[Book Review] The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Title:  The Sun is Also a Star
Author:  Nicola Yoon
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Genre/s:  Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Number of Pages:  348 [hardcover]
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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?

My Thoughts (also on Goodreads):

From the book’s summary, you’d initially think that this is a typical cliched YA romance, but here’s where I tell you that the book is MORE than that. (but tbh I picked this up because it deals with fate and I’m a sucker for destiny stories so there). This book has an agenda – an agenda that I fully support. Though tbh, TSIAAS is a lot of things, so here’s the top 3 things that I loved the most about this book (only three ’cause I’m lazy and busy at the same time):

1) It illustrates racism and enlightens us about politics of co-presence and co-existence, and how they are experienced and enacted in mundane ways by immigrants struggling with identity politics. In this novel, we have two protagonists. The first one is Natasha, a 17-year old undocumented immigrant, Jamaican girl living in the United States who is about to be deported to well, Jamaica. And then we have Daniel, also a 17-year old Korean American, who is not Korean enough for his family, but is not also American enough in society.

2) Cultural Lessons – In relation to #1, readers will learn new words and a sneak-peek into some cultural nuances of a Korean family and how their practices are being reconciled in American society. There are also references to African history and practices.

3) Chapters are also dedicated to remind readers that each person has a life story, and is struggling with their own problems that you don’t know about. So be kind.

There are several life lessons that are to be picked up here, and I can’t even remember the last time I wrote too much quotable quotes from a novel before. But the bottom line is: Nicola Yoon’s advocacy shines through in this novel. It’s smart. It’s well-written. It’s going to remind you of your first love. It’s going to make you hope. It’s going to make you believe in fate. It’s going to remind you that love changes everything.

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