on Natasha and her dad’s relationship. Similarly, Daniel was burdened with an idiotic brother and parents that he struggled to defy. I found these additions made the characters more relatable as they, too, had some problems within their families.
The ending of the book was also truly incredible. Somehow Yoon tied up the book in an extremely satisfying way, turning a whole 180 from the beginning. It was really refreshing to read and I truly admire Yoon’s talent for ending her books in such a magical way (we saw it with Everything, Everything, too, and I’m sure we’ll see it again with Instructions For Dancing).
Overall, I would recommend The Sun Is Also A Star for anyone searching for a magical romance which also delves into prominent issues in society today. This book would also be a perfect fit for anyone interested in the ideas of fate/destiny, coincidence and chance. There’s a reason Yoon is so renowned in YA!
I hope you enjoyed this review!