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#1 New York Times bestselling author Nicola Yoon is back with her second book, and just like Everything, Everything , it's an instant classic with a love story that's just as intense as Maddy and Olly's--get ready for Natasha and Daniel.
This book is inspired by Big History (to learn about one thing, you have to learn about everything ). In The Sun is Also a Star , to understand the characters and their love story, we must know everything around them and everything that came before them that has affected who they are and what they experience.
Two teens--Daniel, the son of Korean shopkeepers, and Natasha, whose family is here illegally from Jamaica--cross paths in New York City on an eventful day in their lives--Daniel is on his way to an interview with a Yale alum, Natasha is meeting with a lawyer to try and prevent her family's deportation to Jamaica--and fall in love.
Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn. Her first novel Everything, Everything was published in 2015 and became a New York Times bestseller.
(Bowker Author Biography)
Publisher's Weekly Review
Is it fate or chance that brings people together? This is the question posed in this impressively multilayered tale of a one-day romance featuring practical Natasha, whose family is facing deportation to Jamaica, and Daniel, a first-generation Korean American with a poet's sensibility. The teens' eventful day begins at a New York City record store, where they see someone shoplifting. It's the first of many significant moments that occur as Natasha desperately seeks aid to stay in America and Daniel prepares for a college interview with a Yale alum. Drawn together, separated, and converging again, both teens recognize with startling clarity that they are falling in love. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of every character she introduces, Yoon (Everything, Everything) weaves an intricate web of threads connecting strangers as she delves into the personal histories of her protagonists, as well as the emotions and conflicts of others who cross their paths. A moving and suspenseful portrayal of a fleeting relationship. Ages 12-up. Agent: Sara Shandler and Joelle Hobeika, Alloy Entertainment. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
New York Review of Books Review
In Yoon's second young adult novel (after the best-selling "Everything, Everything"), true love and physics combine. Daniel is a Korean-American teenager en route to a college interview. Though he dreams of becoming a poet, he feels it's his family duty to go to medical school. Natasha is a Jamaican girl who relies on science, and who's about to be deported. Yoon weaves brief narratives from bit players (an immigration lawyer in love with his paralegal, a just-barely-hanging-on security guard, a grieving drunken driver who almost runs down Natasha) and interstitial entries on topics like "Hair: An African-American History" into the overarching love story between Daniel and Natasha. They meet by chance one morning and find their worlds transformed by the end of the day. "The Sun Is Also a Star" is an enormous undertaking: an eclectic dictionary mashed up with "Romeo and Juliet" and the '90s rom-com "One Fine Day." But Yoon grounds everything in Daniel and Natasha's instant, vital connection (throughout the day they spend together they adorably employ the "36 questions to bring about love") and the conundrum that follows when they realize the universe has brought them together only to part them. It's a deep dive into love and chance and self-determination - and the many ways humans affect one another, often without even knowing it. THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES By Mindy McGinnis 341 pp. Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, $17.99. (Young adult; ages 14 and up) Your heart may still be pounding after you've finished this book. It is uncannily well timed to our current political situation and the outcry over the culture of normalized sexual violence, perfectly calibrated for letting people know what it's like to walk through society as a woman now - worrying about who might be following you, being careful not to drink something that might have been tainted by someone trying to take advantage. Alex Craft is a killer, but not because she wants to be. The animals she tends to at her local animal shelter would agree; so would her friend Peekay (for "Preacher's Kid"), and so would the popular-jock-with-a-heart Jack, the boy who can't help loving her. It's because in a world that has taken away Alex's older sister - who was raped and murdered by a man in their small town who was never convicted - she had to take matters into her own hands. Friendships and relationships ensue as the three head full-throttle into their adult lives. But a threat hangs over everyone. McGinnis, who dedicates her book to "the victims," examines this dichotomy of hope and violence, love and hate, with dexterity and grace. WHAT LIGHT By Jay Asher 251 pp. Razorbill, $18.99. (Young adult; ages 13 and up) Teenagers often lead divided lives. Some split time between parents and towns, or flit in and out of groups, sharing only the parts of themselves presumed to fit in each. For Sierra, a dual existence is a holiday tradition. Each year after Thanksgiving her family leaves their Christmas tree farm in Oregon, hauling trees to a lot in California to sell. For a month, Sierra's home is a trailer on the lot. She's reunited with a childhood friend, and she tries to ignore her flirtatious male co-workers . At the end of December, the family heads home, and the cycle starts anew. Except this year could be the last, for financial reasons. And then there's Caleb, a guy with a violent past whom, despite warnings from those around her, Sierra falls for. Asher's debut, "Thirteen Reasons Why," was a best seller for nearly a decade. "What Light" has been around just as long in concept, and it harks back to a simpler time of young adult