the sun is also a star

Reviewer rating

Format reviewed: Print

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also a Star is a wonderful romance book for teens.  Do you believe in love-at-first-sight?  In soulmates? In fate? Or is life just a random set of events?

Natasha is a practical, no-nonsense sort of person.  Definitely not the starry-eyed and sentimental, ready-to-fall in love at the drop-of-a-hat type.  She loves her friends, school and living in New York City.  Unfortunately, her life is about to take a turn in a very unwelcomed direction.  All because of her father’s DUI which has resulted in her family being deported back to Jamaica.

Daniel has a lot of dreams.  Dreams that will never come true if his parents’ dreams are to come true.  They dream of Daniel becoming a doctor.  Daniel dreams of becoming a poet and artist.  At this moment in time, love is not on the horizon.  Daniel is just trying to getting through school and survive his older brother, who once was his parents’ favorite and has now fallen from their grace.

Unfortunately, that puts the pressure on Daniel to live up to his parents’ expectations.

There is so much to like about The Sun is Also a Star. The bulk of the book takes place over one very eventful (and perhaps fateful?) life-changing day. It is written in very short chapters and alternates between Natasha’s and Daniel’s perspective with an unknown narrator who periodically jumps into the story.  This narrator is a sort of sidebar to fill the reader in about some important topic or a minor character.  Topics like multiverses, love, and both an African American history of hair and a Korean American History of hair.  In these side-bars, we learn about the private thoughts and dreams of characters who are at once both important and very incidental to the overall book.

The Sun is Also a Star is a book about families and family relationships and bonds; about growing up and making your own decisions, taking your life into your own hands; about the many ways people live in and experience life in American.  But most of all it is a story about life, fate and the magic of falling in love.

This totally original 5-star book is suitable for both middle and high school students.  And while you’re at it, check out Nicola Yoon’s first book, Everything, Everything.  Another great and original book also suitable for middle school and up.

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