I’m going to start this review by saying that I really wanted to like this book. This is partly because the title is fantastic and partly because the reviews suggested I should like this book. But two stars is my honest review and I’ll explain why I only gave it two stars and why I gave it any stars at all.
The Sun is Also a Star is mainly multi-narration, giving brief information, histories and glimpses into peoples lives as they pass each other. But, whilst there are inserts of side characters, the book is primarily about a Jamaican immigrant and her undocumented family facing deportation and brave teenager, Natasha, is the only one trying to save them. It’s also about Daniel, whose Korean parents moved to America to have their children and a chance at the ‘American dream’. Daniel and Natasha meet on their separate journeys, her on her way to a lawyer with just hours left in the country, and him on his way to interview for Harvard university, where he doesn’t even want to go.
The two protagonists interpret their meeting as fate and so this book is about love at first sight and how love changes everything. Long story short, it’s far too YA for me — the high school sweetheart gimmick is about as cheesy as it sounds. Secondly, it tries to connect all the characters in a twist of coincidence, fate, whatever but it doesn’t work. For example, just because the lawyer graduated from Harvard University, does not mean he qualifies to interview prospective students. He had nothing to do with the university, did not work there, was not a professor or anything, and was pursuing a full-time career as an immigration lawyer so entirely separate to Harvard so it makes no sense for him to have been interviewing prospective students literally in his not-yet-built lawyer office. Yoon wanted to connect Natasha and Daniel so badly that she just abandoned plausibility. (He’d also be in serious trouble for not maintaining confidentiality).
This book had the potential to be quite incredible. I loved the race and identity elements of the book. It was interesting to read about two characters with two different histories and experiences of immigration. Family expectations and the tricky age of realising that your parents aren’t perfect are necessities of YA novels and, in this case, it really works because everything is more than family, it’s about race, identity and achieving the ‘American dream’.
The Sun is Also a Star was a quick and easy read and would definitely be enjoyable to people who are a lot younger and really into over the top romance, but for everyone else this book isn’t a must-have like the promotion of it might have you believe.
If you are into romance and want to give this book a go, you can get it at a discounted price here.