Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publication Date: 3rd November 2016 by Corgi Children’s / Penguin Random House UK Children’s
Format: eARC from Penguin Random House UK Children’s via Netgalley
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?
This book is more relevant now than it was when it was written; it’s about immigration, both legal and illegal. It’s a beautiful story with a powerful message that is more necessary now than ever before. Relevance made this already powerful book one of the most powerful I read last year.
Nicola Yoon fast became one of my favourite authors when I read Everything, Everything (read my gushing review here). I was so grateful and excited when I received the review copy I cannot explain (I read it straight away, this review is just delayed because of essays and uni), and it did not disappoint. The characters were wonderful and diverse, the plot intriguing but not over complicated, and I loved the format too.
One thing that Nicola Yoon excels at is writing diverse characters. She does it effortlessly – with some authors I find it can be quite forced – and the characters are unique and interesting, and well researched as well. I assume this because they are all very different with their varying backgrounds and thus would have to say that Yoon is successfully portraying different cultures and backgrounds.
Normally, I hate insta-love in novels, though this was, in a way, the premise of this book. However, it felt more genuine, as it is one-sided (I could expand but I’m too close to spoilers as it is, though I’d say this is fairly clear from the first chapter). The love story in this, although cheesy at times (it is a romance though, so I’m not going to complain because it’s to be expected – and it is rather adorable), is lovely and real.
I loved the balance between the characters, the differences that actually brings them together instead of pushing them apart, such as the difference between their interests; one loves science and one loves the arts (I’m fairly sure this says on the back cover). Again, Yoon’s characters are not always the ‘perfect match’ at first glance because they aren’t essentially the same character in terms of interests as I find quite common in books (possibly this is something I picked up on because my boyfriend and I are complete opposites in terms of interests, I don’t know). I feel like the relationships between her characters are real and honest – not forced in any way – and it makes for a much, much more enjoyable read.
There isn’t a massive amount to say about the plot. It’s simple, but wonderful. It only covers a day. That’s pretty much it. However, this short time frame really enabled me to connect with the characters and also understand their mindsets in their situations, especially with Natasha’s impending deportation. I’ve never read a book where the protagonist is facing this situation and thus it was interesting – and heartbreaking – to read about.
Overall I would highly recommend this book, and anything else Nicola Yoon has written / writes. This has made me certain that Yoon is one of my favourite writers, as I loved this just as much as Everything, Everything, and will definitely be picking up any future books by her.
Rating: 5 / 5 stars.