This review and summary of The Sun is Also a Star by author Nicola Yoon has been adapted from two previous posts. First is the spoiler free review, followed by the spoiler full review and summary.
Spoiler Free Review
The Sun is Also a Star is a truly lovely story of love, romance, fate, and destiny. All while one party believes in none of the above. It’s 384 pages long but flies by in an instant.
Natasha is a Jamaican born immigrant living illegally in America, not by choice exactly, her parents brought her over and gave her the situation she strives to be out of.
Daniel is an American born of Korean immigrants. He believes in true love, fate, and all that other malarkey that Natasha dismisses through scientific reasoning.
Through complete happenstance Daniel and Natasha meet on the streets of New York on the day that she is to be deported. She doesn’t tell him that but does allow him to keep her company while he tries to get her to fall in love with him over the course of the day.
Natasha is me. I found her so ultimately relatable. She’s scientifically minded, practical, somewhat cynical, and always skeptical. Her infatuation with the universe through a scientific lens is infectious and I adore that Daniel sees that too.
Daniel is adorable. He is charming and passionate and has a way with words that even cracks Natasha’s tough outer shell. By the end of the book I fell in love with both of them.
I used to find romance stories to always be cheesy or laughable. I think now I can see the value in escaping into a story of pure optimism. I got lost in The Sun is Also a Star and finished it cover to cover in a weekend. I couldn’t wait to get to what I hoped would be a happy ending.
It’s nice every once in a while to give in to magic. It doesn’t have to be a hard fantasy novel with actual spells, it can be the magic found between two people who just have that special something. That chemistry that causes them to react and spark when they’re near each other.
Yoon has done a beautiful job giving us two unique characters with their own distinctive and real personalities and making it reasonable that they would give each other the time of day.
I loved that I never once questioned why these two young people should be together, it made sense. The world wouldn’t make sense with them not together! Alas, the book also teaches us that regardless of what should be, life goes on.
In addition to Natasha and Daniel’s story we are treated to a few side stories that show us you never really know what someone else is going through. That person who was rude to you on the street? There’s a story behind that and we get a glimpse into them throughout the book.
The Sun is Also a Star is a beautiful tapestry that redefines what it means to find the one.
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, you’ll see yourself in one of the characters, I guarantee.
The Sun is Also a Star Summary
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is a beautifully written book that will touch your heart whether you believe in true love and destiny or not. Whichever side of the fate line you fall on you’ll find something relatable in this story and more importantly, you’ll find a couple to root for.
Daniel is the son of Korean immigrants and has a total asshole of an older brother.
Natasha is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, and unfortunately is an illegal immigrant herself.
Natasha is getting deported today and it seems that there is very little left that she can do about it. But she’s going to try anything she can up until the very last minute.
Daniel is supposed to go to a Yale interview but he’s not really looking forward to it because he thinks that’s his parents’ dream and not his own.
On the way to his interview Daniel has an ominous train conductor who makes an announcement about how everyone on the train needs to find god. He’s not sure he really believes in god but he takes it as a sign nonetheless and vows to go where the universe takes him today.
As he steps off the train he sees Natasha and knows that she is what he’s supposed to follow. He follows her into a record store where they both witness the ex that cheated on her and his new girlfriend attempting to steal a record.
Daniel aids in getting them caught and Natasha appreciates the humiliation that is brought upon them but she is uninterested in talking to Daniel any further at this point.
He follows her outside of the store where he ends up saving her from getting hit by a drunk driver.
In a side chapter we learn that the driver is drunk because his daughter has just been killed. The Sun is Also a Star does a great job of filling us in on characters who only have passing relationships with the main characters. You never know what’s going on in a stranger’s life and what is motivating their bad (or good) behavior. We could all stand to be a little more forgiving.
They begin talking after the whole life saving incident and Daniel is falling fast for her. I absolutely love that he falls for her not only because she is pretty but because she’s smart and gets really excited about explaining her nerdy obsessions with him.
Natasha agrees to give Daniel one hour to make her fall in love with him based on a scientific study that he is vaguely aware of.
They talk and try to get to know each other but it’s time for Natasha to go to a meeting with an immigration lawyer and for Daniel’s interview so they part ways without exchanging contact information.
Natasha discovers that her lawyer has been in a car accident and their meeting has been postponed but her case may have merit. This is only here to give the reader some hope. It works.
Daniel decides to reschedule his appointment so that he can instead wait for Natasha, he’s not ready to part yet. So she finds herself excited to see that he’s still there when she leaves the office and it’s very exciting for us too.
They go to his dad’s store for an errand Daniel needs to run and they experience the most embarrassing situation imaginable because of Daniel’s jerk ass older brother.
Nevertheless they persist and carry on this fateful day to a Korean karaoke parlor. Daniel woos the hell out of Natasha with his swanky moves and voice and Natasha sucks horribly at singing. This is where I don’t relate to her, I’m great at singing.
Finally, they have their first kiss and it is explosive. Holy hell is it explosive.
After this she feels obligated to tell him that she’s leaving the country that evening and they have a big fight.
Rushing on this bad adrenaline Daniel races back to the store to give his brother a long overdue punch to the face.
Natasha goes back to the lawyer and he tells her there’s still hope.
Now they want to find each other but don’t know how so Daniel goes toward her lawyer’s office and Natasha goes to Daniel’s dad’s store. They end up passing each other on opposing trains without realizing it.
When Daniel gets to the lawyer’s office he realizes it’s also where his interview is and takes it as a further sign.
Natasha gets to the store and begs his brother for his phone number. He finally gives it to her and she calls him, they agree to meet at the law office.
They go to the roof and kiss some more and it’s filled with hope and optimism and delusions of true love and meant to be.
Daniel goes to his interview, which for some reason is with the immigration attorney, and through an odd and unethical conversation the lawyer admits that Natasha will not be able to stay after all. This exchange was one of the only problems I had with the book, seemed to push the fate envelope a little too hard.
Daniel rushes to break the news to Natasha before she has to hear it over the phone from the lawyer. They are both heartbroken and I am too.
They go to her house for the final hours and she ends up making peace with her family before they leave.
And leave she does. She gets on that flight and is deported to Jamaica. Cue tears.
Natasha and Daniel then proceed to live their lives for several years. They adjust to life in their respective cities without each other. Memories begin to fade and that day seems more like a dream than a reality.
Until by chance they find each other on the same flight and all those feelings come back like they were never gone. The End.
I loved this book. I loved the characters and the way it was written. I loved that it made me believe in them when that’s not something I normally do.
But more than anything I loved that it showed that they could live without each other. Time heals all wounds and sometimes relationships are short and bright instead of long and steady.
I am very happy that they found each other again in the end but with what I know from personal experience as well as how the world is portrayed by Yoon’s writing, they both would have found happiness again even if they didn’t find it with each other.
Yes, we want to believe in true love and the one, but if you don’t find the one or if you do but you lose them that doesn’t have to be the end of your story. There’s still more out there for you!
Life will continue to move forward and maybe just maybe it will push you back to where you wanted to be.
5/5 suns ☀☀☀☀☀
Update: I have since watched the movie adaptation and it is not very good. It changed the ending and lacks the chemistry of the book.
For more Nicola Yoon please check out the review of Everything, Everything.
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Buy it here: The Sun Is Also a Star