Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Sun Is Also a Star

Rate this book
A story of a girl, a boy, and the universe

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

348 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Nicola Yoon

21 books17.4k followers
Nicola Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star. She is a National Book Award finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book recipient and a Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner. Both her novels have been made into major motion pictures. Nicola grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist David Yoon, and their family.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
107,057 (35%)
4 stars
110,234 (36%)
3 stars
60,916 (20%)
2 stars
16,239 (5%)
1 star
5,121 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30,376 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,945 reviews291k followers
November 6, 2016
The universe stops and waits for us.
She opens her palm and she’s going to take my hand. She’s supposed to take my hand. We’re meant to walk through this world together. I see it in her eyes. We are meant to be.

2 1/2 stars. I tried. I'm sorry, but I tried. I just couldn't love this like I wanted to.

My problem with Yoon's Everything, Everything was the twist. That awful twist. But her style was enjoyable and easy to read, so I was eager to give her books another shot. I was honestly ready to love The Sun Is Also a Star. I even recently met Nicola Yoon at a book signing and she is so sweet and hilarious, and I found out that this book is based on her own life as a Jamaican immigrant married to a Korean-American. I came away a little bit in love with her.

But I just couldn't love this book. There were some good things about it, but it's primarily for people who are far more romantic than I am. For those ready to be convinced that love at first sight really does exist, or those who already believe it. And I don't.

Call me cynical, call me cold-hearted, but I don't believe in just knowing and love at first sight. I just don't believe that's love. Love is knowing someone's flaws, habits and pet peeves; having to deal with their grumbling after a bad day; the weird quirks that only surface after several months of being together; living with their morning breath and farts. It's not that gushy, obsessive, in-the-moment feeling. That's a crush. And sure, they can hurt, but you'll get over them. It's not destiny.

The Sun Is Also a Star tries to make a scientific case for instalove, and I'm just not buying. It's about Natasha - a Jamaican immigrant, science nerd and skeptic - and Daniel, a Korean-American poet rebelling against his family's desire for him to be a doctor. The book opens when Natasha faces deportation that very evening, but an encounter with Daniel changes the course of her day, as he sets out to use science to make Natasha fall in love with him.

Daniel is, quite literally, obsessed with Natasha from the very moment he sees her. He believes seeing her is a sign and proceeds to follow her into a music store. After knowing her for just a few hours, he becomes convinced they are "meant to be" and that she will change his life.
But something about Natasha makes me think my life could be extraordinary.

Even Natasha's delightful cynicism quickly falters under Daniel's enthusiasm:
Observable Fact: I don’t believe in magic.
Observable Fact: We are magic.

If you are the kind of person who gets caught up in whirlwind romances, then you will probably enjoy this book very much. But me? I just rolled my eyes so much and never got a sense of the chemistry between Natasha and Daniel.

There were some things I enjoyed, though. The story alternates between Natasha and Daniel's perspectives, but it is also peppered with the perspectives of random characters who come and go throughout the novel. Some of these are really touching; heartbreaking even. I really liked the suggestion that everyone around us has a story; they have their own lives and problems to deal with.

And I thought the immigration aspects were well done and realistic. Natasha's whole life has been built in America, but she's being forced to leave because of her father's mistake. When one takes a closer look at immigration, it's an inherently-flawed and cruel system, and really, it's all about luck - isn't it? Where you happen to be born on the planet is all luck and chance. As Natasha notes:
If people who were actually born here had to prove they were worthy enough to live in America, this would be a much less populated country.

But these things weren't enough to carry a book that is first and foremost a romance. The romance itself has to be one you fall in love with. I really wish I could tell you I loved it, but I guess I'm not enough of a hopeless romantic for Ms. Yoon.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews164k followers
December 17, 2016
This was really great! I can't say why I docked a star, because it's spoilery, but I'll have a video review up soon going over my thoughts & what not.
Profile Image for Sabaa Tahir.
Author 19 books31.4k followers
May 4, 2016
Within the first 20 pages of THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, I knew I was reading something special, and within the first 50, I knew this was going to be one of my favorite books of 2016. Natasha and Daniel are funny, flawed, fully-developed characters who feel as familiar as old friends. Their love story is anything but simple, and you will root for them until the very last page. Nicola intersperses their story with beautifully wrought and deeply considered musings on other characters, physics, history, betrayal and family. In doing so, she gave me one of my favorite paragraphs ever:

"And what about the lovers who spend hours staring into each other's eyes? Is it a display of trust? 'I will let you in close and trust you not to hurt me while I'm in this vulnerable position.' And if trust is one of the foundations of love, perhaps the staring is a way to build or reinforce it. Or maybe it's simpler than that.

A simple search for connection

To see.

To be seen. "

Highly, highly recommend.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
January 14, 2021
This is a book about how the smallest gestures can form the biggest pictures, how the smallest actions can change the course of a life. How seeing a girl can change your life. How falling in love with your secretary can change the course of someone’s life forever. How swerving in a car can get two teens together. How calling a security officer can save her life.

It sort of tore my heart into a million pieces.

Fuck, okay. I don’t know how to explain how much I feel about this book.

“You were expecting something...”
More poetic,” she says.
“Are you kidding? Most poems are about sex.”
She's skeptical. “Do you have actual data to back that up? I wanna see some numbers.”
“Scientist!” I accuse.
“Poet!” she retorts.

Let's start here. Before I lose all my credibility: yes, this book is about instalove, and yes, I ended up absolutely loving the relationship. I will say two things. First, that they don’t really fall in love - they see the possibility that they could.

And personally, I think seeing the possibility of a future is a very real thing.
There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.

And second… it’s written really well. Their relationship is just... so soft? It's sweet, in that way first love is, and it's supportive, in that way good love is. And they call each other out on their shit.
Because you don't love me, Daniel. You're just looking for someone to save you. Save yourself.

I will also fully admit that I didn’t really connect with Natasha and Daniel’s relationship in the first hundred pages - not until I connected with their characters. But holy shit, towards the end? There is a REASON I sobbed REAL TEARS while reading this book. You know I’m discerning about my romantic couples and I have chosen well.

But... the romance is not all this book is about.

The real focus of the book, instead, is on the issues faced by immigrants. On one hand, we have Natasha, a science girl, complete icon, and illegal immigrant from Jamaica who is being deported at the end of the day after her father has been picked up. On the other hand, we have Daniel, a child of South Korean immigrants whose family wants him to become a doctor but who wants his own life as poet.

There’s just… oh my god, there’s so much here?
If people who were actually born here had to prove they were worthy enough to live in America, this would be a much less populated country.

What is happening to Natasha is horrible, and Yoon does not shy away from its horror. Natasha has lived here, in America, her whole life. She has been picked up due to a mistake made by her father. It is not her fault she has been picked up. It is not her fault she illegally immigrated in the first place. She cannot change it. And yet here she is, being forced to uproot her whole life for another’s mistake. There is something so honest about how this is written, about the way Natasha’s pain is conveyed here.

But that’s not all. There is a discussion here about the social stigma against “bad hair” - i.e. black hair - and how that is perpetrated by black hair care places, like the one owned by Daniel’s parents. There is honest discussion of the contrast between emotions and science, whether you can quantify fate or put a box around love. There is honest discussion of parent-child relationships, in many flavors; of evil, of fate, of suicide.

And the characters. Okay, I’m going to say something weird and reference high school English: Natasha and Daniel form perfect narrative foils to each other. They each have super distinct voices and personalities. Also, apparently this is an unpopular opinion [what can I say? stanning underrated lady characters is my brand] but I love Natasha so much I might start crying!! The way she is written is just… she conveys so many emotions I have felt in my past, even though we’re in totally different situations. There’s honestly a lot of talent in making the audience relate on such a personal level to a character I share no situation in common with.

Listen, I know I’ve said a lot, but I don’t think I have said enough. This book deeply affected me. I don’t think I have ever read a book crying so hard I couldn’t turn pages. I can tell you to please, please read this - even if you think you won't like it. Literally, this was my first note about this book:
me, performing self sabotage by reading a romantic contemporary when I know I dislike romantic contemporary? it’s more likely than you think

[do you remember what a fetus I was just a mere month ago, thinking I would hate this book... who was she....]

The Sun Is Also a Star was such a fantastic read and I know it will stay with me forever - I’m getting chills just thinking about it, and I have a feeling I always will. I just remember finishing this book and wanting to cry because I love human beings, and even when the world is unfair, it gives us what we deserve in the end.

Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
526 reviews57.6k followers
February 15, 2019
WhY dId YoU rEaD tHiS iF yOu KnOw YoU dOn'T lIkE rOmAnCe?!

I wasn’t sure I wanted to read more from Nicola Yoon, after Everything Everything. I had liked the main character, the writing was fine but the romance and the twist were straight up awful.

I still went into this book with an open mind plus I needed to read it before the movie comes out May 17, 2019! I don't like romance in books but I have no issues with it in movies. I should specify that I don't like insta love because there are romance books I do enjoy but this is absolutely an insta love romance.

I liked the first 40%. It was a cute YA Contemporary/Romance but then it became too much for me. At 70% I had straight up indigestion with all that cheesiness. What can I say, I'm lactose intolerant!

I struggled to finish it but I'll be watching the movie for sure!
Profile Image for Riley.
424 reviews20.8k followers
February 10, 2017
This book is incredibly beautiful in so many ways that I can't even begin to explain right now
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
March 20, 2017
I really really loved this book!!! It was an entirely unique story with a powerful message. Definitely a read I would recommend to e v e r y o n e .

Originally, I had issues getting into the book. The narration is 100% individual as not only do we have Natasha & Daniel's perspective, but we have mini chapters from a wide variety of characters. We have character's share stories from the past, side characters who are only in one scene, characters we will never hear from again, even very arbitrary things like "eyes" "hair" and "fate" all sharing little anecdotes. I'm normally the type of reader to say "Just give me my protagonist's POV, I do not care for anything else" and that's really how the novel started out for me. I really resented these additional chapters as I felt they did not hold significant influence, but I was very wrong. I eventually fell in love with the storytelling, really appreciating the insight we get into how Daniel & Natasha's story changes peoples lives in so many ways. Although I had trouble adjusting, it was totally worth it and really well executed.

I was also a little weary because "a story of two people who fall in love in one day"? Literally the highest form on insta-love in YA to date. But honestly, it did not feel this way at all. There is something about the way this novel is written that allows their relationship to develop so deeply in such a short period of time without being ridiculous. Is it unrealistic at some points? Absolutely. But I think that plays into smaller bits more like certain topics of conversation or behaviors, not the overall story. I think Daniel & Natasha's story was very well written and entirely special.

Natasha & Daniel complimented each other very well. Natasha is independent, confident in her mindset, and totally practical. Daniel is a quirky, very open-minded, and a total dreamer. There is something about their personalities that are polar opposites that bounce off each other in a perfect balance. Even the way they somewhat clash at times feel very true and natural. They have a fiery dynamic full of chemistry and I absolutely loved them together.

It was also very intersting to see the fusion of these two cultures: Jamaican and South Korean. Their ethnicity plays a huge role in the story, and it all came across very authentically. I think it was especially intersting to see two different stories of children who respond differently to parents who grew up in different countries. The combination of these two cultures created an interesting dynamic in itself.

My favorite thing about this story was the ending (which is especially intersting because it's not directly from Natasha or Daniels' POV, which really shows how my feelings turned around.) It's definitely one of those endings that leaves at a point for growth, for development, and for hope. It made me bawl, partially from happiness, partially from relief. It definitely brought the story together in a way that stayed true to the unique nature of the entire book.

I definitely loved The Sun Is Also A Star. I've had this book for almost a year and I have no idea why it took me so long to pick it up, but I'm so happy I did. I absolutely devoured this read and would highly highly recommend it!!
Profile Image for Nat.
545 reviews3,173 followers
June 5, 2020
On a "perfect" fall day, seventeen-year-old Natasha Kingsley and her family are twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Tasha decides to take a long shot and visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to hopefully convince someone to let her stay, to not pay for her father's mistake.

“To be clear: I don’t believe in fate. But I’m desperate.”

She's desperate to stay with her friends, her home, her livelihood for the past ten years. Despite the fact that she doesn't believe in miracles, Natasha was still hoping for one—she doesn't want her future to be erased.

And you could really feel her pain through the words. Moving away is never easy, but when you don’t even have a say in it, that’s a whole new world of pain and sorrow that Nicola Yoon perfectly transcribes in this book.

“How long before her friends forget about her? How long before she picks up a Jamaican accent? How long before she forgets that she was ever in America?”

The Sun Is Also a Star has a switching narrative between two main characters, which made the story flow easily.
Side note: I liked that when a side character was mentioned in one chapter, they got to have a history page in the next one.

Our second narrator, Daniel Jae Ho Bae, is an aspiring poet who writes in his Moleskine notebook—poems about heartbreak, even though he’s never had his heart broken... yet.

Because of his upcoming alumni admission interview with Yale, Daniel’s parents let him have the day off from school. But staying at home, where his mother bombards him with questions, is not an option. So, on his Final Day of Childhood, he opts to go out, where he encounters Natasha having a moment with her music.

Tasha was on her way to meet with Attorney Fitzgerald to help with her case, while Daniel was on his way to cut of his short ponytail by his favorite barber.

Coincidence? I think not.

And we all know what follows after...

This review will contain *mild spoilers* from here on.

I was expecting to be annoyed with the insta-love because the main premise is that they fall for one another in less than twelve hours, and for the main part I was... because after knowing her for 10 minutes (maybe even less), Daniel begins to imagine himself with Tasha in old age.

But this book deals with such a plethora of heavy subjects such as loneliness, heartbreaks, first loves, race, loyalty, suicide... that insta-love was the least of my worries (...but still problematic).

Daniel even kind of called himself out on falling in love so quickly.

“There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.”

And he’s pretty sure that, though, he’s experiencing it on their second encounter… Natasha is not.

(He's right.)

Of course, since Tasha cannot ignore the lovey-dovey looks he throws at her, she tells him the one line that always makes me crack up:

“Red Tie,” I say.
“Daniel,” he insists.
“Don’t fall in love with me, Daniel.”

I always find the last line hysterical because of Meredith from The Office.

Literally cry-laughing over this.

Nevertheless, when Natasha informs him that she doesn't believe in love (don't worry, she's not a cynic. "She’s a realist"... aka what every cynic ever said), Daniel tries to make her fall in love scientifically (using The 36 Questions That Lead to Love).

Observable fact: You know you've hit rock-bottom of desperation when you try to make a stranger fall in love with you like that... Yay, science.

They don’t have time to answer all thirty-six since Tasha has an appointment and then she has to go home, so they argue over which questions to choose.

“We're trying to fit a lifetime into a day.”

And I was looking everywhere to find the perfect thing to convey my feelings about their insta-lovey situation, and I finally found it:

Thank you, Universe.

Another Observable fact: I feel like I would've loved this book a few years back when I was just as cynical as Natasha. But reading about her crushing every dream of Daniel's managed to drain all of my energy.

But on a more positive note, when the focus shifted to the issues I mentioned at the start of this review, I got educated in the most honest and accepting way, so thank you, Nicola Yoon, for that.

And also on a completely unrelated note, I would love to see Daniel and Natasha's norebang (karaoke) singing skills on the big screen.

I 100% condone his choice to sing "Take a Chance On Me" by ABBA. And I'm still laughing about his commentary on Natasha’s singing:

“Her singing is earnest and heartfelt and completely awful.
It’s not good.
At all.
I’m pretty sure she’s tone-deaf. Any note she does hit is purely coincidental.”

The nerve!!!

And finally, after this part comes the moment I've been waiting for:

“Most poems I’ve seen are about love or sex or the stars. You poets are obsessed with stars. Falling stars. Shooting stars. Dying stars.”
“Stars are important,” I say, laughing.
“Sure, but why not more poems about the sun? The sun is also a star, and it’s our most important one. That alone should be worth a poem or two.”

I live for those crucial moments when titles are mentioned in the storyline.

And then we get to know what's going to happen to Tasha's deportations situation, which after reading Everything, Everything, I was pretty sure the end-game was self-explanatory. But for once in my life, I had anticipated the wrong ending (...in a way).

Overall, I would say that The Sun Is Also a Star wasn't what I was expecting, for better or for worse.

I wasn't anticipating this book to be so heavily focused on the romance but rather on coming-of-age in ones most defining time.
But the book did deal with a lot of other crucial subjects in the most honest way, and I'm incredibly grateful for that.

So to quote Tasha, "the trouble with getting your hopes too far up is: it’s a long way down."

P.S. I hate Jeremy Fitzgerald.
ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3.5/5 stars

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying The Sun Is Also a Star, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*

This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
602 reviews87.3k followers
February 14, 2017
*Received an advanced reader copy for review from the publisher*

I liked this one even more than "Everything, Everything." Nicola Yoon is just an amazing writer. Definitely a staple for your contemporary collection.
Video review to come!!
Profile Image for Warda.
1,121 reviews17.7k followers
December 6, 2022
“We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write poetry. […] We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.”

Reread and this book still speaks my language. It speaks to my personality. It still makes my heart ache to the fullest and gives me hope like no other.

”Hope is the thing with feathers...“

I remember reading this book around the same time last year and feeling that it came to me at a specific point in my life when I needed to hear the above first quote. To internalise and let it take root it within myself because I've always felt was right for me. A year later, and now I'm finally working towards what it is I've wanted and seeing it slowly come into fruition. God is good. And books are the one, tbh.


Original review:
My heart is about to burst with happiness. First read of the year. First 5-star book of the year. I'm in utter love!

I don't know whether it's because of the fact that I'm getting older that I'm becoming more emotional, but this book had me crying! Just an absolute beautiful story about family, race, immigration, lost dreams, hope, but most of all, love.

I love that Nicola Yoon brought together and showcased two different ethnicities and cultures. Reading about other cultures you begin to understand that though there are differences, were more alike than we realise.

This book just spoke to my soul, and this is just a side tangent, but it's really amazing to see what books come your way, or what books you decide to read depending on how you want to look at things, actually speak to your life at the moment in time. It's this feeling of epiphany of being understood and particular books (and God for me) guiding your life somehow into a direction you always knew to be right for you. You felt it in your gut. It's honestly a magical feeling!
Profile Image for emma.
1,821 reviews45.4k followers
July 29, 2017
So, quick checklist: instalove, poor treatment of socially significant themes, annoying characters, tooth-achingly sweet dialogue, and general nonsensical-ness for 350 pages?

First, let me say this: I’m a nihilist. I think life is inherently meaningless. I also don’t believe in romantic love. Our main character, Natasha, claims to feel the same way. You’d think I'd be into that - like, whoa, cool! A YA protagonist who isn’t just, like, laying in the middle of a highway waiting for a car to hit her so she can fall in love with it! But no. As soon as Natasha revealed herself as a nihilist, I felt an existential dread. And the same thing happens anytime a YA girl says she doesn’t believe in love.

It’s a goddamn plot device. I think it’s a law that no more than 8 paragraphs of any romance can contain the couple actually, you know, happily in love. When is the last time it didn’t take 150 pages for two vanilla teens to get together, only to be star-crossed moments later?! I don’t get why it’s so hard. It’s not like sixteen-year-olds lead overly complex existences.

Anyway. What was I saying? Oh yeah, my life philosophy being used as an obstacle so two classically good looking teenagers aren’t on each other by page 5. It takes less than a hot second for Natasha to be mesmerized by Daniel’s magic ponytail, belief in love or not. It’s all very reductive.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying, like, nihilists are the next frontier of social justice. I don’t think it’s offensive or whatever. It’s just soooo indicative of YA. Instead of going, hey, let’s all learn about nihilism!, it’s more, hey, nihilism can be taken down in 17 seconds if the guy flirting with you is rockin’ a glossy man-ponytail.

But this book is way better than most YA about including fun facts. Which I love. It goes into the histories of some seriously fascinating shit, like time travel and African American hair. That was my favorite part of this by far. I would totally read a Nicola Yoon book with just, like, fun facts about random shit.

The structure of this is cool. Sometimes the author mercifully breaks up the Satanic monotony of these two whining at each other by delving into a background character’s story, or giving the history of something. Every time was a blessed escape.

So let’s talk about those horrible characters, shall we? Daniel is a total creep. He spends the beginning of the book literally following Natasha around the city, including the extra-fun parts where she tells him to leave her alone and he - guess what - doesn’t! Because when I think about a male stranger following me on the streets of New York City, the only thing I feel is DTF.

When he’s not stalking strangers, he spends his remaining free time over the course of the book screaming “we’re meant to be” into Natasha’s face, sneak-smelling her hair, and writing shitty poems.

Natasha is really a self-centered brat. When the attorney she’s supposed to meet with is going to be late because he got into a goddamn car accident, guess how she reacts? Not with sympathy toward his crying coworker, no! “But we have an appointment now.” My whine is uncharitable, but I can’t help it. “I really need him to help me.”

Just as bad as these two? Their romance. I have never, in my life, read instalove as bad as this. Instalove is one of my more menial and most unavoidable bookish pet-peeves. Beyond just being, like, overly simple and boring to read, IT’S NOT REAL. Right? Love at first sight is just not real! How could it be? Beyond that, what does it say about actual love if it is? Can Nicola Yoon even write a book about anything besides instalove?! Ugh.

But like, if you’re going to make two characters fall in love over ninety minutes and a cup o’ joe, at least show me that connection. Don’t just make the creepy guy with a ponytail repeat that it exists and hope it sticks. (I don’t know why I keep talking about Daniel’s ponytail. The answer to that question, like most, is probably that I think I’m funny.)

This whole shindig is sweet enough to give me a cavity and teeming with whining. Like, I binge ate five cookies in a row today and this book was still the most oversweet part of my day. I just really didn’t care about whether these characters ended up together. No, I’ll take it a step further. They could’ve fallen off the roof they adorablyyyy snuck up to in a fun twist on Romeo and Juliet and I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash.

