Friday, 24 February 2017

Review | The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

 photo cover_zpselknaye6.jpgThe Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Published On: November 1, 2016
Published By: Corgi Children's
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 348
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

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?

I have a strange relationship with Nicola Yoon and her books. I absolutely love her writing style and the unique, creative way she writes. I love her short chapters, interesting page layout and those quirky things that make the book all the more exciting. However, I never like the actual stories all that much. I want to adore her books, and I think with the write plot I absolutely would, I just haven't connected with any of her storylines yet.

As I mentioned, I love how Nicola Yoon writes, and one unique aspect of this book that I really loved was the various different perspectives used. The majority was written from both Natasha and Daniel's perspectives but every so often we got a short chapter from the perspective of the lawyer or one of their parents, for example. I thought this was a really interesting aspect of the story and allowed for more of an insight into the side characters and how their actions were affecting the main characters, and vice versa. I appreciated the chapters on the history of hair or certain scientific theories that gave the reader more information on something the characters had mentioned, I thought this was a great addition to the story.

Though I did appreciate the extra information chapters, I found parts of the book to be a bit too scientific. I am not a science minded person so a good majority of the science talk went right over my head and left me quite confused. I ended up skimming a lot of that science talk to avoid my brain feeling slightly fried. I'm sure more scientific minded people may have enjoyed that aspect but that wasn't for me.

I was a little disappointed when reading this that the characters were just pretty average. I had heard a lot about how great these characters were but I didn't see that at all. I didn't think they were bad characters I just didn't feel anything for them. At the start I thought they had potential to be great characters, but I ended up never connecting with them.

Another thing I didn't connect with was the relationship. The relationship was far too instalove for me. They literally fell in love in less than 24 hours. I'm sorry but I just can't accept that as realistic. Perhaps I'm just not enough of a romantic but I don't believe in love at first sight and all that jazz, which I think you kind of need to in this situation. I didn't feel the connection between the characters, but I think if this relationship had been developed over a longer time period I could have, although obviously that wouldn't have worked with this plot.

While there were aspects of this book I didn't like, I loved the messages within the story. There was a lot about this book that made me think. There was questions of religion and faith, discussions about personal beliefs and how the characters understood God. The characters talked and thought a lot about fate and whether or not it played a role in their meeting and I found a lot of what was said and their thoughts on fate to be very thought-provoking and questioned my beliefs about fate.

One of the highlights and redeeming qualities of this book for me was the ending. I really liked the way things ended for the characters and loved that it wasn't what I was expecting. I was preparing myself for a predictable, eye-roll inducing ending but instead was so pleasantly surprised. I think the ending was refreshingly realistic, even if it did have some very cheesy moments. I also loved the epilogue, I thought it was such a perfect way to wrap everything up.

I didn't realise until I had finished reading this book that a lot of it was inspired by Nicola Yoon's own life as a Jamaican woman married to a Korean-American man. I thought that was really interesting and great to know that a lot of the culture specific aspects of the book are likely to be accurate. Not that this has any relation to my enjoyment of the book, I just found it interesting.

Overall, I thought this book was pretty average. I enjoyed some aspects of it but couldn't connect with the characters or appreciate the instalove aspect of the relationship. I will continue to read everything Nicola Yoon writes in the hope that one day I will find a story that I love just as much as her writing.

3 comments:

  1. I've wanted to read this book for such a long time but I got really put off once I realised that instalove was at play here. I'm really not a fan of it, in contemporary's especially. I know so many people who have adored this book though so I'm in two minds about whether or not to read it! Great review!

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    1. Instalove is definitely a pretty strong feature of this book, but at the same time I can see why a lot of people did love it. I would say if you really can't stand instalove it might not be for you, but if you can see past that aspect I would give it a go.

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  2. Agreed, I love the way she writes! I think that was a big part of what made me like Everything, Everything so much.
    Sigh to the instalove in this book. That's unfortunate.

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