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The Sun is Also a Star–Cultures don’t have to clash

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The Sun is Also a Star

by Nicola Yoon

the-sun-is-also-a-starThe Sun is Also a Star is the story of two immigrant families, one Korean and one Jamaican. Legal Korean son meets illegal Jamaican daughter on her deportation day. Both struggle with their identity on a personal level and a cultural level.  There are also major conflicts within each family.

Most of the account is told within the scope of one day, but telling this story necessitates side trips into family history to discover motivations. There are no chapter divisions.  There are labelled breaks according to who is is narrating the story, Daniel or Natasha. Sometimes there are passages about minor characters or philosophy narrated in the third person.  This layout is initially slightly troublesome without chapter divisions, but as you are immersed in the storyline you realize how well this format works for this story.

The plot is engaging, the characters well developed, and the various settings reflect the cultural clashes.  Additionally there is an underlying and unifying theme exploring fate, coincidences, and multiple universes. If just one incident had occurred a little sooner or a little later, how would that have affected the rest of the day’s events?  It’s enough of a foray into philosophy and religion to attract a teen/young adult reader questioning their place in the order of things.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House UK) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

_________________________________________________________________

Rating: 5/5

Category: Teen & YA Fiction/Romance

Notes: Mild Language

Publication:  Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House)–November 1, 2016

Memorable Lines:

The impossible hungry mouth of her loneliness wanted to swallow her in a single piece.

“It’s not up to you to help other people fit you into a box.”

Sometimes your world shakes so hard, it’s difficult to imagine that everyone else isn’t feeling it too.

“This is the life you’re living. It’s not temporary and it’s not pretend and there’s no do over.”

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