But Emma, those of you who may have liked this book say. She’s about to be deported! Don’t you care about that, at least, you heartless goon? Well, dear hypothetical situation, even Natasha doesn’t make a good case for why I should care. Take this gorgeous quote, for example: “Happy because of me?” I ask. “And not being deported. But mostly you.” Natasha cares more about some pimply doofus with a neon red tie than the looming end to life as she knows it.

Don’t get me wrong. I lovelovelove this theme about illegal immigration. Since my views lean closer to “let every illegal immigrant stay forever” than deportation, I was excited about this one. And hopeful it would be able to convince more people that the vast, vast, vast majority of so called “aliens” are really just people left without a choice. Instead, Natasha’s oncoming deportation felt like a plot device to add emotion to the story. To put a time stamp on the relationship in order to squeeze out some more drama. And I’m not okay with that.

In terms of other offensive stuff, there’s this really weird moment: “I want to get a hobo outfit and a sandwich board and scrawl What now, Universe? across it.” What does that mean? A homeless joke in 2017? Confusing, off-putting, dumb, insert more criticisms here because I’m tired and want to wrap this thing up.

Bottom line: I wanted a powerful and socially significant read, and instead I got...this. Everybody go read the stories of actual, real illegal immigrants instead and stay far away from this.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
November 23, 2016
I'm between 4.5 and 5 stars, but I'll round it up.

No, I'm not crying. You're crying.

Daniel has always tried to be a dutiful son to his parents, who emigrated from South Korea, but he's always played second fiddle to his older brother Charlie, who is more confident, smarter, and has had a visceral dislike for Daniel since they were younger.

But with Charlie's recent academic fall from grace, their parents are starting to put more pressure on Daniel to follow their wishes, which include getting into Yale and becoming a doctor. The thing is, though, Daniel isn't sure he wants to follow that path—he sees himself as more of a poet—but the truth is, he doesn't feel like he needs to decide his future when he's 17.

Natasha has her future planned out: college and a career as a data scientist. She believes in science, in numbers, in rational thought, and really the only way she lets go is listening to music, albeit angsty music like Nirvana and Soundgarden. But all of her best-laid plans are being torn to shreds, as her family is being deported back to Jamaica in 12 hours. She hasn't lived there since she was eight, and she can't imagine throwing away her future for something that isn't even her fault. She has tried to do everything she can to fix her family's situation, but time is running out.

When Daniel and Natasha meet unexpectedly one day, they're both utterly unprepared by the power of their connection. Yet while Daniel is a strong believer in love at first sight, and wants to ride this journey as long as it can go, Natasha believes love is governed by emotions that have no place in her life, especially at this moment. Even while she feels immensely drawn to Daniel, how can she allow her rationality to be bypassed by her heart, particularly when she'll be leaving the country at the end of the day?

"People spend their whole lives looking for love. Poems and songs and entire novels are written about it. But how can you trust something that can end as suddenly as it begins?"

Over the course of one day, Daniel and Natasha will tell each other things they've never told anyone before. There will be adventure, anger, sadness, more than a little passion, and a discussion of family issues, fears, ambitions, and their views on love and life. Each knows where they want this road to lead, but neither knows where it ultimately will.

Are there times when the head should win out over the heart, or should the heart always rule? Can you truly be understood, be seen and heard so fully by someone you barely know? The Sun is Also a Star is emotional, thought-provoking, a tiny bit frustrating, but beautifully written, a book that makes you smile and, if you're like me, cry, a little, too.

"It's like knowing all the words to a song but still finding them beautiful and surprising."

While for the most part the book tells Natasha and Daniel's story, from time to time it deviates in order to focus briefly on other characters, some supporting and some who appear for a brief moment or two, but whose appearance drives a crucial plot thread. Other times it focuses on a concept, scientific or otherwise, that is mentioned. I found that off-putting at first, although I did warm to it, but certain non-sequiturs still irked me.

Beyond that, however, I really enjoyed this book. I love the way Nicola Yoon writes, and I love the way she didn't shy away from tackling issues of prejudice or familial dysfunction while spinning this story. I didn't feel like this book fell into the trap that plagues many YA novels, where the characters are more erudite and sarcastic than people twice or three times their age.

In the end, I truly felt this in my heart. But there was something in my eye; I didn't cry on the airplane while reading this, I swear.

See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,735 followers
February 7, 2017
This was a nice little book with a sweet story. A great book for a simple escape. While the scenarios in it are highly improbable, if you can suspend your disbelief for a few hours, it is quite charming.

Lots of chapters. Lots of SHORT chapters. I LOVE SHORT CHAPTERS! I needed a book with short chapters since I am currently reading (or have recently read) some books with loooooooog chapters.

I enjoyed this as much as Everything Everything. Looks like I can continue to count on Yoon for a simple getaway.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,506 reviews30.9k followers
October 14, 2018
‘maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.’

do you know what is also a star? this book. this story. these words. so radiant and hopeful and a shining light in my life. *sighs happily*

before i get into what i loved about this, i should say that there is no way the plot was realistic or plausible to me. and heres why - i once had a crush on a boy and the ONLY way i ‘accidentally’ bumped into him in a big city was because a friend told me where he was going to be ahead of time. so the fact that natasha and daniel kept coincidentally meeting so many times was a little silly to me, but did that stop me from enjoying this? no way, josé!

i thought this was such a great story exploring how intense and genuine young love can be. many people tend to discount teenage feelings, claiming ‘youll know what real love is when youre older.’ but i adored how this story made the point that just because youre young doesnt mean you feel love any less.

i also really appreciated how different, but well suited, the two characters were. they were so diverse, but in a very realistic way and not just for diversitys sake. i think their differences were what made not only themselves, but their relationship together, so strong and fresh and enjoyable to read about.

so once again nicola yoon has made me fall in love with young love. cant wait to see what she comes up with next!!

4 stars
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
909 reviews13.8k followers
December 3, 2017
4.5 Stars

Representation: Black (Jamaican), undocumented MC, Korean love interest

YES. I read this back-to-back with The Hate U Give and I'm just so here for black girls in YA right now. I devoured Natasha and Daniel's story. I can't say enough good things about it. Really, I only have one complaint, which I'll get to.

But first and foremost, this book is genius. It takes place in 3 perspectives: the 2 characters, and then the universe, which shows you the outside perspective of characters you meet in passing glances but whose lives intricately align with the main characters'. This book is thought-provoking, and not just because it deals with the topic of deportation and what it means to be American. This discusses alternate universes and the phenomenon of coincidence and whether fate and true love are real. The third POV of the universe was such a nice feature and extended your thinking beyond the love story between the two main characters.

And there's so many things I could compliment beyond the actual plot. The discussion of science versus poetry, the challenging of racism, the discussion of choosing your own destiny, of family troubles inherited by sons and daughters of immigrant parents, and much more. Everything ties together BEAUTIFULLY and I think the threads on the cover of the book really fit this fact. There are so many threads, so many things working together to make this book strong, and they all hold up in the end.

I absolutely loved our characters. Natasha was unforgivingly blunt and headstrong, and I was rooting for her and her struggle the entire book. Daniel was precious and hilarious and such a great supporting character for Natasha. Their dialogue was cute without being cheesy, realistic and thought-provoking without being pretentious. I said in my review of Everything, Everything that it really felt like the same John Green dynamic of writing where the characters are real and witty but they have a level of realism that Green's always lack. The way they grew closer was heartwarming. The way they grew apart was heartbreaking. I was rooting for them.

The only downfall to this book was that since it takes place during only one day, the instalove was real. I understand this is a discussion about love at first sight and fate and people who are meant to be together, but I think there could have been a subtler way to navigate their feelings rather than just "I see her and she is perfect and we shall be together forever." A more cautious approach to this might have made it more bearable, but it's definitely difficult just because of the short time frame and the topic itself is hard to avoid seeming like instalove.

Nevertheless, I highly recommend this. It's cute but also meaningful, and it makes you think in a way that's so rare in YA contemporary. The subject matter is important. The characters shine so brightly. The audiobook is superb. Just read it.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,563 reviews5,862 followers
December 28, 2016
1.5 stars

Warning: This reviews is just mostly gifs.

I probably should have done this before reviewing this book.
 photo 4a726fe1e155d3176877bbac77775031_zpseyfu9nwo.gif

This is more my style though..
 photo c13c07d5969c6c0e8c98a1d4dfea3027_zpschz3liqj.gif

So you now have been warned. Keep reading if you want. If you are a fangirl troll..please know this:
 photo 200_s_zps06nzhraj.gif

Because this book was just stupid. FOR ME! Half of GR loves it. More than half actually. Go and love their reviews.
The book is told in choppy little chapters, from multiple points of view. This really could have worked, it's worked for me before.
There was not enough to make me give two craps about it though.

You have Natasha, she is being deported on the very day that the book takes place. Her family is in America illegally and Daddy got drunk and blabbed their status. Now she is not going to get to use her bought and paid for illegal social security card to get financial aid for college.
 photo 635789794655433497-578138692_18622_no-kanye-west-hell-no_zps2oqkcw76.gif

You totally lost me there Nicola Yoon.
 photo Angry-Kid_zpsptxf7nyh.gif

I don't want any trolling so before you start, I'm all for immigration and mixed relationships, for anything else this book portrays. BUT don't just throw in something like that for a main character to be doing and expect me to like it.

Then you have Daniel. Daniel has a sweet poets soul.
He has lots of feelings.
 photo 15895388_zpsn8icpjco.gif

I somewhat liked Daniel better than the rest of these characters.
He falls in love with Natasha about five minutes after he meets her. Because it's meant to be.

It was meant to be that this book totally lost me.
 photo 10605585_zpslcc34kvw.gif

Booksource: From Publisher in exchange for review.
Profile Image for Maureen.
493 reviews4,205 followers
May 14, 2017
This book is so beautiful I am crying??????? So many emotions?????

I really loved Natasha and Daniel. A lot. I loved that this story in any other context would be insta love and essentially was but because there was so much character development and how long it was it didn't feel like it. I loved being in New York City with them. I loved their whole day it was so great.

Also the epilogue was everything??? And I need a sequel novella like NOW.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,399 reviews9,534 followers
November 12, 2016

Yeah, I cried!

I was so happy to get this book because I loved Nicola Yoon's book, Everything, Everything! I loved this one too.

Natasha is being deported to Jamaica because of some stupidity on her fathers part. She came to America when she was eight and she's now going into her senior year and doesn't want to leave her friends and life.

Daniel is an American/Korean boy who just wants to live his own life but his parents have other ideas. Daniel and his brother Charlie are to be doctors and that is that.

Natasha and Daniel meet in the city by what you might want to call fate. Lets just say that Daniel saved her life. Then they go through the day together. Some won't like the insta-love in the book but this is what I love about books, they are a fantasy world I can escape to where magical things can happen. If I want to read boring, "real life" books I will pick up a math book or something boring.

Anyway, Daniel is supposed to be going to an interview to see about getting into Yale. Natasha is supposed to be meeting with a lady that is trying to stop her deportation. They spend the day together in between different interviews they have to go to. I didn't like that it took FOREVER for Natasha to tell Daniel that she was being deported but I digress.

Does anyone remember that movie from years ago called, Before Sunrise? They also made another one years later. This book reminded me of that movie in a way.

There are a few side characters in the book that actually mesh with Natasha and Daniel's story. Some parts had me thinking, OMG, did that just happen? I loved those side stories as much as the main story because they were all connected.


I also love how the book is told not as an ending with Natasha and Daniel but with a continuation of all the things that happened with them and their families. And then 10 years later . . .

*I received a print copy of this book through the BloggingForBooks program.*

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for karen.
3,976 reviews170k followers
May 16, 2019
3/3.5 stars.

has this changed my mind about romance novels, YA or otherwise??


but it was not as bad as i’d feared.

on the one hand, yes, there's LOTS of goopy stuff in this. lots of goopy, earnest, ‘lalala we just met but it’s true love and fate and destiny’ stuff that’s just not my bag.

on the other hand, there’s a good deal here that is unconnected to the romance that i did like. for example, the chapter narrated by the waitress at the korean restaurant was a perfect bittersweet amuse-bouche.

for the most part, this is a day-long mooshy-sweet meet-cute between the rational scientific mind of a jamaican illegal immigrant facing imminent deportation and the hopeless romantic heart of a korean-american poet about to disappoint his parents (yeah, that old story). it's really fast-paced, served up in short, POV-switching chunks that alternate between our two young lovers, the people that will cross their path/alter their fate over the course of this single day, and some rather more dispassionate interjections from an unattributed, omniscient source popping in to drop knowledge about topics as varied as the multiverse or the evolution of eyeballs or why the african american haircare industry is almost entirely in the hands of korean-american immigrants. these facts interest me.

as for the rest, if you can embrace the fantasy of it, you will like the book more than me. (both ‘more than i liked it’ and also, probably, more than you would like me). i am an irredeemable curmudgeon full of practical concerns and i’m reading this thinking, “natasha girl, you better go home and pack your things right now instead of traipsing all across town with some stranger-danger boy!"

that same killjoy/practical part of me is impressed (but a little exhausted) by the fact that she’s able, in her last hours of living in america, to schedule so many official/adulty meetings (but not PACK or TELL HER PARENTS where she is). equally exhausting is all of their darting uptown, downtown, crosstown, uptown again etc and how does time even work in this book? because they are cramming in A LOT of activities for one day, especially since i know for a fact that the MTA is an unreliable beast. although this book also taught me that sometimes the MTA’s service disruptions occur so that fate can make love happen for other people. which is not cool. fate should stick to meddling with citibikes and cabs. the subway is for serious commuters, not romcom coincidences.

coincidence does play a huge and unrealistic role in this story, but the fact that it keeps being called out and dissected as something that is typically unrealistic and trope-y even though it is *really* happening to them in their *reality,* makes it more palatable as a device, because at least the book realizes how much of a cliché it is and isn’t trying to insult the readers’ intelligence by pulling a fast one or anything (LGM).

it also admirably resists its own momentum at times - there are opportunities to belly-flop into melodramatic teen love story mode and it (sometimes) refrains (usually when rational, reasonable natasha is driving the story). i was especially worried about how this one would end - i feared it would explode into some happily ever after 'teen love changes american immigration policy and also ends racism, hooray!' but it finds a better path, and even though i had to groan A BIT at the end because i am me, it wasn't as corny as it could have been.

which is much higher praise than i'd anticipated giving a mooshy YA romance, so there. growth.

i do not love YA romance, but i'm reading this for marieclaire.com’s all-lady-authors book club. let's see what happens!


come to my blog!
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,110 reviews8,031 followers
August 1, 2017
This could've so easily been another cliché, sappy teenage love story. But it was so much more than that. Nicola Yoon took the familiar elements from young adult contemporary novels—yes, even "insta-love"—and managed to create something original. I especially appreciated the chapters that broke the mold, that looked outside of the lives of our two main characters, Natasha and Daniel, and commented on the people they passed in the street or met during their whirlwind 12 hour romance. And I loved the ending.

Overall, a lovely and surprising read. I mean, I liked a YA contemporary romance? Definitely not something I would've expected. But hey, you never know until you try! And I'm really glad I tried this one.
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
568 reviews696 followers
June 21, 2017
It's Natasha last day in New York and she is scrambling to figure out a way to stop her family from being deported back to Jamaica. So when she meets Daniel the timing is a little inconvenient. Daniel the son of South Korean immigrants has always been an obedient son yet second best to his older brother Charlie. When his older brother is home from Harvard on probation the pressure on Daniel is only intensified. Daniel heads out that day to go to his interview for Yale, pursuing his preordained future as a doctor, a future he isn't even sure he wants. On his way to his interview Daniel sees Natasha and is captivated. Normally shy Daniel can't help himself from following her into a record store and then out and talking to her. Natasha has much more important problems on her mind and none the less is a girl who is focused on the concrete and real. She can't let herself believe in love at first sight and is skeptical of Daniel. As the two spend more and more time together that day though their mutual attraction only grows as the two try to figure out their uncertain futures.

This book was honestly so adorable and Daniel kills me like sweet and smart earnest boys are my weakness damn it and I'm in love with Daniel honestly. Charlie on the other hand made my blood boil and honestly how can anyone be so completely lacking in any redeeming value. I've known people like Charlie though so it's not like it doesn't happen. Also Natasha is amazing and just this whole book made me feel emotional invested and the whole time I was getting really agitated hoping that Natasha would end up getting a miracle and not get deported. I really enjoyed the complex family dynamics between all the characters as well, it was really well done. The ending was a little cheesy and felt like something out of a romcom but I guess the whole book is basically a romcom anyways so. I really enjoyed this and it was super sweet and I need to go lay down and mourn.
Profile Image for Heather.
379 reviews16.8k followers
February 10, 2017
It was beautiful.
It was magical.
It was heartbreaking.
It dealt with immigration, strained family life, racism, it had diversity
It was a beautiful, beautiful book.
Please listen to this book, I LOVED the audio version to pieces!
Profile Image for jv poore.
609 reviews202 followers
February 9, 2022
Ms. Yoon has taken the phrase “a lot can happen in one day” to whole new level.