storytelling, with its linear first-person narrative (just one!) and classic themes of forgiveness, hope and the power of true love. Even Caleb's violence feels innocent compared with acts of his peers in recent novels. But as with holiday traditions, there's something beautiful about a novel done the old way, particularly when there's enough heart to make you weep. HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE By Jennifer Niven 391 pp. Knopf, $17.99. (Young adult; ages 13 and up) What happens when a boy who can't recognize faces sees one he can't ignore? What happens when that face belongs to a girl formerly known as "America's Fattest Teen," a girl who had to be cut out of her home when, after her mother's death, she became too fat to leave it? Libby Strout weighs 351 pounds, down from 653. Returning to high school as a junior, she meets Jack, a master at fitting in, who has a secret: He has prosopagnosia, which means that every time he sees a face (including his girlfriend's and his mom's), it's new to him. He uses identifiers like ears that stick out to keep track of whom he's supposed to know. In the wake of a cruel prank, Jack reveals his face blindness to Libby. They end up in school counseling together, slowly connecting. Niven ("All the Bright Places") alternates between Jack's perspective and Libby's, ricocheting forward and backward in time. Whether the pair can be together is the question propelling the book - pretty standard fare, but Niven is adept at creating characters, and at saving the book's sight-and-blindness messaging from being cloying. Libby has survived not only her mother's death but also ridicule that would fell most adults, and her courage and body-positivity make for a joyful reading experience. Jack, a boy who desperately wants to see and finds himself able to do so in ways he didn't expect, provides a worthy counterpart. GIRL MANS UP By M-E Girard 373 pp. HarperTeen/HarperCollins, $17.99. (Young adult; ages 14 and up) "There are four of us dudes sitting here right now, and I kick all of their butts when it comes to video games - and I'm not even a dude," says Pen (for Penelope) Oliveira in Girard's debut novel. Her status as one of the guys means she's expected to help reel in hot girls for her best friend, Colby, an act she justifies because "maybe someday, when I finally man up, one of these girls could end up liking me instead." Pen knows who she is - the problem is other people. "I don't feel wrong inside myself," she explains. But her traditional Portuguese mom and dad criticize her for dressing like a "punk druggie" and lament that she has cut off her long hair. Strangers mock or menace her. Colby and the guys use and abuse her. Only her older brother, Johnny, truly gets her. Then she meets Blake, who is as interested in Pen as Pen is in her, and Olivia, Colby's ex-girlfriend, who listens without judgment and needs Pen's help. In them, Pen finds firmer ground to be herself. Girard's novel is compulsively readable, by turns wrenching and euphoric. Pen is an inspiration to anyone who's struggled to be understood, and a vital addition to the growing world of genderqueer protagonists. RANI PATEL IN FULL EFFECT By Sonia Patel 314 pp. Cinco Puntos, $11.95. (Young adult; ages 14 and up) One evening in 1991, 16-year-old Rani Patel, the only Gujarati Indian teenager on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, catches her father and a "barely out-of-adolescence home wrecker, making out." Her reaction is a gesture of mourning: She shaves off the hair that "flowed down my back like the river Styx." Not only has her father left her mother, he's left the daughter he's sexually abused for years. Rani pours herself into rap, finding heroes like LL Cool J and Queen Latifah, inspirations for her own slam poems. She joins a hip-hop crew, rapping as MC Sutra. The novel is punctuated by her raps, which express "the large and in charge person / I want the world to see." (These lyrics work for her character arc, but also have the effect of making you feel you're reading, well, someone's slam poetry.) Though suffering is at the core of this debut novel, it's also about living through pain by harnessing what brings happiness. And the dip into '90s nostalgia, not to mention the awesome Rani persevering and conquering as MC Sutra - but more important, as herself - makes reading all the slam poetry well worth it. JEN DOLL is the author of "Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest." Her first young adult book, "Unclaimed Baggage," will be published next year.
Horn Book Review
New York City high school senior Natasha believes in science and rationality. An undocumented immigrant from Jamaica, she and her family are facing immediate deportation thanks to her fathers DUI arrest. Daniel believes in destiny and poetry. Burdened with his Korean-immigrant parents expectations, he is appeasing them by applying to Yale, where he will study to become a doctor. But when Natashas and Daniels paths cross unexpectedly, and repeatedly, over the course of a day, Daniel is convinced: he is experiencing love at second sightthe feeling when you meet someone that youre going to fall in love with them. Soon, its a twelve-hour race against the clock: can Daniel get Natasha to fall in love with him before their time together ends? Can Natasha get the help of an immigration lawyer to stay her deportation? And what will happen if she really does have to leave the country that night? The teens alternating first-person narrations are fresh and compelling, and interspersed throughout are relevant third-person omniscient musings on various histories, from the past and future histories of some of the books secondary characters to the chemical history of love to a quantum theory of multiverses. Fans of Eleanor Park (rev. 5/13) and The Fault in Our Stars (rev. 3/12) are destined to fall for Daniel and Natasha as quickly as they fall for each other. kazia berkley-cramer (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.