Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Books I've Loved: The Sun is Also a Star

I really enjoyed this book, but at the same time I had issues with it.

I loved the characters.  They were both unique and interesting and had something real and important they needed to do that day.  I liked the way their family histories weighed heavily on them and how challenging they found it to get out from under that weight.  And also how both feel American yet live with families who aren't and still cling to their homeland traditions and ideals.

I just wasn't so enamored with the insta-love thing.  I know you can develop a crush on someone in an instant.  I know sometimes a few hours in someone's company can feel like a lifetime.  But love just doesn't happen in a heartbeat.  Real love is something that grows over time as you get to know someone and understand them.  Real love is when you know their horrible habits but you can live with them because the other parts of that person overwhelm their cutting their toenails in bed.

So while I really liked Natasha and Daniel's adventures, I didn't buy that Daniel was in love with Natasha from the moment he first saw her.  The book tries to qualify the insta-love by having Daniel trying out a theory on Natasha.  A theory that requires a series of questions is asked, then the couple stare into each other's eyes for 4 minutes.  Apparently after that, you're in love.

Uh… no.  Don't think so.

But that aside, there are lots of things to enjoy in this book.  It's told in short chapters from the POV of each of the main characters, with little asides about their family members, scientific theory and a variety of other things relevant to the story.  It's quirky, fun and very enjoyable.

The book takes place over a single day yet it isn't short.  These two manage to fit a lot into that day!  And it's sweet.  If you can suspend your disbelief enough to swallow the insta-love, the growing romance is sweet and heartbreaking in equal measure.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?


  1. There was an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny and Sheldon did the Q&A, and staring into each other's eyes thing.

    This book is on my TBR list. It's good to know that you enjoyed it...for the most part, anyway. :)

    1. I was going to mention that!

      Although, because the book takes place over a single day, the whole "love" thing probably an easy mistake to make. Sometimes there does seem to be an instant connection. But as you said, things can just as easily change when you learn more about them.

      ...That's why the test didn't work between Sheldon and Penny. Because they already know far too much about each other. Although I contend they would make the perfect couple in the show. In some ways they already are.

  2. Ugh, insta-love! I'm pretty sure I've complained about it before. It's nice that it has some characterization to it, unlike some other insta-love books I could name.