Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Book Review - The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Author: Nicola Yoon
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I downloaded The Sun is Also A Star for two reasons: 1. The cover was pretty. 2. The book was very popular.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the book.  In the beginning the mixture of a characters and their point of views was a bit confusing. I was able to keep up with the transitioning from one character to the next because of the variety of narrators for the audiobook. Eventually, I start to get Yoon’s point of intertwining the mixture of characters because each character was somehow entangled in the lives of the other characters.  The writing skill that was necessary to create a story that intertwined like this one proves that Yoon knew exactly how to embed the reader in such a complex story.  

In The Sun is Also a Star, two teenagers, Daniel - a Korean boy and Natasha - a Jamaican girl, find themselves functioning in a day of complete chaos.  Their chance meeting feels like true love, yet as the story unfolds, this one day ultimately changes their lives in more ways than one can imagine.  The story of Daniel and Natasha is entertaining, inspiring, and very interesting. Every person, whom they encounter, is uniquely impacted by the interaction with Daniel and Natasha, and these interactions lead to the climax, as well as the conclusion of their story. Ultimately, I started to wonder about the people, whom I come in contact with on a daily basis.  I began to consider how my interaction with other people, either negative or positive, impact a person’s life.  I even considered the angry and hate I felt when I was racially profiled at a store.  Did my heated reaction ultimately seal the fate of the woman, who racially profiled me? As I read this book, I questioned my interaction with others and viewed these interactions in a different light.  My choice to react could possibly stop or motivate someone to continue with their plans of suicide.  My actions or the lack of actions could have an impact on the future of myself and so many others.  The lives of Daniel and Natasha continue after their fateful date of initial encounter.  In my heart, I wanted everything to change. I wanted it bad. Yet, Yoon did not let me have my heart’s desires.  Once Daniel and Natasha became adults, they lived the normal lives of adults. Yet, their lives somehow still managed to be entangled until the very end. 

Purchase Book
Even though this book is characterized as young adult fiction, adults of all ages can enjoy it just as much as I did. The Sun is Also a Star follows the theme that everything happens for a reason, while presenting a story that fits with the current event topics of immigration, racism, poverty,  and mental health. 

Interracial dating has always been a topic in the United States for years. Laws against interracial dating have been in place to prevent it from happening for centuries.  Even my state, Mississippi, had a law against interracial dating, which is still on the law books.   As a parent, who has a child now old enough to date, while reading The Sun is Also a Star, I started me to question my own perception of my belief system on interracial dating.  How would I react to my sons or daughter dating someone, who is not African American? Does it matter? Would I disown children? Would I stop talking to my children? Would I forbid any interracial dating? Yoon presents the answer that some parents have to these questions.  Whether or not you like it or not, Yoon paints a picture of the known and underlying consequences that your answers can have on your children. 

As the plot unfolded, Yoon forced me to examine my past, present, and future.  As a parent of a high schooler, I started to consider how my plans for my child aligned with his plans.  As a parent, I want to protect my child and ensure that all of my children have a “better” life than I do. Yoon makes you question, as a parent, whether your ideology of what is better reflects your child ideology of better. Yoon made me realize that perhaps what I think is best for my child is not necessarily best.

The epilogue of the book is one word: EPIC.   Yoon did not disappoint me at all. Before the epilogue, I just knew I would be in my feelings.  I just knew my day would be filled with gloom of a story not ending exactly the way I had hoped. Don't judge me. You know how it feels when a book doesn't end just like you want it to end, your day is doomed.  You want to throw the book, the audiobook, or your phone (if you downloaded the book from Audible) at the wall. I am so glad that my day did not end in doom.  Yoon pulled the entire story together and sealed the theme of the book in the epilogue. 

Until Next Time,


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