Yoon, Nicola. The Sun Is Also a Star. Delacorte Press, 2016. $18.99. ISBN 9780553496680. 344 pages. Grades 9+. P9Q8
Nicola Yoon’s second novel, The Sun Is Also a Star, has many similarities to her first novel Everything, Everything, from which Yoon enjoyed tremendous success. Both contain intelligent young women overcoming unfortunate circumstances while involved in ill-fated romantic relationships. While Yoon’s character in Everything, Everything is the victim of a rare disease, Natasha, the lead female from The Sun Is Also a Star, suffers from a more timely handicap—she is an undocumented immigrant. The majority of the story takes place on the day Natasha’s family is slated to be deported back to Jamaica, following her father’s DWI arrest. On her way to the immigration lawyer’s office, she meets Daniel, the son of Korean immigrants. After mere hours of interaction, the youths embark on a serendipitous journey that navigates racism, gender, public policy, and the idea of America as a cultural contradiction. Written in alternating chapters from various characters’ perspectives, the novel reveals that our personal realities aren’t always easy to interpret through superficial examination alone. In fact, The Sun Is Also a Star imparts several convenient insights leading the reader to conclude that our fellow humans are more complex than they seem.
Verdict: Yoon’s second novel will be at least as successful as her first. Many valuable “lessons” are supplied to readers in the accessible guise of a teenage love story. I recommend it to high school readers.
February 2017 review by Lillian Curanzy.
[Editor’s note: The Sun Is Also a Star was recognized as a 2017 Michael L. Printz honor book.