giovedì 2 agosto 2018

REVIEW: The sun is also a star by Nicola Yoon


TITLE: The sun is also a star
AUTHOR: Nicola Yoon
PAGES: 384

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 first started reading this book in January: I read a few pages and then I had to stop to read other books. Now that I’ve finished it, I regret postponing this reading, I regret it a lot. 

The sun is also a star is wonderful, I actually think that there’s no other word to describe it and I’m not even sure that “wonderful” makes it justice. This novel is really like the sun: it’s bright, clear, powerful and… essential. 

Last summer I read Everything everything by Nicola Yoon, so I already knew the author: last summer I liked her first novel, but now I'm sincerely in love with her and her second book.

The story is (mainly) told by Natasha and Daniel, the two main characters.
She’s a black girl from Jamaica and she went to US a decade before the beginning of the book. She has a father who wants to be an actor,  a mother who works double shifts and a little shy brother. They’re all undocumented immigrants and, since they’ve been discovered (her father’s fault), they’ll be deported back to Jamaica.
Daniel is the second son of a Korean couple. His parents own a beauty care shop and they want him and his elder brother Charlie to become doctors, so that they will never experience poverty.

The book starts in the morning of a “great” day: Natasha is being deported at 10 pm and Daniel is being interviewed to be admitted to Yale.
The Fate wants them to meet. And they meet. And fall in love. And one day changes their lives forever.

“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.”

Natasha is a rational girl, she’s all facts and science. Daniel is a romantic, trusting guy, he writes poems in his notebook and he is full of dreams. They spend the day together and this day means everything to them, it changes everything and helps them become the people they really want to be.
Through the pages we follow their growth and we grow with them.

The story covers just one day, something like ten hours of their lives… but, hey, every single minute matters.

“We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write poetry. You probably hate poetry, but it’s hard to argue with ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate’ in terms of sheer beauty. We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.” 

Nicola Yoon shows and teaches us how important conversation is, how important it is to communicate with others, to express our thoughts and dreams, to have someone who can listen to us and understand us. Her style is simple and philosophical at the same time. I love the way she alternates the points of views of the two protagonists. And I love the digressions she introduces: here and there she tells the “history” (as she wrote) of other characters, such us the security guard (Irene), the attorney or Natasha’s father. 

At some point, while talking about God, Daniel makes a consideration which I completely share: God is not just “love”, God is the connection of every best part of us. And then they talk about dark matter and stars and the sun… And guys, you must read it to really understand how illuminating and profound and breathtaking this book is. 

“I think all the good parts of us are connected on some level. The part that shares the last double chocolate chip cookie or donates to charity or gives a dollar to a street musician or becomes a candy striper or cries at Apple commercials or says I love you or I forgive you. I think that's God. God is the connection of the very best parts of us.” 

The sun is also a star is a book of hope and disappointment, of heaven and hell, of pure and unexpected happiness and sadness. Natasha and Daniel are true, sincere and kaleidoscopic like real people and even more. They are the essence of human kind, with all its questions and its searching for answers. 

This novel also deals with the meeting of different cultures and reflects on the advantages and disadvantages of a “melting pot” or a “salad bowl”: is it important to preserve a different culture without any influence from the “outside” or would it be better to mix and create something new? 

The last pages broke my heart, I felt them so deeply, I was totally into the protagonists’ minds and souls and the empathy couldn’t have been stronger.

And so… to conclude this review, I reconfirm my first opinion: The sun is also a star is wonderful. Read it, you won’t be disappointed.


Did you read it? What do you think about this author?
Leave me a comment :D


11 commenti:

  1. This book has been on my TBR for a while now! So has Everything Everything! Hopefully, I'll get to read them both soon!

    1. I hope you'll read (and love) them both. Let me know your opinion then :*

  2. I’ve seen this book around and always wondered what it was about - great review!

  3. I've heard a lot of good things about this book. It's one that caught my eye a while back. Great review.

  4. Sounds like a good book, glad you liked it! I have heard lots of great things about this author!

  5. This one is on my TBR and I really need to get around to it.

  6. Great review. I have her first book but never gotten around to reading it. I'll have to pick this one up too.

  7. Like you I also started this book and have set it aside. Maybe now would be a good time to pick it back up.


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