The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon (author of Everything, Everything) is one of the most stunning books that I have read this year. It is a love story, it is an immigration story, it is a story of two people, and yet, a story of the universe.
The entire story takes place throughout the span of a day—less than 24 hours in New York City. The story alternates between Natasha Kingsley and Daniel Jae Ho Bae, with a few other points of view along the way. Natasha is an immigrant from Jamaica. She has lived in the United States for most of her life. On her last day in the United States, the day The Sun Is Also A Star takes place, she is trying all that she can to stop her family’s deportation back to Jamaica. Daniel, on the other hand, is a first generation Korean-American, meaning that his parents moved to the United States, and he has full citizenship. On the day he meets Natasha, he is on his way to a college interview, so he can become a doctor at Yale like his parents want. What he wants is to write poetry.
The Sun Is Also A Star is a novel that examines all the tiny ways in which human lives collide, and the way in which your actions can create a ripple effect. Natasha, a budding scientist, believes in “observable facts.” She thinks that love is just a series of chemical reactions. But when she meets Daniel, she has to admit that maybe there is something more.
The Sun Is Also A Star is a beautiful and very real examination of the immigrant experience. How immigrants, especially, know that their lives turn out differently than what they expected. People leave behind homes and family for a strange land where the language is unfamiliar. They can only hope they are allowed to stay and not be deported. They can only hope for a better life for their family. The future is not foreseeable, but every action has a consequence. Loving, even for a short amount of time, is better than not loving at all.
“They have a sense that the length of a day is mutable, and you can never see the end from the beginning. They have a sense that love changes all things all the time.
That’s what love is for.”