Sunday, 8 January 2017

Review | The Sun is also a Star- Nicola Yoon

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that after my exams I treated myself to a new book! I haven't bought a book purely to read for enjoyment in a while, and I've been seeing Nicola Yoon's 'The Sun is also a Star' floating about on the internet for a while, so I thought I'd give it a go. Young adult usually isn't my genre, but I was really craving something that wasn't difficult to read and concentrate on, so it seemed like the perfect fit.

The Sun is also a Star follows two teenagers in New York over the course of one day- Natasha, an undocumented Jamaican immigrant facing deportation, and Daniel, a Korean-American who struggles to live up to his parent's expectations. I'm hoping to talk about this a bit more in a later post, but I really liked the fact that Nastasha and Daneil weren't the typical white americans than many young adult novels, and indeed literature in general seems to focus on. I liked reading about people who faced completely different issues to me, and it really opened my eyes to things such as the deportaion process that I was completely unaware of, and did so in an easy to understand and politically neutral way, which was really refreshing.

I also really liked the way in which the novel was structured. it was divided into short chapters of three of four pages maximum, making it really easy to read (and gave the opportunity to get lots of cups of tea whilst reading!). Each chapter switched in persepective, most were from Daniel or Natasha, but they also included their parents, waitresses, security guards, lawyers and also some historical and cultural explainations. I liked the way this broke the narrative up, stopping it from being too intensely focused on the two main characters while the cultural explainations helped me to understand some of the issues they faced which otherwise would have gone over my head.

As it follows the events of one day, I found it really engaging- I wanted to know what was going to happen next. However, as much as I wanted to believe that everything that happens in the novel could occur in one day, I really couldn't. Without giving anything away, I found it really hard to believe that a relationship between two people, romantic or not, could develop that quickly, and so I found it a little unrealistic.

I was also reminded why young adult fiction tends not to be for me- it was all a little pretentious and instalove-y. There was a lot of sitting about, drinking coffee, talking about poetry listening to angsty music and trying to figure out the meaning of life, which really gets on my nerves. I know some people love it, but that kind of thing is not for me- I find it unbelievable and annoying.

That aside, I did really enjoy reading 'The Sun is also a Star', it made a nice change to hefty classics. I would recommend it if young adult is your thing or you'd like to read more diversely this year!

What are you reading at the moment?
E x


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