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All booksYoung adultThe Sun Is Also a Star
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Young adult

The Sun Is Also a Star

by Nicola Yoon

Quick take

The precision of Yoon’s voice might bring you back to a time in your life when you were optimistic enough to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

Why I love it

Dana Schwartz
Writer

The best thing about reading YA fiction as an adult is getting to feel like a teenager again. The Sun Is Also a Star managed to transport me back to my first love'”or, rather, the first love I wish I could have had'”without veering into the realm of the sappy or the predictable.

Nicola Yoon’s exquisite novel takes place over the course of one single day in New York City: it’s the day Daniel has his alumni interview for Yale, a school he’s only applying to in order to gratify his strict Korean parents, and it’s Natasha’s last day in America; her family, illegal immigrants from Jamaica, were exposed after her father’s DUI, and now, she must return to a country she barely remembers. On this one day their stories overlap, and fate conspires for them to meet before it seems fate will inevitably tear them apart.

Naturally, the book explores ideas of home and immigration, of parents and the generation that follows them, but Yoon also frequently dips out of the narrative to provide brief histories of tangential topics: multiverses, Black hair, the chemical components of love. She also gives us omniscient glimpses into the lives of the people with whom Natasha and Daniel interact, directly or indirectly.

More than anything, The Sun Is Also a Star is a book about empathy. Even the would-be villains get backstories, and their actions are, if not justified, than at least explained. The waitress who rolls her eyes at you is missing her son, the security guard who examines your things for a bit too long is secretly hoping you’ll just say hi, and Natasha and Daniel are terrified, afraid of acting on their immediate attraction, and of not acting on it.

And so, in a narrative that lasts only twelve hours, Yoon writes a much bigger, and much more complex than one might predict of a book that might otherwise be dismissed as a straightforward boy-meets-girl story. Are relationships worth offering your heart as collateral when the forces that might rip it apart are already in motion, unstoppable, in a deterministic universe?

The laser-vision precision of Yoon’s voice might bring you back to a time in your life when you were optimistic enough to give everyone the benefit of the doubt: the days when you had it in you to tell the cashier to have a nice day and you really meant it, or when you gave the homeless woman on the train whatever money you could. The Sun Is Also a Star makes you want to hold closer the ones you love, and care more about the strangers in your life you’ve barely noticed.

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Member thoughts

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All (3997)
Love (2379)
Like (1408)
Dislike (210)
4088 ratings
  • 58% Love
  • 34% Like
  • 5% Dislike
  • Boston, MA

    Even though it may have been a bit cheesy, that is often how the young mind works when you think you are in *love* so it totally worked for me!! I really loved the story — it was a beautiful read.

  • Reno, NV

    I really enjoyed this book and the layout for how it’s written. Although the idea of falling in love with someone in a day is silly, you absolutely believe that what Daniel and Natasha have is real.

  • North Haledon , NJ

    The multiple view points and small story-line snippets from even minor characters they encountered during that day were great! Loved how it made the story more dimensional. Finished this in 36 hours

  • Wausau, WI

    After all- alot can happen in one day. It didn't take me more than a day to read it because it was so enveloping. This romantic YA novel makes you nostalgic for those first loves and all the crazy fee

  • Salt Lake City , UT

    Who new a coming of age story about two teens could make you question everything you know about fate, love, and racial stereotypes. I learned more from this book than all my years of ethics schooling.

  • Elgin, IL

    Loved this book. It was a quick read and kept me interested. I was so excited to see how the characters individual problems played out separately and together. It didn’t end how i thought it would.

  • West Hollywood, CA

    A great YA novel that takes on Arther Aron's 36 questions to fall in love in the span of several days. With a refreshing pair of leads from diverse backgrounds, the novel is devastating and beautiful.

  • Macungie, PA

    I'm a sucker for a good love story. This book is sweet, silly, and highlights the goodness in people, which I adore. Also highlights the big effects of small acts of kindness. I've read several times!

  • Brooklyn, NY

    This book was amazing - from the way it was written to the emotion it evoked inside as I read it. The story is weaved together wonderfully and the setting brought the story to life for me! I loved it!

  • Marco Island , FL

    This book was absolutely entertaining! I couldn't put it down! I loved every single thing about it. The way each character was presented and how they all played a part! It's a must read! Love love it!

  • Fairfield, CA

    This book made me think about my encounters with others in everyday life. It was quite an eye-opener which posed questions on subjects ranging from family relationships and the belief in fate. Amazing

  • Marysville, WA

    I had heard this books was a good read but, as with most things on the internet, I took it with a grain of salt. Now, I'm kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I think I have a new all-time fave!

  • Claremont, CA

    This is the book that helped me get out of my reading slump. I adored the multiple layers and perspectives this book delved into. It zoomed into two lives, then zoomed-out to give you the big picture.

  • Windsor, CT

    After getting over the cuteness (YA) of it, I fell in love. More than a teenage love story; it's about identity, relationships, human connection and the ripple effect of little choices... Great read!

  • Louisville, KY

    I loved the inside look into other characters' motives. It offered a fresh perspective on the intricacies of both the struggle of being from a family of immigrants and the turmoil of living in general

  • Columbus, OH

    It was such a sweet and yet gripping look into peoples’ lives. I found myself rooting for the main characters, intrigued, and enlightened all at the same time by perspectives and the idea of chance.

  • Kenner, LA

    I loved the plot and the way the story flowed. It is told in different perspectives- a dreamer and a realist. These two different characters will learn from each other in the most beautiful way. Love!

  • Peoria, IL

    I flew through the pages! I loved how it really showcased that everyday actions do affect everyone you interact with. You may not realize how a smile, an ear, or saying hello can change an outcome.

  • Irvine, KY

    This captures perfectly so many things - 1st love, heartache, injustice, the heavy, indifferent hand of fate. This should have been cheesy, but instead it bowled me over. I'm becoming a Yoon devotee.

  • Arkadelphia, AR

    I ABSOLUTELY love this book!!! Just the way it flowed, the storyline, the love, just made me want to read it over and over! Life is very well captured in this as how everything can change in one day!

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