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?
My rating for this has gone back and forth between 3 and 4 stars on Goodreads, I honestly couldn’t decide, so I’ve settled on a 3.5 for the purpose of this review.
I was soooo excited to read this when it was released. I absolutely loved Everything, Everything, and raved about it in my review, but this just didn’t come up to par. Maybe my expectations were too high? I don’t know, I just felt a little disappointed.
The novel starts with the introduction of two characters andis written from a dual POV: Daniel, an American-Korean teen, and Natasha, a Jamaican immigrant living in America. Already we’ve got oodles of diversity, which is fabulous. I actually haven’t read a book with these two cultures represented in them before, so it was great to read into that and learn a little bit more about how they are historically related to one another (Turns out it’s black hair care products – who knew?!) We also have input from other notable characters, which I enjoyed. I loved how each character was written with their own unique voice and dialect.
Now, here’s where my issues start. Natasha is a scientist. She only believes in the facts. Daniel is a poet, the creative sort, and believes in destiny and fate. We are told this a gazillion times… It wore on me after the third time, which only took a couple of chapters…
There was also the whole “Love at first sight” thing, at least on Daniel’s part. Natasha was having none of it, being the science type. But I mean, he actually followed her around New York for the day – what kind of crazy person does that?! I would have told him (and Natasha did) to go the hell away. Isn’t this like, stalking…? I’m not cool with that.
The parts that actually did work for me, were the bits that dealt directly with racism. Daniel’s Korean parents were most certainly not okay with him hanging out with Natasha, not only because she was black, but more importantly, because she wasn’t Korean. They would’ve also had a problem with an American girl walking into their family. These issues are so important to be addressed in YA fiction, because sometimes I think that people just don’t get how deep these issues run. It’s not just one minority that is targeted, almost every single race, religion or culture is affected in one way or another.
Although I didn’t enjoy reading this as much as I had hoped, I am very glad that I read it. My lower rating is simply down to my own hyped up expectations and then disappointment. It is a very good book, there were just had little niggling things that annoyed me. The ending however, was cute. It wasn’t happy in the way you want it to be, don’t get me wrong, but I liked it. That’s all I’ll say on that one.
One of the most important messages that I think anyone can take from this book is to not let others define who you are. Make your own choices and live life how you want to live it. Find your passion and let it carry you; don’t hold yourself back out of fear of what others will think of you.
You all should read it. A very interesting portrayal of cause and effect in human life, and a great read if you’re looking for some diverse books!
View The Sun is Also a Star on Goodreads.