The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
The Sun is Also a Star tells the story of two teenagers from completely different backgrounds. Two of which are dear to my heart. The young woman,Natasha is Jamaican and will be deported if she doesn’t somehow figure out a way to stay in the U.S. Natasha’s dreams are shattering because today is quite possibly, her last day in the only home she’s really ever known, Brooklyn. Not willing to give it up to go back to a place that she barely remembers, she sets off on a mission to stop it from happening. The young man, Daniel is a Korean-American is forced on a specific academic and career path set by his parents, after his hyung (older brother) is suspended from Harvard University. Daniel, has an interview with an alumni of Yale University which his parents arranged with high hopes of Daniel becoming a doctor. Having enough time before the interview, Daniel lingers on the steps of a church hoping for a miracle. And that’s where their paths cross. From that moment, you tap into their feelings about their respective situations, each other’s situations and well… each other. As they travel throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn together the reader experiences the tingly sensation of new love, heartache, and hope all in one day.
I enjoyed every second of this book! Nicola Yoon provides insight into some of the misconceptions involving immigrants and the U.S. immigration system. Nicola also provides insight into Jamaican and Korean culture and how they each intertwine with American culture, more specifically New York culture. The story was almost a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, without all the killing and double suicide. It was fresh, inviting, and had all the youthfulness of young adult fiction, filled with growing pains, unsure circumstances and the hope for a better tomorrow. I manage to finish the book in one sitting due to the fact that it wasn’t a lengthy read. The pace was also good, not fast or slow just a steady tempo. And the character development was phenomenal especially for the setting and time. It being the first book of hers that I’ve read, I also enjoyed her writing style and look forward to reading more of her work. ( No, I haven’t read Everything, Everything yet but I intend to.)
“Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.”
I picked up this book convinced that I wouldn’t learn anything new about the respective cultures. After all, I am a first generation Jamaican-American, who grew up in New York City. And I have had an interest in Korean language and culture for over four years. Well, she surely showed me I was wrong.
I encourage anyone who loves a good romance, the twists and turns regarding family, immigration, stereotypes and all the other things that make us human, to pick up this book and dive in. You will not be disappointed
Genre: Young Adult Fiction