The 9th book I read this summer is probably one of my favorite reads of the summer. It is The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, and I gave it a 5/5.
Those of you who read my review on Everything Everything know how much I enjoyed that novel. I liked this book more, and I really want this to be a movie (please, Hollywood)! The premise of the book is as follows: Natasha and Daniel are 2 random teens who happen to meet each other on one really bad day. She is an illegal Jamaican immigrant whose family is being deported that night. He is first generation Korean-American getting ready to interview to get into an ivy-league school he doesn’t want to go to because his parents expect him to.
The less one knows about the plot details of this book, the better, because the most interesting thing about this story is how it unfolds. There are a couple of very good themes to ponder in this book. One of them is the idea of “meant to be.” Are certain things meant to be, and is that depressingly deterministic or strangely comforting to think so? Another good theme in this book that is overtly tackled more in this book than in Yoon’s first book is the idea of racism in an interracial relationship context. This book is a very real and honest conversation about the subject, both generally and specific to Korean and Black-American stereotypes.
One element I will discuss in a potential negative light is the concept of “insta-love.” This story does have an element of love (strong attraction) at first sight (or just in a short space of time). I, however, did not feel that this trope was wrongly used. The trope fed the theme beautifully. If you as a reader don’t particularly care for insta-love, you may still enjoy this story, because even that element has a feeling of realness to it. I know I’ve felt strangely attached to a person after only knowing them a short time. The idea is not alien to the human experience, and the way Yoon writes about it grounds it in reality while at the same time giving a nod to the stereotype.
So, if you have read this book, what were your thoughts? Do you like Yoon’s first or second book better. If you haven’t read either, what is your take on the idea of fate, or things being “meant to be”? And what do you think of love at first sight? Let me know in the comments!