The Sun Is Also a Star is the perfect feel-good book. Nicola Yoon takes readers on a couple’s journey through love, loss, and heartbreak. She even includes mini-chapters to elaborate on interesting theories and themes throughout the book.
Pick up this novel for a second and I promise you won’t want to put it back down.
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Meet the Stars of the Show
In, “The Sun Is Also a Star,” readers are introduced to Daniel and Natasha, two strangers whose paths may have never crossed, if not for a few chance encounters. Natasha is a Jamaican immigrant whose love for angsty music is almost greater than her suspicion of things that can’t be scientifically resolved. Daniel on the other hand, is a hopelessly romantic poet who is more than willing to take a chance on life. Guided by what he believes to be fate, God, or some higher reason, Daniel finds his way to Natasha and both of their lives are forever changed.
What I like most about Yoon’s writing in this novel, is that she presents a realistic juxtaposition of two very different points of view. Yes, the story is romanticized and slightly unrealistic, but it leads me to wonder how life would be if more people were open to taking chances like these: talking to strangers, trusting fate, and investing real emotions in hope filled afternoons.
Thinking Through Tone
The Sun Is Also a Star has this contemplative tone that threatens to suck you in with it’s words but pushes you away, instead assuming a more playful voice. Though there are traces of melancholy, desperation, and desire, none of the events are detailed to the extent that readers pass the brink of restrained emotion. In fact, regardless of all that occurs, the entire story takes a curious approach. It’s voice inches into various characters’ perspectives as it explores different corners of the human mind, and asks more questions than it answers, which keeps readers reading on.
Thoughts of The End
Ultimately, The Sun is Also a Star plays on the rhizomatic nature of our world. The concept of the rhizome refers to something with a multitude of outgrowths. Often it considers things or situations that result in a lot of interconnections and pathways that can be difficult to distinguish. It’s like social media: everyone has different circles, connections, and friends, but there are so many people and there is so much overlap, that after a while you can’t tell where it starts or ends. How do you define the link(s) that matter most?
Anyway, the word "rhizomatic" refers to things that are rhizome-like and it’s safe to say this world is a good example.
Thinking, and thinking some more
The Sun Is Also a Star reminds you of how small our world can really be. It reveals the truth we often overlook, that everything you have done has had an impact on the present moment: yours and others. Ergo, everything you do has a consequence. It’s all about what kind of effect you want to make in the world. Realistically, sometimes we can’t control the impacts our actions will make - even well-intentioned deeds can backfire in unexpected ways.
To end this section on a positive note, Yoon also reminds me of the beauty of moments when you try and fail to imagine your life without someone who has become special to you, such as a soulmate. You may not know when you meet them, but there's this point that's almost palpable, when you realize there's no going back. It's a nice, almost indescribable, feeling.
Yoon taps into the farthest reaches of her readers’ minds, luring them with the sort of questions they can’t seem to forget. Daniel and Natasha’s story leaves readers wondering about the beauty of first love and second chances, of forgiveness and consequence. Better yet, it leads us to consider the way our lives intertwine with others’ more than we may know.
If the present is the result of all moments past, then every decision you make is contingent upon all of the choices you have made before it. Even if fate can’t be proven and all these variables are random, you can’t deny the things that have happened and the ways they have come to be.
When describing his vision of God, Daniel says, “‘You know the way we feel right now? This connection between us that we don’t understand and we don’t want to let go of? That’s God. [...} God is the connection of the very best parts of us’” (Yoon).
And you know what? I don’t disagree.
I’d never thought of it that way, so maybe I need to work on my optimism. Because I would like to believe the connection we feel between us, the same bond that makes humans inherently empathetic and thoughtful, is the result of our connectivity through some universal life force that grounds us to and through each other. Maybe coincidences aren’t so coincidental after all.
Grab your own copy of The Sun Is Also a Star and see for yourself, what all the rave is about: