After a couple weeks consideration, I brought my rating down to a 3. As much as I enjoyed THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, I can sit there and think about the book and not give you a specific scene that really stunned me. Diversity aside, TSIAAS was a clockwork novel that followed basic romantic tropes. The scientific aspect vs. the artistic/romantic aspect of love did engage my interest, but the follow-through regarding character development and plot became unrememberable.
The aspects of interconnectivity in the universe where fate and “everything happens for a reason” was quite a cliché, despite that it is the whole premise of the novel. You know that Daniel and Natasha are going to meet, that they’re going to become romantic. It’s basic and predictable. especially in regards to characters that got their own chapters whom I did not truly find vital to the story’s outcome. Honestly, if they were retracted from the book nothing would be lost or gained.
I knew going into this book that I would have a tough time taking in the instalove aspect of Daniel and Natasha’s relationship, but I was reading TSIAAS both for fun and to see what the hype was all about. Truth be told, I find the hype to be nothing but hype. While the novel started off strong, I found it blanched out come the intersection of Daniel and Natasha’s stories, and all the secondary character arcs that popped up unexpectedly did not quell those bland moments.
Aside from that, I was happy to learn more about Jamacian and Korean culture from this novel, and the issue of identity whether you are undocumented or first-generation in America. That was what really stuck true in this book. The real unsung heroes are given voices and a glimpse into the culture and life behind learning that there are expectations set in place and that culture and nationality, even though they are two different things, are critiqued and used to verify ones self-worth whether in the home, in the community, or in society as a whole. Where core values set by parents who struggle to make a living as immigrants in America, trying to achieve the “American Dream”, want what’s best for their children, even though what’s best varies from person to person, generation to generation. That following dreams and leading the life you want can be dictated by the pressures of familial and cultural expectations and expose tension and strain in minority groups around America. That was what shined and educated me a little bit more, that is what I was expecting and received when reading.
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
A Young Adult novel
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
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?