I was so excited when I saw that Nicola Yoon had a new book out; I really enjoyed Everything Everything when I read it at the end of last year and get newest one sounded just as heartwarming. The story revolves around Natasha, who is an undocumented Jamaican immigrant, and Daniel, son of Korean immigrants, and the day they spend together after meeting in a record shop in New York. The problem? It’s Natasha’s last day in America after a failed attempt to stop her family’s deportation.
I’m honestly not generally a romance fan, just as a personal preference, but there’s something so lovely about the way Nicola Yoon wrote this one. Natasha and Daniel fall in love over the course of a day, but it doesn’t feel forced or shallow. The whole ‘science experiment to fall in love’ thing is a little tropey, but it works in the context of the characters who, incidentally, don’t fit in to the usual stereotype of romantic girl and sciencey boy.
Which leads me nicely to the representation in The Sun Is Also A Star. I can’t, and wouldn’t want to, speak over others on the validity of representation in the book, nor am I qualified to pass judgement on it. However, my understanding from reading commentary on the characters on Twitter is that the representation is great and the characters a welcome interracial relationship. Personally, I liked reading a book about the children of immigrants in America, especially as their experiences were not homogenous. I haven’t read enough books humanising undocumented immigrants, in particular.
So overall a sweet YA romance with an important underlying plot about the treatment of immigrants as somehow ‘other’ in America.