Daniel is the son of Korean immigrants. His parents think he’s not Korean enough, while everyone else thinks he’s not American enough. He’s in New York for an entry interview for Yale.

Natasha is an illegal immigrant from Jamaica. Her family has been deported---scheduled to leave the U.S. that very night. She’s spending her last day in the United States desperately fighting her family’s deportation.

Natasha catches Daniel’s eye. He inexplicably follows her, almost unconsciously.
Their meeting is inevitable, the bond quickly formed illogical, yet undeniable.

But even a fast-paced story with compelling questions such as: “Do I go with the facts or the truth (curiously, these are not always the same)?” And sage advice such as: “It’s not up to you to help other people fit you into a box.” needs more than two characters.

One of the things that I loved most about this book was that Ms. Yoon demonstrated real-life ripples by sharing short stories about the supporting cast. For example, there’s a security check woman who doesn’t even speak to Natasha, despite having screened her several times in the recent past. Choosing this guard's line impacts what happens next with Natasha and later, when Natasha impulsively leaves a message for the security guard, it will change the guard’s life forever.

This is a fast-paced story with highs and lows and so very much to consider. It is about teens, trapped in their families. It’s about figuring out how to be who you are, without insulting who someone else wants you to be. It’s about preparing for the future, but living today.
Profile Image for Justin.
272 reviews2,245 followers
March 21, 2017
Ahhhhh!!! Why, Nicola Yoon, why?! Why am I reading your books in he first place? Why am I looking past the ridiculously sappy teen romance that litters the pages of your books and feverishly turning the pages? Is it the insanely short chapters? The story? The different points of view? The random science lessons? Why?!

I was skeptical at first. The plot summary on the inside jacket of the book almost made me throw up, and I got really dizzy from all the eye rolling. This book also takes on a more serious tone from the beginning. Yeah, it's all fun and young adult as all get out just like her last book, but this tackles some pretty heavy themes much more directly. Immigration, race, family dynamics, etc. are all mixed in with a love story that questions fate and nihilism along the way.

You've got al your typical "the universe brought us together" stuff here, and it's overboard at times, but I think what I enjoyed most was the relationships of the minor characters and how they contributed to the overall story. Yoon would step aside and dedicate a page or two to a seemingly random person, providing a brief account of their past or thoughts before diving back into Natasha and Daniel. It all felt kind of nice as an interlude from time to time, but these things often came back up al the way to the end.

The end was my favorite part of the book. I was hovering around two or three stars, but the last third of the book was fantastic. It really does reach a climax of sorts with all kinds of crazy things happening. That's vague on purpose. I don't wanna ruin anything.

And so, once again, I've tried my best to not like a Nicola Yoon book. I'm now 0-2 in succeeding. It's not perfect, but it's a great YA book to fly through. It has a very 500 Days of Summer vibe to me with teenagers. I guess you can sit JGL in there and give him a ponytail and it would work out alright. Or don't.

Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
695 reviews3,261 followers
February 7, 2017
Natasha and her family are undocumented immigrants; they're being deported from the US in twelve hours, so she's headed to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services building hoping to find a way to stay in America. Daniel is on the precipice of the prestigious future his parents have lined up for him whether he likes it or not, and he's on his way to a college admission interview with a Yale alum. When Natasha and Daniel meet for the first time in New York City, their paths align and their futures - once certain - spiral into infinite possible outcomes.

It's difficult to choose which is the more likable lead in The Sun is Also a Star. Both Natasha and Daniel have distinct personalities, a shared innocence, and uniquely different families who challenge them in varied ways. Natasha is Jamaican and Daniel is Korean, which further complicates their unanticipated attraction toward one another, particularly for Daniel whose parents want him to marry a Korean woman. Natasha and Daniel may be me more philosophical and wise than your average teenager, but they manage to come across as believable old souls.

People say these things to make sense of the world. Secretly in their heart of hearts, almost everyone believes that there's some meaning, some willfulness to life. Fairness. Basic decency. Good things happen to good people. Bad things only happen to bad people.
No one wants to believe that life is random.

Growing up and seeing your parents' flaws is like losing your religion. I don't believe in God anymore. I don't believe in my father either.

Natasha is highly pragmatic with a scientific mind. Daniel is a hopeless romantic and dreamer who loves writing poetry. Despite their diametric personalities, their chemistry leaps off the page.

"When are we doing the stare-into-each-other's-eyes thing?" I ask.
She rolls the very eyes that I want to stare into. "Later. After your interview," she says.
"Don't be scared," I tease.
"What's to be scared of? All you'll see is iris and pupil."
"The eyes are the window to the soul," I counter.
"Stuff and nonsense," she says.

Interspersed throughout the book are brief histories - backstories of secondary or tertiary characters - as well as chapters dedicated to scientific topics relevant to the story.

According to the multiverse theory, every version of our past and future histories exists, just as an alternate universe.
For every event at the quantum level, the current universe splits into multiple universes. This means that for every choice you make, an infinite number of universes exist in which you made a different choice.

The Sun is Also a Star is a dazzling teen romance in which opposites attract and love is challenged to defy universal odds.
Profile Image for Lainey.
261 reviews1,568 followers
August 26, 2016
Well hello favorite book I've read so far this year.

And also one of my favorite books of all time.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30,376 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.