Romance novel seems better than average but turns out exceptionally ordinary


Shelby Foster

In “The Sun is Also a Star,” two unlikely teenagers with very different lives, meet in the streets of New York City where their lives change forever. People who enjoy this novel by author Nicole Yoon, should also check out her other novel “Everything, Everything.”

Dana Gould, Staff Writer

While most cheesy, boring, romance stories are long and drawn out, “The Sun is Also a Star” is much different. Instead of the habitual lengthy romance story, this novel encompasses the entire plot of a normal romance story into a single day. That means one day to meet, fall deeply in love, have a dreadful fight, make up, and realize everything will be okay. Although the premise of an entire romance story occurring in one day may seem intriguing at first glance, once the words are actually written on the pages it is much less impressive.  

Natasha Kingsley is a high school junior that believes in science and facts as opposed to fate and impossible dreams. Her undying belief in evidence and proof works well for her, until her father is discovered as a illegal immigrant in America. Natasha’s carefree world changes in an instant while the threat of deportation hangs over her head as it will take more than science to keep her from returning to Jamaica. While Jamaica was once her home, it is now foreign and uninviting compared to the life she created for herself in America.

Daniel, a hopeless romantic, dreamer, and poet, lives with his two Korean parents who have extremely high expectations of him that he always seems to meet. His parents desperately want him to go to Yale University and become a successful doctor, while he wants nothing more than to become a poet. It seems that no matter what he wants for himself, Daniel is destined to become the doctor his parents want him to be, until he meets someone that makes him realize there is more to life than just good grades and becoming successful.

Instead of the habitual lengthy romance story, this novel encompasses the entire plot of a normal romance story into a single day. ”

— Staff Writer Dana Gould

On the day of Daniel’s important interview with Yale and the day Natasha is being deported back to Jamaica, their paths cross on the busy streets of New York City. Daniel is immediately infatuated with Natasha and voices his infinite love for her. He claims their meeting was not a coincidence because they are destined for other.

Daniel has less than one day, twelve hours, to convince Natasha that true love, destiny, and fate all exists and that the relationship between the two of them is one that matters.

This concept of an entire romance story that takes place in one day, continues to be interesting throughout the exposition of this book. The interested, intrigued feeling slowly fades away a little while after reading the exposition as the plot seems poorly planned out. This concept is interesting and would work  well for a short story, but there is not enough sustenance in the plot to stretch it into an entire novel.

Not only is the plot cheesy and under-developed, but the main characters are ineptly written. While the backstories of the characters can be relatable to an extent, the characters themselves are not because the author does not expand on the characters’ original personalities other than what is present in the exposition. Natasha and Daniel represent beliefs that are on the extreme end of the spectrum. There is no middle ground, it is either a dreamer or realist. Most people are somewhere in between these two beliefs as opposed to straight one or the other.

The first half of the book is not horrible as the writing proves decent and the plot has not yet  fallen apart. A little less than half-way through the book, this novel reaches a point that no matter how great the writing itself is, it cannot accommodate for the poorly-planned plot any longer. From there the story only becomes increasingly more cheesy and sporadic.

The one thing this book does extremely well with was the switching viewpoints between Natasha, Daniel, and a few minor characters. There are many novels nowadays that contain the switching perspectives, but this book gives small glimpses into the lives of the side characters Daniel and Natasha interact with such as a janitor, a lawyer, or their parents. These brief looks into the lives of minor characteristics makes the book seem more realistic because it shows people that other people have challenges to face as well.

Along with these interjecting mini-stories about some of the minor characters in the story are short stories that touch on Jamaican or Korean cultures or the backstory of Daniel’s and Natasha’s parents. This adds to the story as a whole by providing information that changes how the characters are perceived.

Aside from the switching viewpoints and short histories, the rest of the book is absolutely mediocre. This is not one of those books that is so awful someone cannot mentally complete it, but it is definitely not one that is impossible to set down either.

Apart from the horrible plot and undeveloped characters, this novel makes the reader question why they read it in the first place. The plot was disappointing, the characters were not relatable, and there was nothing remotely important or helpful to take from it. One of the only things the reader could capture from this book is the idea that romance stories should not occur within one day.