It’s no secret that I like young adult fiction a LOT, although I don’t always like young adult romances. I hadn’t rushed out to read The Sun is Also a Star precisely because of the romance elements I usually avoid. And while there are plenty of improbabilities and near-misses that makes this book seem…impossible…I wasn’t mad at it.
The novel focuses on Natasha, a Black Jamaican immigrant who is undocumented and about to be deported (thanks to the greatest day of her dad’s life) and Daniel, a Korean-American teen who is about to interview an alum in a bid to get in to Yale (his parents’ request, as part of their life plan for him to become a medical doctor). They meet by chance, and the novel covers a day in their life, one that they will wonder about and think about for many years to come.
This bald description is obviously not doing the novel any justice, and I purposely don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. Reading this book reminded me a lot of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter and the idea that we could be a totally different person in an another universe, with just one variation along the way. The novel is poetic and scientific and messy and gooey and intriguing. All at once. What kept this from being too sappy was the writing style, the interspersion of immigrant and BIPOC perspectives, and the ending. Nicola Yoon is an excellent writer, and I’d definitely pick up one of her books again.
Footnote: how on EARTH did they make this into a movie??? And was it any good? I kept thinking how TOUGH this would be translate to film.