2018 Reading List: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Do you believe in love at first sight? How about falling in love in one day?

In The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon, Natasha and Daniel experience the romance of a lifetime – in the course of less than 24 hours.

Daniel is a poet and a dreamer. He thinks the world is beautiful and rich and often unexplainable. He believes in the power of love and the ability for the universe to bring people together. His older brother has made his life difficult. He is a Korean American, and his parents want him to go to college at Yale next year. He has an interview with an admissions counselor today.

Natasha believes in science and facts. She is 17 years old and wants to go to college to be a data scientist. To her, there is a reason for everything and there is always an explanation. Her best friend is currently touring colleges and she just got cheated on by her boyfriend. Her life seems pretty normal for a teenager, but there’s one problem. She’s an undocumented immigrant from Jamaica, and her family is being deported today.

Against the odds, these two teenagers meet and destiny seems to be on their side.

There’s something there between them. But Natasha tells Daniel not to fall in love with her. She doesn’t believe it’s scientifically possible anyway, but she sees something in  his eyes. Meanwhile Daniel says that they can play a game that’s scientifically proven to make people fall in love by asking each other personal questions.

For some reason, Natasha agrees. And they flit around New York City for the day, talking, answering questions, and running errands.

Believe it or not, they have chemistry. They fall in love fast and furiously, the way that 17-year-olds often do. They were strangers just hours ago and now they can’t imagine not knowing each other. They just met, but now they are planning their future together, because they believe they were made for each other.

I couldn’t help smiling at their love-drunk conversations and sappy proclamations, and their naive thinking that life and love could be that easy. It was a cute and nostalgic type of romance novel – the kind that makes you think back to your own first love with fond memories (despite whatever else may have happened in that time of teenage angst).

I never really believed Natasha would get deported. I was swept up, like they were, believing that love could conquer all things. But there was a jaded part of me reading their 17-year-old thoughts about love and believed they were frivolous and petty and young. That they couldn’t possibly know love. That there is more to life than just looking into someone’s eyes and calling it fate. Life and love can be complicated and messy and hard. But I was 17 and believed in love. I believed it was real. I was the same hopeless romantic, writing poems, drawing hearts, and believing in happily ever after. And look at me now – I married my 19-year-old love of my life.

Love is love is love. Maybe you are never too young to understand.

 

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