Once upon a time at Target, I saw an ad for a movie based on a book. I wanted to see the movie, so I bought the book. The main idea is boy meets girl, they fall in love, girl is about to get deported, drama, drama, drama. All this is in the movie trailer, so it’s not really a spoiler. Let us review The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.
Before we get too far into the story, understand that this book is not a clean one. There is some heavy swearing (including the f-word...several times), and there are strong references to sex, even though there technically isn’t any.
The Sun Is Also a Star is fascinating. Ms. Yoon’s writing style is compelling, and she shows that people’s actions are deeply influenced by their own life experiences. I’m reminded of the adage “people aren’t against you; they’re for themselves.” This both negatively and positively affects the characters in the book. The book isn’t told in only the main characters’ voices. You see other people and their viewpoints, their lives, their experiences. These add depth to the story and help you understand why things happen the way they do.
The problem with this book is the ending. I guess it makes sense, but it’s unsatisfying. I will post spoilers below for those who want them, but I can’t really explain my distaste without giving away the ending. Let’s just say this: I will probably see the movie, but...I won’t be rereading the book.
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
At the end of the book, Natasha does, in fact, get deported. She loses her chance at staying in America thanks to a married immigration lawyer’s prioritization of getting in his (not-his-wife) secretary’s pants over helping a girl stay in the country she knows and loves. I’m not trying to spark a conversation about immigration (although this book does), I’m just stating facts that I found upsetting. Bonus, once Natasha is back in Jamaica, she and Daniel don’t see each other for ten years. TEN YEARS before they reunite. I get that they were high school students during their early romance, but still. TEN YEARS. It almost felt like Ms. Yoon just wanted to finish the book and stopped building the story.