The Sun is Also a Star

Rating: 4.5/5


Annalissa Houser

The Sun is Also a Star showcases two teens who never expect something so beautiful to come out of a day they have already both deemed awful. Daniel thinks with his heart and Natasha with her head. Daniel believes in love, while Natasha chooses to believe in nothing but lust. Their day together is wildy imperfect, yet filled with hundreds of absolutely perfect moments.

The two main characters are exquisitely described by author Nicola Yoon.This is Yoon’s second novel following the popular novel turned film Everything, Everything.

In The Sun is Also a Star, Yoon writes about a connection between Natasha and Daniel as they both work through the pressing issue of immigration. Natasha’s family illegally immigrated into the United States from Jamaica when she was just seven years old so that her father could have a chance to live the American dream as an actor. Daniel’s parents immigrated into the United States from South Korea before he was born. Years later, Natasha’s father has failed them and the family of four still resides in the one bedroom apartment they originally bought. Ever since her father’s dream failed, Natasha has given up hope on anything without a scientific explanation, her best friend has moved away and she is being deported– tonight. Daniel’s family resides in the middle class; his parents want the very best for their sons to the extent that they refuse to pay for college unless it is medical school at Yale, when all Daniel wants in life is to be a poet (which Natasha could not despise more).

The duo first meets when Daniel is seated on a New York City subway listening to the conductor go on and on about God and the phrase “deus ex machina” meaning “the god from the machine”. As soon as Daniel steps off, he notices Natasha’s jacket with the words “deus ex machina” written on the back.  The only thing on her mind is how she is going to save her family from deportation, while the only thing on Daniel’s mind is how he is going to get out of his interview for Yale. The pair continues to bump into one another throughout a series of “perfect coincidences” as Natasha puts it and “pure fate” as Daniel would say. Daniel spends his whole day trying desperately to make Natasha admit that she is just as in love with him as he is with her. But one problem stands in his way: she refuses to believe in “meant to be”. Their day is filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows. Natasha does not want Daniel to know about her deportation (or any of her other many issues, for that matter) and Daniel will do anything to be her knight in shining armour. He thinks their connection is flawless, despite everything in their way. She does not want to let herself melt into him after she has been so strong for so long.

I am a sucker for a good love story, but it is inevitable that they will all get a little predictable after a while. However, something about Yoon’s writing always keeps me pulled in, especially her use of many subplots including the minor characters.The only flaw is that for a majority of the book, it feels as if the two main subplots are useless bits of information used to entertain the reader. Alongside the story, there are many chapters explaining things ranging from eye color to the history of African hairstyle and it is incredibly easy to skip these chapters, but reading these pieces will help the reader to appreciate the dialogue and thought of the characters much more. These sections are unique to Yoon and create a rare dynamic between fact and fiction.

If you appreciate a good love story, or even if you do not, you will be pleased if you go out and read The Sun is Also a Star.