The Sun is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Length: 8 hours
Narrator: Bahni Turpin, Dominic Hoffman, Raymond Lee
Publisher: Listening Library
Original Publication Date: 2016
Genre(s): Young adult, Romance, Contemporary
“Love always changes everything.”
Is it possible to fit a lifetime into a day? For Natasha and Daniel, it has to be. Today is Natasha’s last day in America. Her family are undocumented immigrants, and after being discovered by the government, they are being deported—tonight. Instead of packing all day, she heads into the city to fight for her right to stay.
For Daniel, this day could also alter his future. He has an interview scheduled that could get him into Yale next year (his parents’ idea) to study to become a doctor (also his parents’ idea). He heads into the city, pondering his future and a haircut (again, his parents…).
At this point, dear readers, I’m sure you know that I’m an absolute sucker for these insta-love, John Green-esque, stereotypical YA romances with the “fit a lifetime into one day” trope. An ab-so-lute sucker. So it’s no surprise that I loved The Sun is Also a Star.
The novel is told in multiple POVs and perspectives, alternating predominately between the first-person POVs of main characters Natasha and Daniel. Their narratives are broken up with third-person chapters about science (half-lives and multiverses and dark matter), as well as chapters about various secondary and side characters, kind of like in They Both Die at the End. (Side note: if you haven’t read that novel, you should, because it’s also an insta-love, John Green-esque, critical-one-day trope-y novel full of utter magic and sadness!) Though I can appreciate the side chapters about various characters, I’m not a fan of them. I like the idea of them—that everyone has a story, and we all have some sort of connection to everyone we interact with in our daily lives, etc., etc. But in practice, I feel it just takes away from the main story, the one I really care about. Maybe that says something about me and empathy or something, but it’s just my own preference. Also, the science-y chapters connecting science to things like love, fate, and destiny also kind of takes away from the story. I know the whole point of the Natasha/Daniel dynamic was that Natasha was all about logic and Daniel was all heart, so I get the point, but I just felt meh about them. They felt super pretentious, and only interrupted the truly emotional parts of Natasha and Daniel’s story. Let me feel the pain, Yoon!!!
Other than those unnecessary chapters, I had no complains about the novel. It felt very real, and very contemporary. The novel is about logic vs. heart, but also deals with more serious issues like race (culture, biracial couples, racism) and immigration/deportation. Very real issues happening right now, which only made it more emotional. I found it easy to relate to both Natasha and Daniel, both of whom I loved. I could relate to Natasha’s inherent need to plan her life to a T, and to follow logic in order to do what’s best for you. But I also couldn’t help relating to Daniel, too—wanting someone to save me, being a hopeless romantic, wanting to believe in fate and destiny and meaning. These characters are relatable, real, and so cute.
Seriously, the level of cuteness in this novel made me melt. I know I’m a 23-year-old cynical introvert, but I’m also a hopeless romantic since birth that will forever melt at books like this. (THAT NOLAEBANG SCENE.) #SorryNotSorry.
So yeah, the novel is cheesy and a bit predictable at times, but if you like that sort of thing, you will adore this novel. It makes you feel all the feels, and it will make you cry. So glad I finally got around to reading this one. If you enjoyed Yoon’s Everything, Everything, you are sure to love this novel even more, as I did.
–“Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.”