Book Review #13 The Sun is Also A Star

28763485The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon (348 pages) gets 4.5 stars out of 5 for me, but let’s just round that up to 5, okay?

I’ve heard raving reviews for Nicola Yoon’s work, so I decided to check it out for myself. First, the multiple narratives surprised me because I thought it would be Natasha and Daniel’s perspectives at the most. Yoon does a phenomenal job “showing” and not telling, and that made me really enjoy the descriptions in this book.


“Yes, it’s obnoxious. But I have a good reason for this behavior that involves a completely empty train one night at two a.m. (way past curfew) and a man with a big-ass snake wrapped around his neck who chose to sit next to me despite there being one thousand (give or take) empty seats” (pg 43).

There are some parts in this book that made me giggle and smile like a delirious loon. Then there’s that part where Natasha meets Charlie, Daniel’s brother, and his Dad. I really cannot believe how nonchalant she was! I could not deal with no racist in-laws. No one has time for that! Also, I love how this book addressed the history and politics of why Korean hair stores are always in black neighborhoods.

Oh yeah, the karaoke/ norebang scene… Girl… Hormones galore!

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I love the two main characters, Daniel and Natasha. I even love the one-off characters like Joe, the Chopsticks lady, and the religious bus driver. Some of the characters are pretty zany, but the story is set in New York City.

“Observable Fact: I don’t believe in magic.

Observable Fact: We are magic” (pg 170).

Natasha reminds me a bit of myself, although not as cynical, scientifically-minded, and opposed to love. She’s very realistic like someone you know and not a character in a book.

Daniel is what those tumblr kids call a sweet cinnamon roll.  Dude is a decent guy who is in touch with his emotions! *GASP* Yeah, he’s not the brooding, emo bad boy love interest (even though I like those too) readers have come to know in YA fictions.

I like the emphasis on parental relationships as well. In so many books, it’s easy to forget the main characters are teens who have parents. I feel slighted that there was no chapter from Daniel’s mom’s perspective, and I would have liked another one from Patricia, Natasha’s mom. Samuel Kingsley, the reason Natasha’s in this mess, was so infuriating but believable.

I kind of want to see Jeremy Fitzgerald fall down a flight of stairs into incoming traffic. Yeah.


“I try to give her a look that says don’t argue with the old security guard with the lung problem, otherwise he won’t let us stay here and makeout, but even if she interpreted my facial expression correctly, she ignores me” (pg 264).

So many good quotes and that ending! Guys, I cannot… I can’t. It’s a little bittersweet but optimistic enough. I felt my heart drop.

Okay, if you can get over the “fall-in-love-in-a-day” heavy chick-lit tone then you will really like this book. Even if you’re not a romantic like me, you will at least be entertained. For me, the hype was justified, and I gotta add this to my bookshelf. I will probably be reading “Everything, Everything” soon too.



Book Review #4: Zahrah the Windseeker



I was super excited to read this book even though I had to wait for my local library to order it. Well worth the wait! I adored Akata Witch and Nnedi Okorafor has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I can always connect with her characters.

“You don’t have to explain. It’s OK to care about what other people think, but you should give a little weight to what you, yourself, think.”


In Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor (308 pages), Zahrah’s fourteen and Dada, so she doesn’t fit in well at the Kirki village of the Ooni Kingdom. Her Dada heritage gives her long dreadlocks embedded with plants and an undeveloped wind power. Because Ooni people are so image-conscious, she sticks out like a snake with fingers. After Zahrah gets her first period (menstruation cycle), her wind powers begin to fully develop. Through a series of events surrounding the forbidden Greeny jungle, Zahrah’s best friend Dari gets injured. The cure for Dari’s comatose state is in the jungle, and this is where the story truly begins. I felt so bad for Zahrah in the jungle like why did my baby have to go through so much pain?

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Another quote I like, taken from when Zahrah was on her journey:

“Look at you. You’re just as strange and misunderstood as the jungle. It’ll welcome you, I’m sure of it.”

As much as I like romance, I love the fact that the story is dedicated to Zahrah’s growth as a character. That’s not to say there aren’t any adorable hints thrown in.

I love the names, Zahrah and Dari, they are so pretty!

I also enjoy the fantasy elements. Flower computers! Zahrah has a lot of plant technology in her world. A person can plant a seed and water it to grow a computer. Very imaginative.

I could tell early on that I would like this book. Black people in a fantasy setting? Adorable characters? An innocent friendship? Nnedi is cruel; She wants me to buy this book and parade it on my bookshelf.

What did I dislike? Hmm… If I had to nitpick, the ending could be considered a bit anticlimactic. Also, certain stuff at the hospital was dragged out a little long.


Zahrah! I completely sympathize with her. She’s an adorable crybaby, who doesn’t yet know her potential. Her journey is not only through the Greeny jungle, but to grow more confident. She’s my fictional baby! Zahrah has a real “aww ” factor.

Dari, the best friend, is my favorite. He’s a middle-school activist, who has a talent for talking. The village people and everyone at Dari (and Zahrah)’s school hang onto his every word. Since he found an interest in Zahrah, as a bold little kid, the two have been friends ever since.

I like the mentor angle Nsibidi provides for Zahrah. She’s one cool chick! I almost wish she had been featured more.

The simplest characters, like the frog, all play an important part in the story and Zahrah’s life.


Read this. Read this. Read this.

I liked this book a lot and will add it to my bookshelf when I get some extra cash.

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