Thursday, 17 August 2017

Book Review: The Sun Is Also A Star; Nicola Yoon.

My high rating for this book may come as a surprise to those who know about my feelings on romance YA, but despite some obvious tropes, this felt like a modern and vibrant read and hooked me!

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: The Sun Is Also A Star
AUTHOR: Nicola Yoon
SERIES: --
PUBLISHER: Corgi Children's
PAGES: 348
GENRE: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

RATING: 4.5/5 Stars


Blurb:
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?

What I Liked:
  • This book absolutely buzzed with energy! I think my favourite thing about it was the sense of fast-paced, warm feeling that Yoon injected into her writing. It made me feel as if the plot was constantly moving and even though it covered a day, it never got boring. For a YA romance, this felt pretty unique in the way that it was structured and I enjoyed seeing Yoon flit through so many other POVs and fact pages alongside the two main characters. Every chapter was short, but interesting.
  • Every character was different. Natasha and Daniel were wonderful MCs to focus on, with plenty of personality and they really felt like individuals. Both belonged to ethnic minorities (Natasha - an illegal Jamaican immigrant and Daniel from a Korean family being forced to live the life his parents have dreamed of). I liked the focus on the racism that can occur between minority groups too, as this is rarely covered in fiction and is a complex topic. 
What I Disliked:
  • Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this book. But the insta-love between Natasha and Daniel? Blegh. While Yoon does things in a really interesting way, there's no denying that this book falls into one of the most exhausting tropes of all time. And it slightly irked me, I'll admit. People like me want romances to be built, and slow-to-burn. Also, the nature of their relationship meant there were some pretty nauseating quotes. Teenagers don't really talk in the way that Yoon had them talking, no matter how poetic they are, or how much they love science!

Overall Conclusion:
This book gripped me from beginning to end, which is actually pretty impressive considering my usual disdain for YA romance novels. Short, fast-paced chapters that interrupted the main POVs with other characters insights and facts on history were really cool to read, quotable, and gave me the sense that I'd learnt something. I liked the bigger issues that this book covered. However, Natasha and Daniel weren't great examples of teenagers because they spoke in a way that made them more akin to adults that had been studying philosophy and the 'bigger picture' for years. The insta-love trope was way too heavy in this book too. Yet somehow, this was still a wonderful read that I'd recommend to everyone!