Nicola Yoon creates a story that weaves together lives that collide by chance and shows how we are all interconnected. The Sun Is Also A Star is one of my favorite reads in 2016. It is written for teens but adults will love it too. Daniel is the son of Korean immigrants. He is on his way to an interview to get into what his mother calls “second best school” also known as Yale. Natasha’s family is set to be deported that night to Jamaica. Her father’s DUI made the family’s undocumented status known and Natasha is trying one last time to halt the deportation. Because a security guard takes too long getting Natasha through the line, she misses her last chance appointment but gets a shot with another attorney. While killing time before her appointment, she collides with Daniel. Daniel has been looking for signs ever since the subway driver evangelized to the passengers. Did this happen for a reason? Then he sees the dues ex machina jacket Natasha is wearing and follows her because he thinks this might be a sign. The two meet and an adventure begins. Is this by chance or destiny? As the two get to know each other, Daniel explains that there is a science to falling in love. He thinks he can make Natasha fall in love with him. Natasha is a scientist and is skeptical. The story unfolds into beautiful character development as we get to know these two exceptional characters. It is told in point of view with many other perspectives from side characters and theories. I couldn’t put it down and was deeply moved at the end. I dare you not to cry during this one. Good luck!
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
How are these characters similar or different?
Discuss how we touch each others lives without knowing it.
Discuss when Natasha says: “Human beings are not reasonable creatures. Instead of being ruled by logic, we are ruled by emotions.”
Discuss when Natasha observes Rob and Kelly and thinks, “He’s very persuasive, and she wants to be persuaded.”
Discuss when Daniel says that Natasha makes him think his life could be extraordinary.
What do you think about the science behind falling in love?
Read out loud the discussion about culture and what people think on pages 156 & 157. Discuss.
Discuss Natasha’s thoughts about hair on page 130.
Discuss when Natasha says, “It is not up to you to help other people fit you into a box.” (pg. 158)
Discuss how the waitress feels about culture and why she felt that Natasha should use the chopsticks.
Discuss their fight in the park. (pgs 192-195)
Discuss when Daniel says, “We tell ourselves there are reasons for the things that happen, but we’re just telling ourselves stories. We make them up. They don’t mean anything.”
Discuss the ending and how the security guard fits into it.