I promise, I’m not a Grinch.
I do believe in true love. That despite our natures, we can stay with one person most of our lives.
After Holding Up the Universe, I decided to look at other contemporary YA Fic and saw that everyone was abuzz about Nicola Yoon’s new book. Geez, even John Green recommended this book a couple of weeks ago.
I actually didn’t get an ARC of The Sun is Also a Star at BookCon because of how quickly the book went.
All this build up, and know what I got? Insta-love on acid.
Our story focuses on twelve hours with Daniel and Natasha as they fall in love in New York City. Natasha is trying to save her family from deportation that night, while Daniel ponders about the future his parents have laid out before him.
Daniel crosses paths with Natasha and claims this chance meeting is from ‘the Universe’ or whatever bullshit word fits.
I can buy two people having a bond in a few hours, what I hate is a character repeating over and over that they are ‘meant to be’. Also, Daniel trying to convince the skeptic Natasha that they can totes fall in love in a day.
Actually, there’s a lot of lines from Daniel they made me not only groan out loud, but also roll my eyes. My sappiness tolerance level is low, and within a hundred pages Daniel pole vaulted right over my patience.
I was far more interested in how this chance meeting was affecting their separate personal arcs than the parts that they were together.
Natasha’s personal story was the saving grace of this book for me. I genuinely liked Natasha as a character and I thought her family story was really compelling and heartbreaking. She’s reasonable, practical, and loves science! I liked that she stayed true to her character throughout, but still wanted to see if Daniel could move her. Skeptical, but not hardened.
As much as I rag on Daniel, at least Yoon gives him a solid background and explains his zany nature.
Daniel’s a poet, but his Korean parents want him to go to Yale and become a doctor. The pressure rises when his older brother gets academically suspended from a prestigious school.
When Daniel meets Natasha it’s during his search for a ‘sign from God’. Natasha is just a distraction from the grown-up choices he needs to make. Bonus point for the book: Natasha 100% calls him out on that bullshit.
The structure of the book is interesting, with a back and forth narrative between the two leads, like a Jennifer Niven book. Yoon turns up the dial though, as she also adds small narratives from the people they run into throughout the day. In between all these vignettes are small histories of big subjects as they relate to the plot.
Some of the vignettes worked for me, but most didn’t. I think Yoon should have kept the ones about the families and ditched the rest (also keep the histories, lots of great info!). The families’ stories were heartbreaking and gave much needed information about the two leads. All the strangers’ stories made this book feel like low-rent Crash (the movie).
I think I also disliked them because one the stranger’s stories links up to the epilogue. *Sigh* That epilogue…
So there’s been a lot of crazy coincidences throughout the book, some that almost pushed me to the edge, mostly because Daniel would go on and on about ‘THE UNIVERSE’ and ‘MEANT TO BE’.
Nothing made me want to punch something more than how this book ended. It is Serendipity level silly (do people still watch that movie?).
Before the rage machine comes at me, I know this is a beloved book right now. I understand why, and honestly if you think this book is up your alley, you should go for it.
This book was just not for me, so many personal pet-peeves were present throughout. For goodness’ sakes, there’s a Flash Mob!
I still see the value of The Sun is Also a Star and that it has touched many people, which is needed after the past few weeks. I just honestly was more moved by Natasha and her family story than the ‘love’ story.
But just in case: