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The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Tuesday, November 01, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: The Sun Is Also A Star
     Author: Nicola Yoon
     Genre: Contemporary, YA
     Publisher: Penguin Random House
     Publishing Date: November 1st, 2016

          - The ending - reflects the book as a whole
          - The side characters - whilst there were two main characters, we got an insight into minor characters' motives, etc., and it explored some serious issues
          - Format of the book

    Things that could have been better:
         - Premise of the entire book - Instalove 
         - Cultural representation - not sure if it's accurate 

Rating:  4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | My review of Everything, Everything

Initial Thoughts

I requested this novel from Penguin Random House, because I really liked reading Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon! Everything, Everything had such an interesting premise, and with The Sun Is Also A Star (TSIAAS), there was a gripping premise as well! Yoon really knows how to come up with ideas for contemporary YA novels! 
What gripped me about TSIAAS was the main character - Natasha. As it says in the synopsis, Natasha loves science. Doing a BSc, I have to be passionate about science to some degree, and so I was really interested to hear Natasha's story. 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story. 

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?


As TSIAAS is a contemporary novel, the characters are supposed to carry the novel. Sadly, I found the main characters subpar. They were both from minority groups, which I found interesting at first. But I thought that some aspects weren't very well researched. 
The broken English that Natasha and Daniel's parents spoke seemed very typecast and set in stereotypes to me. My parents are first-generation immigrants (and I am as well) to Australia, and our English was nowhere as broken as these parents were. It didn't sit right with me - although I do know there are some families out there that do speak broken English, I couldn't help but feel like this aspect of their characters was a very stereotyped one. 
It was particularly confusing when Yoon writes about Chinese characters for Korean names - when I first read that, I was unsure if that was a typo, until my sister told me that Koreans use the same characters that Chinese do. Perhaps my main issue with that was that it should have been clarified somehow - because I know I was bamboozled for a long time until my sister explained it. 
Whilst the main characters and their families weren't a huge success for me, I thought the main success was in how Yoon wrote about the little side characters, the ones we only hear about for perhaps three chapters at most. These voices were the ones that resonated the most with me, that explored deep issues like suicide, feeling disillusioned with your life, etc. 


Honestly, the plot was very unbelievable. But this wasn't a huge problem for me - to me, it's okay if there is an unbelievable plot, so long as it is so fantastic that I can suspend my disbelief for it. TSIAAS is absolutely built on coincidences, which I find difficult to believe, but I lapped it up anyway because it was just so good. Plus, these coincidences gave me hope in the universe - how the small actions we all do contribute in some way towards others' lives. It reminded me how each and every one of us play a role and that none of us are insignificant. 
The largest problem I have with the plot though, was the instalove. The book relies on instalove - there are large platters of instalove served up for us. However, this is pretty predictable given the synopsis, so I didn't really have a huge problem with it - it wasn't as if it was a huge shock that there would be lots of instalove. 

Writing Style

Comparing TSIAAS to Everything, Everything, there is no doubt that Yoon is the author of this book. Her unique writing style, lettered with drawings and short chapters are as prevalent here as they are in Everything, Everything. The drawings and little annotations were some of my favourite things in Everything, Everything, so it was good to see it come back in TSIAAS
TSIAAS works as a novel because of the way it was written - in a two-person alternating format, dotted with some small chapters from other small characters. This writing style really lets us see how coincidental everything is, and how a moment can change everything forever, how some choices can affect many people. 

Entertainment Value

Like Everything, Everything, TSIAAS is a pretty cruisy read. Simplistic language made it easy to read this book in one-and-a-half sittings (work interrupted my reading). Although most of the book was easy to read, I didn't find it very gripping. Only the ending hooked me - the ending spoke volumes as to what the book was all about - coincidences and taking chances. 
I also enjoyed doing a bookstagram photoshoot with TSIAAS! A gorgeous cover makes for some fun times whilst taking photos - so many different colours to work with! 

Final Thoughts

The Sun Is Also A Star is a novel that speaks to the remarkable coincidences that happen in the world. Ever thought, "Wow, that's such a coincidence!" or "I can't believe that happened!"? TSIAAS will show you how remarkable and life changing some coincidences can be, in less than 400 pages. 
However, if you're not a fan of instalove though, then definitely don't pick up this book - whilst TSIAAS is littered with little coincidences which can give you hope for the world, the instalove shadows every part of this book. 


Thoughts in a Phrase 

Coincidence and instalove. 

Keep reading and loving books!

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