Monday, March 27, 2017

What we're reading: New realistic fiction

The Sun Is Also A Star
by Nicola Yoon
Realistic fiction for high school students
348 pages

Reviewed by Anarda, teen librarian

Natasha, an undocumented Jamaican girl, is brilliant and beautiful. She is also, along with her family, about 12 hours away from being deported to Jamaica, and the quest to stay in this country is all she cares about at the moment. She doesn't have time to think about anything as trivial as a cute boy.

David, a Korean-American boy, is on his way to an interview that may lock in an early acceptance to Yale to study to be a doctor (something that is very important to his immigrant parents but much less so to him). He is more naive than Natasha, and somewhat less of a brainiac (but still both gorgeous and well-spoken), so he is connected to his heart in a way Natasha simply can't afford in these troubled times. 

They meet in a New York City record store, and spend a day together that will change both of them.

What a wonderfully surprising book. The two protagonists are memorable, able to listen to each other and to grow in compassion and understanding, able to learn from each other and consider alternatives. And of course there is a strong mutual attraction, but there is so much more at stake in this budding relationship, so the teen lust seems funny, endearing, and plausible. 
The immigrant experience that Yoon capably explores feels completely authentic. A satisfying read that will appeal to teens who love relationship stories.

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