Welcome to Week 3 of the Online Book Club discussion of The Sun Is Also A Star.
How did you enjoy this section? Did you feel like it was pretty non-stop action throughout the entire section? Natasha and Daniel are sure doing a lot of things in one afternoon!
Were you surprised at all that Daniel rescheduled his interview? I definitely wasn't. I wasn't surprised that he stuck around to wait for Natasha, either. I knew he couldn't let her get away. Do you think there's any significance to the fact that both Daniel and Natasha are scheduled to have appointments in the same building? That has to be more than just a coincidence, right?
Do you think the encounter between Natasha and Daniel's family could have been more awkward and uncomfortable? It was pretty awful. I couldn't believe how Charlie was such a jerk, and I was so uncomfortable when Daniel's dad offered Natasha hair relaxer. Natasha was really kind about Daniel's dad, even though she had every right to be offended. Who did you feel the worst for during this exchange--Daniel or Natasha? I'm sure Daniel was mortified. Did you enjoy the historical tidbits about hair that framed the chapter in Daniel's family's store? I liked the context that those chapters provided.
When Daniel and Natasha go to get Korean food, the waitress makes a demeaning comment to Daniel and tells him to teach his girlfriend how to use chopsticks. Natasha handles it gracefully and isn't offended, but I still thought it was an unkind comment. I liked how Nicola Yoon had a chapter after that restaurant scene to explain why the waitress made the comment. It still wasn't appropriate for her to say, but I was able to understand the context and why the woman would want to say it after reading her chapter.
After the karaoke scene, it seems like Daniel and Natasha are meant to be. But then, Natasha finally tells Daniel that she is an undocumented immigrant and is able to be deported. Were you surprised that it took her so long to tell him the truth? Daniel takes the news about as well as I would expect him to take it. I don't blame him for feeling betrayed, especially since he postponed his meeting for her, but then again, he made that decision by himself. She didn't force him to do that. And, she didn't promise him anything--Daniel definitely is letting his emotions run wild by deciding that they could be together forever after only spending a couple of hours together.
At the end of this section, Natasha explains to the lawyer how her father confessed to a police officer about being an undocumented immigrant, and Daniel and Charlie get into a fist fight. I wasn't surprised by the fight between Daniel and Charlie, but I was definitely surprised that Natasha's father was the one who confessed their status to the police. It was really sad to read the conversation between Natasha's parents. It was really sad that she had to hear her father say that he had given up his whole life and all of his dreams to be with the family. I imagine she felt so betrayed and unwanted when she heard that.
We don't get any closure about Natasha's family or Daniel by the end of this section. Do you think the lawyer will have good news for Natasha? Do you think she has a chance to stay in America? Do you think she and Daniel will find each other again?
Natasha is such a compelling and realistic character--I have to think that Nicola Yoon is putting a lot of herself in the character. If you want to read more about Nicola Yoon and her Jamaican background, check out this article on Writer's Digest. In the article, Yoon discusses We Need Diverse Books, an organization that promotes diversity in publishing and representation in children's books. Check out their website if you'd like to learn more about the organization.
I'm also including the video below which is a pretty long video interview in which Yoon discusses the book. I really liked how she talked about the time tables she had to make to ensure that the characters could really do all the things they did in one day!
I hope you're able to finish the book by next week! Make sure to leave a comment to let me know what you enjoyed about this section!