Published in the fall of 2016 and full of rich prose and with a relevant topic to boot, The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon is even better than her debut novel Everything, Everything.
On her last day in America, teenager Natasha is on a last-ditch effort to stop her family from being deported to Jamaica. On his last day before adulthood, Daniel is on his way to his Yale admission interview to please his Korean immigrant parents. When the two meet, they stop time and make new plans, all while Daniel, the optimistic poet, attempts to woo the pessimistic Natasha with her favorite thing: science.
The strongest feature of this book was Yoon’s method of storytelling: focusing on clarifying the main two characters’ voices perfectly while also giving a life-filled perspective on the world around them. This created a book filled with incredibly flawed and rounded characters, both main- and side-characters. The characters were allowed to be good and bad and in-between, acting for themselves and others. This was able to create a complete story about the human experience and how we affect each other in our day to day lives.
The book was incredibly binge-worthy and I could read a hundred pages in one sitting, producing an effective and all-out emotional roller coaster. The story spans over the course of one day, but the story was never lacking in depth or material. Yoon was able to use themes of coincidences and probability to her advantage in a not-so-cheesy way. This was particularly effective with the setting being New York City, a city full of strangers and coincidences. Another major theme was the effect that one’s family can have on a child’s upbringing, particularly when the parents are immigrants: people who have faced prejudices for coming to America for a better life, but, with the help of representation in books such as this one, may be on the path to gaining more respect.
I would recommend this book to anyone, whether they can relate to the story or just willing to learn about a different way of life.