I needed a palate cleaner after finishing "Leah and the Off-Beat." After reading this book and then watching "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" I maybe was in teen rom-com heaven all weekend. I also possibly wrapped things up by re-watching "Pretty in Pink." No I loathe "16 Candles" (come at me!) and "Pretty in Pink" always has me all in the feels.
"The Sun is Also A Star" starts off slow, but ends in a wonderful bang. Yoon does a fantastic job of weaving the two main leads stories (Natasha and Daniel) but also the many people who impact their choices, past, present, and future. I didn't think at first it would work, but does it work. Yoon will have you swooning over Natasha and Daniel and your heart will break when Yoon shows the practicalities behind two teens who are off to do separate things in their lives and be torn apart by a huge distance/culture.
"The Sun is Also A Star" has Natasha dealing with the fall out of her family being deported back to Jamaica. Natasha is desperate to stay in America and goes one more time to try to get anyone to help her. If no one does, she and her family have to fly out that night to Jamaica.
Daniel is preparing for the most important interview of his life. His family has it's hopes set on him becoming a doctor. After his older brother who always seemed to have everything going for him messes up, even more of his parents focus is on Daniel.
When Daniel and Natasha meet, Daniel has love at first sight, and Natasha has you are so acting weird, and I have things to do sight. I love that Natasha is more logical and scientific and doesn't believe in love. Not after her ex cheated on her and what she has seen her mother have to put up with while her father follows his dreams. Daniel does believe in love though due to seeing how his parents are with one another. He decides to trail Natasha for a few hours to get her to see that they could be something.
I loved that both of these characters are the children of immigrants. Daniel's family is Korean and Natasha's are Jamaican. They both feel differently about America though. For Natasha being in the states and getting to go to college is the most important thing. For Daniel, it's just something he is being forced to do.
Yoon is also able to weave a lot of history into this book. She explains African American women and their hair, and heck even why so many Koreans seem to own black hair stores in New York and other places.
The other characters we meet manage to sing in the short time they are with you. I wanted to read all of their stories. Yoon gives you enough to figure out the future of Daniel's ass of an older brother, his parents, Natasha's parents, and her brother. We also hear about some people they meet (Natasha's immigration attorney, a security guard in a building, a Korean women taking their food order, etc.)
The writing was really good and the flow improves after the first dozen pages.
The setting of New York is shown differently here. Not a sparkly, happy, we can be whoever we want here New York. Instead we get an indifferent one at times though you get to see why both characters love it.
The ending hit me hard. So very good.