The story of a girl, a boy, and the universe.
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 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 read a lot of books and the ones I always call ‘guilty pleasure’ books are the ones exactly like this. Read always in less than a week, frequently in one or two days, with little oh’s and ah’s in all the purposely cute/unrealistic scenarios, and sometimes, sometimes they can get me to shed a few tears. This one did not have me shedding tears, but it got pretty close. I’m more of a person who is like, “yas, make me cry,” rather than, “no. I will not cry right now.” So me without tears at the end of this one was not me refusing to cry. It was – make my cry, goddammit. Why didn’t you make me cry?
Speaking specifically in terms of Nicola Yoon, I preferred Everything, Everything (now a movie with Nick Robinson!!!). Comparing Nicola Yoon to John Green, Everything, Everything is equivalent to The Fault in Our Stars and The Sun is Also a Star is more like Paper Towns.
For example, the first two (Everything, Everything and The Fault in Our Stars) have sick girls, an adventure, and both of them know it’s not going to end well upon going in to the relationship. The Sun is Also a Star and Paper Towns have one big day, one big adventure, and the male character doesn’t know how it is going to end. The Sun is Also a Star being that Daniel doesn’t know Natasha is going to be deported. Paper Towns being that Quentin doesn’t know that Margo is going to leave. Both the male characters go into the situation thinking something else will come out of it when the girl thinks it will end completely not that way. Quentin thinks Margo sent him on a search to find her. Daniel thinks him and Natasha are meant to be and that everything has led him to find her.
Okay, lets get into the nitty-gritty.
The writing style. I loved it. Quick, liked the change of POV between Natasha and Daniel. I nearly never felt like I really wanted to be in the other character’s POV, like PLEASE SWITCH BACK TO THEM NOW. Which might be because we never left the other character for long. So even if I liked one character much more than the other (Daniel, obviously because he was the boy and I am a straight female who falls for charmingly cute boys in books like these), I was always with that character, even in the other’s POV. It was really interesting to see what each one was thinking about the other. There isn’t mystery, which normally that seems to be something the reader likes (and struggles) to figure out with the main character. I’m going to use Twilight here, because, come on, there is a 90% chance you’ve read it, even if you don’t want to admit it. Okay, so we are Bella and we are like “who the freak is this Edward guy I am crushing on – at least I think I am crushing on him. And he seems to like me but I can’t tell if he likes me likes me or just want’s to pour my blood into a wine glass and drink it like a Chateau Lafite red wine.” Part of the mystery is guessing what that other character is thinking. Maybe we generally go for that because that is how life is. We just don’t know. Unless you are with a guy like Daniel who speaks his mind and then we don’t have to worry about pulling out our honed deciphering skills from all those times we’ve calculated the exacted moment one character falls in love with the other (and picking up on what exactly shows that, of course). It was refreshing to see this changed up.
I loved, loved, loved, the POV of Irene, the lady who checks people’s stuff into that immigration building Natasha first goes to. When in Natasha’s head, we probably (guiltily) think, “Who is this lady spending all this time touching my stuff, creeping me out? Now I feel like I need to wash my stuff because she. is. weird.” But then you see her POV. You see why it is necessary for her to hold on. THEN IN THE END THE PART WITH HER OMG. Cough, cough, excuse that last line. This happens again with the waitress at the Korean restaurant. You think she’s mean – “Teach your girlfriend how to use chopsticks.” But then it goes to her POV and you see that this same situation caused her to lose her son. Really powerful chapters about understanding others and where they come from. Maybe we should cut others slack sometimes.
The one POV I did not care for was Natasha’s dad. They didn’t give me some profound insight, I didn’t feel like I saw Natasha in a new light, I didn’t see the world differently after reading those chapters. Most of the POV’s besides Daniel and Natasha were significant and life-changing in terms of my perception of a character, but the dad did nothing for me.
I know this book talked a lot about chances in the universe and all the things that had to happen in order to get these characters to meet and I know this is vital to the story, but I still have a hard time getting over that to enjoy the story. So many times I was like, that would so not happen. Neither would that. Oh my god, what are the chances. Mainly, Daniel. Name me one girl who wouldn’t be freaked out if a guy she just met started following her and declared love after knowing you for an hour? How do each of these characters have this much time, number one (I mean, I guess I was just in my room doing mounds of homework a lot of kids didn’t have or paid less attention to), number two, people don’t act like that, number three, they are SO in love at the end of one day! Yes, this book points out those things but talks about them in terms of destiny and that kind of thing. While reading the book, it makes sense. Stepping away from the book, it’s like, was I just hypnotized into thinking that is actually plausible? Because it is not. Daniel would have gotten some cops called on him.