Friday, December 2, 2016

Book Review: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I'm not a contemporary YA reader, especially if that story is romance-centered. I prefer my dragons and magic and all sorts of weird things. But every once and a while I do read a contemporary YA book, and even rarer, I find one that is not only great but important to read. Such is the case with Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also a Star.

The book follows two teens who lead different lives that encounter each other and are changed forever by that moment. Natasha is an illegal immigrant about to be deported to Jamaica. Daniel is a Korean American trying to please his parents' high expectations. One believes in science, while the other is swept up in dreaming. When they collide, everything shifts.

The premise of the story sounds a bit fluffy. Two strangers happen to meet and fall in love in a single day. It's the classic case of "boy meets girl," "insta-love," and "love at first sight." Sort of. You see, deep inside of this "fluff" book, there are hidden truths about our world. It dives into the lives of two people of color in America--one Jamaican, one Korean American. It shows the intricate details of their lives, including obstacles but also the good memories. It helped me understand their struggles, their lives, and their hopes and dreams. It's something vital for not only our world, but our country.

The plot is what helps move these characters together. It was adorable and interesting. Most of the story is told through first person perspective of Natasha and Daniel. But we also get other third person snippets, random people who are involved in their day and help move their lives together, such as a security guard, an attorney, the driver of a car that almost hits Natasha, and Natasha's father. I love how the book is set up, how it all takes place in a single day, and how magical it feels. While it seems like a fluffy concept, there are deep truths and science at the heart of the book as well.

As I said, I don't know normally read or enjoy contemporary YA or contemporary romance, but I am highly recommending this book to all. If you're an advocate for diverse books, read this book. If you want to gain a new perspective on immigration and people of color in America, read this book. If you just want a cute, fluffy story about love, read this book. If you believe in love at first sight or that a single moment can change your life, read this book. Ignore the fluff and read this book!

It is absolutely stunning, and something I think our world needs more of. As a warning, there are some mature themes within the story, such as harsh language and a few heavy kissing scenes. I would recommend anyone fifteen and older to read this book--no matter what you normally enjoy reading.

Plus, that cover is just gorgeous.

What makes you read a book outside of your preferred genre? Are there other YA contemporaries I should give a chance?

I chose to check this book out from my local library and review it of my own free will. 


  1. This was just the book I needed post-election. It gave me hope!
    I read a lot of contemporary YA, and am trying to think of other books with that same vibe. Try Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check it out! :)