The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
-Reviewed by Marina Rosenthal
If you’re a fan of romance novels like Eleanor and Park and Everything Everything, you’re sure to enjoy Nicola Yoon’s latest novel, The Sun is Also a Star. Taking place in modern day New York City, this piece is a story many teens can surely relate to. The two main characters, Daniel and Natasha live vastly different lives, yet come together in ways neither could begin to fathom.
Natasha’s family, undocumented immigrants from Jamaica, were recently exposed of their illegal status and faced threats of deportation. When Natasha hears of this, she refuses to leave the life and friends she has made for herself in the US. She is interested in mathematics and science, and is especially driven to succeed in those fields in the country she feels she belongs in.
On one particular day, she arranges to meet with an immigrant lawyer in the city. At this time, Daniel is meeting with this same lawyer, a Yale alum, for an interview for college acceptance. Facing familial pressures to attend such a high caliber university and become a doctor, Daniel attends this interview reluctantly. His passions and talents lie in more creative aspects, such as poetry and reading. He is scared to stand up to his parents and create his own future, as his brother recently attempted this and faced backlash. When his elder sibling dropped out of Harvard University, their parents seemed to make up for his “failure” through Daniel following in his supposed footsteps.
The story is told from multiple perspectives, switching between Daniel and Natasha, as well as their siblings, people they encounter, and other “irrelevant” characters that would later on impact them both. The details described from each character’s point of view are told impeccably, and create vivid pictures of everything from settings to emotions. A reader begins to learn intimate information about each character in great detail. Where Daniel lacks in scientific passion, he makes up for it through his creativity, poetic pursuits, and beliefs. One of his most notable views is his belief in fate and destiny, especially romantically. Natasha appears to be the exact opposite, believing in scientific explanations and reasoning. She believes that life is just a series of coincidences that could impact her in any way. Daniel sets out to change her mind and make them fall in love, by convincing her to answer the 36 questions that lead to love. As different as these two may seem, when they meet on that fatefully busy day, they find they have more in common than either could imagine. Daniel and Natasha begin to experience true destiny for themselves.
Be sure to check out The Sun is Also a Star from your nearest library, or watch it in theaters, coming soon in 2019!