The Sun Is Also a Star

by Nicola Yoon

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The Sun is Also a Star is a 2016 novel by Jamaican-born novelist Nicola Yoon (author of the bestselling young-adult novel, Everything, Everything). The novel tells the story of Jamaican-born teenager Natasha Kingsley. Fate guides her to meet Daniel Bae, son of Korean immigrants. Natasha is scheduled to be deported that evening, and Daniel is scheduled to have an interview with an alumnus from Yale (where his parents want him to attend).

Before he sets out for his interview, Daniel—who narrates his own chapters—announces:

"I'm going to do whatever the world tells me to. I'm going to act like I'm in a goddamn Bob Dylan song and blow in the direction of the wind. I'm going to pretend my future's wind open, and that anything can happen." (33)

This attitude reveals Daniel's resistance to his parents' narrowly circumscribed notion of success. Daniel is a burgeoning poet, and his commitment to individuality demonstrated here situates him to meet the love of his life, Natasha.

After Natasha and Daniel almost immediately fall in love (after spending a blissful day together, sharing stories on matters of immigration and philosophy), Natasha tells Daniel, "We're not meant to be, Daniel. I'm an undocumented immigrant. I'm being deported. Today is my last day in America. Tomorrow I'll be gone." (189)

Natasha's pragmatic approach is evidenced elsewhere, when she states, "to be clear, I don't believe in fate, but I'm desperate." (5) Her worldview is remarkably different from Daniel's poetic one.

Natasha will experience a anagnorisis (revelatory discovery) when she encounters Daniel on a plane after a ten-year separation.

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