This month I read my first book for my 2017 Reading Challenge. I started it off with the #diversebooks category, for which I chose The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. Let me tell you, I was extremely pleased with my choice for this category.
#diversebooks are books for children and young adults featuring diverse characters. I didn’t really know where to start with picking a book for this category, so I checked out Modern Mrs. Darcy’s post on her picks for the 2017 Reading Challenge. The Sun is Also a Star was one of her picks, and a book that I had already heard mentioned a fair bit, so this was a no brainer for me.
The Sun is Also a Star takes place during one day, where seemingly by fate, two completely opposite teenagers meet. Daniel is a child of Korean immigrants, who are pushing him to get an Ivy League education and one day become a doctor. Natasha is an illegal immigrant from Jamaica, who is being deported that same day. Daniel is a dreamer. He wants to become a poet, and believes in things like fate and love at first sight. Natasha believes in science. Daniel is convinced that fate brought them together, and Natasha believes it’s just a random coincidence, and doesn’t mean anything. On paper, they have nothing in common. Despite all that, they quickly begin to fall in love.
The diverse aspect of this book is obvious. Both of the main characters are immigrants, but their stories could not be any more different. Daniel is struggling with parents who don’t understand that his life will not be the struggle that theirs was. Natasha is dealing with the much more serious prospect of deportation. But under all this, they are really just normal teens, who aren’t sure what they want to do with their lives, who have families they don’t always get along with, and who are experiencing their first “real love”.
This book was beautifully written, and I loved the contrast with the two main characters. Their main differences were not related to race at all, but their completely different way of approaching life. The best part of the story was in fact the setting, New York City. It was so approriate, that these two teenagers should live in such a diverse city, where they can celebrate their culture but ultimately be American.
So if you are a fan of Young Adult literature, beautiful writing, slightly cheesy love stories, and NYC, then I can guarantee this book is for you.