“The Sun Is Also A Star”: A Story Worth The Tears
By Esther Huescas
“Meant to be” does not have to mean forever in Nicola Yoon’s “The Sun Is Also A Star.” This beautiful novel explores young love while discussing issues such as mental health, immigration, and self discovery. The love story of main characters Natasha and Daniel is the background to the central premise that fate and a single moment can change everything. This book will leave you questioning all the decisions you have ever made.
I was scrolling my Twitter feed one day when I came upon the trailer for the book-turned-movie, “The Sun Is Also A Star.” In order to properly view the movie, I knew I had to first read the book. As I began reading a few days later, I found myself initially thinking this would be a terrible cliche. Girl meets boy, boy meets girl, girl and boy fall in love; fortunately, however, I am happy to say Yoon proved me wrong.
Natasha Kingsley is 17-years old undocumented immigrant from Jamaica, who has lived in New York City since she was eight years old. Daniel Bae is a 17-years old Korean American, whose parents immigrated to give him and his brother the American dream. Natasha is a realist with a nihilistic view of the world and aspires to be a data scientist. Daniel is a poet and a dreamer at heart but believes that he has to go to Yale University and study to become a doctor in order to please his parents. Daniel believes in fate and love but Natasha and her family are about to be deported for her father’s mistake.
Yoon explores the idea of fate and destiny as she writes how Natasha and Daniel meet and fall in love in a single day. She reminds us to be kind and remember that we never know what another person is going through. The novel itself is narrated from different perspectives which not only keeps the reader engaged but also emphasizes the theme that we are all connected.
Yoon also touches on the theme of family and the complications that come with finding your identity within one. Daniel’s parents are immigrants from South Korea who wish that their children would appreciate and embody Korean customs and traditions. Natasha’s dad is an aspiring actor whose dreams have led him to neglect his family. Meanwhile, Natasha's mom keeps the family going by working two full-time jobs. Yoon teaches us that we have to prioritize what is going to make us happy not what others want us to do.
Daniel and Natasha go on a day long adventure that leads them to different parts of the city. They enter each other’s worlds and cultures in a beautiful way. Yoon was successful in making the reader feel like all the difficult topics were not forced into the story. She takes a story of young love and made it mean so much more. Ultimately, the lesson that you can never see the end from the beginning reminds the reader that love is what holds us all together.
Yoon is also the author of “Everything, Everything” which successfully made it to theaters in 2017. After being left in tears by the ending, I will be anxiously awaiting the cinematic portrayal but urge you all to first read this beautiful story.