Book Review (ARC) || The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Publishing Company: Delacorte Press

Release Year: (ARC) To be published November 1, 2016

Genre(s): YA, realistic fiction

(Shout out to the Barnes and Noble B-Fest, where I won this ARC!)


My Synopsis

Natasha lives in New York City. Her family is Jamaican. She is cynical and practical. And she’s got a problem–her family is twelve hours away from being deported back to Jamaica. A place she remembers through fuzzy childhood memories. To be clear: She definitely doesn’t believe in fate, but it will take nothing short of a miracle for her to find  a way to stay in America, where she belongs.

Daniel lives in New York City too. His family is Korean. He is poetic and sentimental. He’s also got a problem–he has to apply to Yale and be the Good Son™ his parents want and become a doctor. But that’s not at all what he wants. To be clear: He definitely does believes in fate, and it is not in his to follow his parents’ dreams for him.

the sun is also a star.jpg
Did I mention I’m a sucker for pretty covers?

Now, under any other circumstances, they never would have met. If Natasha hadn’t been listening to music while walking away from the immigration services building and almost gotten run over, and if Daniel hadn’t skipped his college interview and been there to save her, their paths would never have crossed. But it’s funny how life works. What ensues is a journey across New York, and over the course of one day, two teenagers that began as complete and total strangers get to know each other and share in each other’s pain and happiness. And as unlikely as it seem, they each learn from each other from their differences and unexpectedly fall in love. Love at first sight is a tricky business, however. Natasha is still about to be deported. Daniel still messes things up. Will this sudden, beautiful spark burn on or fizzle out from unfortunate futures?

My Thoughts

The Sun is Also a Star absolutely blew my mind. ❤

I’m going to organise this review bit differently because if I don’t, this post will end up being a flailing mess. 😉

Writing Style

Nicola Yoon definitely writes from her heart and it really shows! I found the writing in this book to be so touching; just like the characters, it’s ever-changing. It’s a bit of soft, poetic narration that makes you feel fluttery mixed with logical philosophy and hard facts, all penned in with descriptive chapters that shake you to the core. I absolutely loved it and there were so many quote-able moments.

Format

Okay, we need to talk about how this book was set up. This book is written in multiple point-of-views, with Natasha and Daniel as the main narrators. However, some chapters are written through the perspective of side characters that briefly enter the story, while other chapters are written like the omniscient universe’s explanation of history, of fate, of incidents. It’s kind of limitless perspective that describe backstories that all connect. It’s a different reading experience but one that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Characters + Relationships

Natasha and Daniel were amazing characters! At the end of this book I almost felt as though they were real people I knew, albeit distantly. They’re both so flawed and so real, just two teens who (rather fittingly) fall in love too fast in the fastest-paced city in the work: New York City.

I generally tend not to be the biggest fan of instalove–it mostly feels too contrived to me–but this was one of the rare instances in which I was all for it. While Natasha and Daniel only knew each other for a day, the way their relationship progressed was so natural! Their dynamic was so interesting to follow along. Natasha, guarded, realist, and strictly scientific versus Daniel, an open book who tended to romanticise everything. Reading their  character development and watching the two teach and balance each other out, especially as they got closer, was deeply satisfying.

Thematic Elements

The Sun is Also a Star explores themes like fate, logos versus pathos, multiverses, the theory that all things happen for a reason, rebelling against what other people want for you versus what you want, family issues, and even some scientific knowledge smudged in. (Not to mention the whole immigration issue that Natasha was experiencing, in which she was being deported to a home she didn’t know and the bureaucracy did nothing to help.) This wasn’t a fast, fluffy romance; it wanted you to sit down and think about these things, which I respected a ton.

Another aspect I really appreciated was the racial diversity and addressing of the trials of each group. Not only were Natasha and Daniel aware of their cultures, their families were also introduced and their histories and dreams and familial struggles told. As Yoon herself is Jamaican-American and her husband Korean-America, you could tell that a lot of love and had been put into these characters and their cultures. So so so nice to see books like this. ❤

All in all: The Sun is Also a Star made me feel all the feelings. You need to get your hands on this book once it’s out. If you’re looking for a smart, dazzling romance that will leave you reeling with an overflowing heart when you’re done, this is the one!

❤ Yasimone

(Boy, this was a long review!) (Also, I’ve noticed I’ve gotten some new followers! Welcome, you guys!)

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Words to Use More Often #4 [Valentine’s Day Edition]

Hello again, friends!

As we all know, Valentine’s Day is today. 😀 And I’m sure while some of us have lovely plans, others will be content with living romance vicariously through books. 😛

Since, last year, I wrote a post called This Valentine’s Day, Buy Someone A Book, (It’s been exactly a year and two days since I wrote that! Goodness me, how time flies) I thought I’d continue the tradition and publish something Valentine’s Day-related. We haven’t had one of these Words to Use More Often posts in a while, so here you have fourteen words that, for whatever reason, remind me of love. Enjoy!


words to use more often

+ Billet-Doux

noun

  1. a love letter.

+ Saccharine

verb

  1. excessively sweet or sentimental.

+ Vestige

noun

  1. a trace of something that is disappearing or no longer exists.

+ Redamancy

verb

  1. the act of loving someone in return; requiting one’s love.

+ Idyll

noun

  1. a very happy or peaceful time or situation.

+ Pianissimo

adjective or adverb

  1. (of music) very soft or softly.

+ Palpitate

verb

  1. (of the heart) to beat fast or irregularly.

+ Twinge

noun

  1. a brief, sharp pang of emotion.

+ Rhapsody

noun

  1. an enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feeling.

+ Lustrous

adjective

  1. having a soft glow or sheen.

+ Quixotic

adjective

  1. idealistic but impractical; overly romantic

+ Reverie

noun

  1. a daydream; the state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts.

+ Tryst

noun

  1. a private, romantic rendezvous between lovers.

+ Warble

verb

  1. sing in a trilling or quavering voice

❤ Yasimone

This Valentine’s Day, Get Someone a Book

When we think of Valentine’s Day, we think of roses and chocolates and teddy bears holding hearts. Many of us would love to receive one of these. (Who wouldn’t?) 😉 But this Valentine’s Day, give your loved one something unique and timeless— and no, I’m not talking about diamonds. I’m talking about books.

Yes, you heard me right. I think it’s safe to say that most of you here adore books. I certainly do, and I would appreciate getting a book much more than a box of gourmet chocolates. Why? It’s simple: a book lasts much longer. The chocolates will disappear in a flash, with no evidence they were ever there, except for a sadly empty red, heart-shaped box. Roses, though beautiful, will eventually wilt. Teddy bears can often be stuffed into the closet and forgotten, until you stumble upon it after a few years and try to remember who gave it to you.

A book, however, is something that goes on the shelf and is read over and over along the years. Every time that person picks that book up, they will remember you. (Especially if you sign your name on the first page.) And there is no greater gift than the gift of imagination and words. Books can truly be a wonderful present for anyone… and if they are given someone who adores books, it shows that you know them well.

Skip the Valentine’s Day candy hearts and show how much you love them with a good book.

Want some suggestions?

  • Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen (classics never go out of style!)
  • Any book they loved as a child (nostalgia is perfect for Valentine’s Day)
  • Dystopias like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Legend (not only are they awesome page-turners, they also have a pinch of romance added in)
  • Fantasy books (stories with princesses are perfect for this kind of gift; I recommend Palace of Mirrors, by Margaret Peterson Haddix)
  • YA Books (like the Fault in Our Stars)
  • Any book you think they might like!

Happy (early) Valentine’s Day! 🙂

-Yasimone