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?
I won’t lie: when I finished reading The Sun Is Also A Star, I cried my eyes out. Have you ever read a book that just nudges and moves a part of your soul? The Sun Is Also A Star did that for me. And then some.
The first thing you should know before reading this book is that it is wildly ‘unrealistic’. The second thing is that it is a romance. So, it is a wildly unrealistic romance. But before you decide that it isn’t for you, I implore you to give it a chance. Why, because Yoon has spun a story where ‘unrealistic romance’ is not a fault at all.
Instead, in describing this book, I prefer the words improbable and whimsical. The Sun Is Also A Star is not the kind of story that endeavours to be grounded or realistic. Rather, I think The Sun Is Also A Star endeavours to be a book that illuminates the mysterious power of cause and effect, how the smallest of gestures can become hurricanes that reshape the entirety of who we are and how we give life meaning. Or perhaps in simpler terms, The Sun Is Also A Star is about fate.
Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.
Going in, I was very skeptical. I was not a fan of Everything, Everything (at all!), but I had also heard how extraordinary this book was. Even a third into this book, I still wasn’t convinced. But as the story began to develop, the characters began to develop, as everything slowly came together, it got exponentially better. I began to really love cynical Natasha and dreamer Daniel, but, more importantly, I began to understand them. The storytelling peels them back, layer by layer, revealing two teenagers who, despite their facades and how they stick to their guns, are vulnerable individuals with desires, dreams, and hopes. And the ending – absolutely beautiful. I have no words for it except for incoherent, bumbling sobs.
Apart from it’s grander and more romantic themes, The Sun Is Also A Star also offers a fantastic and complex perspective on the immigrant experience, immigration itself, racism, and the tremendous weight of family and expectations. Through multiple perspectives (that never get confusing to read!), the explorations are complex, honest, but full of heart. Moreover, in between some chapters are short chapters that detail a ‘brief history’ of something; I thought I would be bored and would skip these chapters, but instead, I was enamoured and fascinated. Usually I would argue that such chapters break up the flow of the story, but in The Sun Is Also A Star, the ‘brief history’ chapters are deliberate and meaningful. Contrary to my initial expectation, they enhanced the story.
There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.
The narratives in The Sun Is Also A Star were utterly stunning and poignant. As readers, we see how past, present, and future weave together and how immense things are, and how things come together in a single moment for one person. Best of all, Yoon writes these moments with incredible tenderness but with gravitas. Indeed, Yoon’s writing is absolutely spectacular and implores you to appreciate the beautiful and mundane things in life. In a time where more is more is more, I enjoyed being reined back a little to see the bigger picture.
I know that this review may come off quite cryptic to people who haven’t read this book, but I promise it’s because this book is best experienced knowing little to nothing at all about the events of the story. It’s a whirlwind of an adventure, one that is full of love, family, and the magic of firsts. There were some parts that were bittersweet and made my heart ache like I was the one who went through everything, but that it just made the book all the more powerful.
So, The Sun Is Also A Star in a word? Wonderful.
Is this book for you?
Premise in a sentence: All within a day, two teens meet under (extra)ordinary circumstances and fall in love.
Perfect for: Readers who love a good romance, and like themes of fate and destiny.
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Recommended? Yes, but only if you don’t mind something that is ‘unrealistic’.
- Have you read The Sun Is Also A Star? What did you think?
- Do you like books with fate and destiny (and love)?
- I loved the rep in this book, especially that there was an interracial romance! What are some of your favourite books with an interracial romance?