I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.
I am always nervous before starting a new contemporary. I’ve come to accept that most contemporaries are not for me, but still the occasional contemporary book catches my attention and I venture into it with conflicting expectations.
I am happy to say that The Sun Is Also a Star is one of the few contemporary books I’ve liked so far! And when I mean I liked it, I mean I enjoyed every single word of it. And that’s a very satisfying feeling after having had bad experience with similar (on paper) books.
So, about the plot. It takes place within a day (a little more than 12 hours, excluding the epilogue) in New York City and it follows two main characters, Daniel and Natasha.
Natasha is 17 and about to be deported to Jamaica with her family. She is trying to use her last day on US soil to somehow change this, being the only one in her family that is actually going to be hurt by the deportation. She is a science girl, she believes in tangible, observable facts and I particularly liked this aspect of her personality. I am in fact that way myself, and it was refreshing to see a character like that (especially a girl!).
Daniel is also 17 and Korean American. His parents moved to the US before he and his brother were born and expect great things from both sons. In fact, Daniel is on his way to an interview to be able to be accepted into Yale, a future he doesn’t really want but doesn’t think is unavoidable.
The two meet and end up spending the day together. The way this book is written, we get both point of views alternatively, with the occasional point of view from people in their family or people they interact with. All point of views, even the very short ones, are meaningful and well-placed within the story.
So now you’re thinking, wait. Isn’t this supposed to be a romance? And it takes place within less than a full day? You’re telling me you’re giving 5 stars to a book that has insta-love? Um, I mean, I guess I am! But I swear it made sense to me! I can’t really explain it very well, but this insta-love didn’t bother me one bit and I actually found it very realistic.
I genuinely cared about the main characters and about their stories and their future. I’m not even ashamed (okay, a little bit) to say that I even cried a bit? But happy tears, don’t worry.
With that said, is this book for everyone? Probably…not. But it was definitely a book for me, and it gave me a few happy hours when I needed them.