Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 279
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is a young-adult novel told from multiple character perspectives that documents the romance between an undocumented black Jamaican girl, Natasha Katherine Kingsley, and first-generation Korean immigrant, Daniel Jae Ho Bae. Yoon explores the budding relationship of the two protagonists from different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds and how it impacts the people around them.
Natasha’s family is being forced to leave the U.S. because her father is detained while drunk-driving and reveals to the police that they are in the country illegally. Though her family is reluctantly accepting of its impending deportation, Natasha meets with an immigration lawyer, hoping to delay or reverse the decision.
Daniel’s passion is in writing poetry and the creative arts. However, he feels pressured to attend an interview with a Yale alumnus to satisfy his parents dream from him to pursue the medical field at the prestigious Ivy League institution. In a case of serendipity Daniel meets Natasha while she is on her way to see another immigration lawyer.
On the surface, Natasha and Daniel are clearly mismatch. She is more practical, while he is the romantic dreamer. She is an undocumented Jamaican immigrant with very little recollection of her life on the Caribbean island; he is the son of South Korean small business owners. Yet, the sincerity and audacity of their conversation and interaction with one another belie their external differences. Natasha and Daniel’s relationship serves as a reminder of the power of love, courage, and a spirit of independence to effect positive change in the lives of others, and not to just change lives but sometimes to save one.
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