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Book Reflection & Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

A few months ago, I mindlessly picked up a book called The Sun Is Also A Star. Well, not so much “picked up” as clicked through and found it on Audible.

Anyway, I wasn’t expecting much. I saw that it was by Nicola Yoon who, if you don’t know, wrote the novel Everything, Everything which was released as a film adaptation a couple of years ago. So initially, it was just another cute young adult (YA) novel to fill up my time. That changed quickly.

You see, I related to this character down to my very NAME. The Sun Is Also A Star follows a young Jamaican immigrant named Natasha whose family is about to be deported. As she attempts to prevent herself and her family from being ripped away from everything she knows, she meets a Korean boy named Daniel, whom she falls in love with.

Okay, I didn’t meet some hot Asian guy in New York City while fighting to save my family. However, I do know how it feels to come from a family of immigrants.

I know the strife of being a black woman in the U.S. I know the fear of my mother relaxing my hair or burning my neck with the hot comb. I know how it feels to lose someone. I’m sure I’m not the only one. The Sun Is Also A Star is not only relatable but it’s timely, covering issues such as immigration, race, and gender with this overarching theme of existentialism and a person’s place in the world.

Despite all of this, what really pulled me into the story was Natasha’s temperament. The way she initially shows no interest in love or, as the book states, “is so passionately against passion.”

She is a person of science and reason. While she isn’t always exactly like you, she manages to curb your perspective. This book is no mere romance story about a submissive woman being swept away by her knight in shining armor.

This book is about an intelligent, strong young woman who breaks the tropes of the over-romanticized child or the ignorant, angry black woman. My girl wears her fro and pink headphones with pride while simultaneously schooling you on the paradoxes of time travel.

So, while I did like Everything, Everything and its incorporation of people of color (POCs) into the YA genre, I think that The Sun Is Also A Star is a product of its own. I am even more excited to find that Grownish star, Yara Shahidi will star next to Riverdale’s Charles Melton in a film adaptation of The Sun Is Also a Star.

It is not an easy thing to capture the spirit of a novel, but I am hopeful that this adaptation will accurately depict the extremely relevant issues discussed as well as this badass woman of a character.

Natasha Hawkins

Salisbury '20

My name is Natasha Hawkins and I am currently a Junior at Salisbury University! From a young age, I loved to read and write. If only for a little while, it would help me take my focus away from the obstacles of life. Theatre and film have also done this for me. I hope to combine my skills as a writer, my perspective as an African-American woman, and my interests in theatre and film to inform and entertain other people. 
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