Book & Movie Review: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (+ a visit to the set?!)


After reading and enjoying Everything, Everything a long long while ago, I added The Sun is Also a Star to my TBR almost immediately. But like many books, it got lost in the list, and I didn’t get around to it until fate stepped in a pushed it to the very top.

As I previously mentioned, I was in NYC last summer for an internship. It just so happened that I was walking to work one day when I noticed these funny little yellow paper signs posted on all of the parking meters. Upon closer inspection, they were notices that street parking would be unavailable for the next two days for the filming of The Sun is Also a Star.

Being the book nerd I am, the name was immediately familiar. What incredible luck that a YA book-to-movie adaptation would be filming on the street I work on?! Crazy! So, of course, I was outside on every break I had, went to work crazy early just to catch a glimpse of filming, and I even got up the courage to talk to the incredible Yara Shahidi while she was on a break! She was so kind and genuine and inspiring to chat with, even for only a few minutes. Charles Melton was too intimidating to go up to because I mean, have you seen him? Heartthrob status!

I was totally that weird person that was standing there for 2 hours just watching them. I even got asked by a Production Assistant if I was a background extra (to which I responded, “No, should I move?” and she said, “No, you’re fine. Just don’t make direct eye contact with the camera.“)!

Long story short, this occurrence made me rush to the bookstore and buy a copy of the book immediately.

The Book


The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Published November 1, 2016, by Delacorte Press.

YA > Contemporary


Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

I’m writing this almost a year after reading so my brain will be a little fuzzy, but bear with me…

I absolutely devoured this book! Immediately after I started reading, I was swept away by the characters, story, romance, and just the general subject of fate itself.

Of course, I liked the characters. But I was enthralled more by the concept of the story than the characters themselves. Fate is such an abstract topic that I thought Nicola Yoon found a way to beautifully illustrate through not only the main characters interactions but also the numerous side characters as well. There are interjectory chapters that give backstory to those side characters, and although they are seemingly less important to the main storyline, I found those chapters to be the ones that really made the book. The connectedness between every character really brought out the feeling of fate always being at play.

I can’t not acknowledge the romance. For a relationship that took place over such a short amount of time, I was happily surprised! Once again relating back to fate, these characters interactions were written in a way that made it clear they were what each other needed at the time. A very real depiction of a happenstance romance!

Also, the nuance with which topics such as immigration, deportation, and race were handled was wonderful! Such a heavy topic was made lighter without at all removing the seriousness of stories like Natasha’s.

Overall, this book was super emotional, heartfelt, and remains extremely relevant. Tackling such topics through the lens of romance made the book much more approachable for someone like me who isn’t necessarily the first to pick up a book about tough subjects. The added fact that I got to read this while I was in NYC made certain moments extra relatable and magical to read!

I would highly recommend this book to those that love YA romance, are interested in dipping their feet into books that relate more to relevant and difficult subject matter, or just like reading about fate and how it brings people together!

The Movie

*Skip to 1:25 in the trailer to see the scene I watched be filmed!

The first thing that immediately struck me about this film was how beautifully shot it was. The aerial views, angles, and close-ups really bring a magic to the setting of New York, and highlighting the perfection of the casting of Natasha and Daniel.

Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton became Natasha and Daniel. After watching numerous interviews with them, it’s clear they are so much like their characters in real life that it’s almost not acting. Their chemistry was electric.

If you’re not a believer in fate, this movie will make you become one. The combination of the soundtrack, beautiful shots, splicing of clips, and just outright incredible acting, make the film beautiful and emotional and layered.

It follows the book so closely, but the one thing I missed was the detail of secondary characters. I understand including so many secondary storylines would be near impossible to pull off in the film, but those extra characters stories being intertwined as they are in the book would have just solidified the magic of real life serendipities.

The epilogue was changed slightly from the book, but I actually enjoyed this one more, for reasons I won’t spoil. All I’ll say is, it felt like more of a Daniel ending whereas the book seemed more Natasha!

All in all, I laughed, I teared up, and I was left with the feelings of hope and magic that we are destined for the moments that come to us. Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes outcomes of fate aren’t immediately clear, but it’s all meant to be.

Do you believe in fate? What’d you think of the book and its movie adaptation?

2 thoughts on “Book & Movie Review: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (+ a visit to the set?!)

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