My Rating: ★★★★★
Genre(s): Young Adult
Plot: [Copied from Goodreads]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 has been on my watchlist for a while, and it did not disappint at all
- I’ve been the kid planning to go to college to please my parents and become a doctor when I really just wanted to be a writer (spoiler alert, I followed my dreams)
- Daniel and Natasha were so vastly different, but it was easy to relate to both of them and their beliefs
- Families embarrass their kids, and I’m glad that this was addressed in this book
- All of the intricate threads that wove into the story to make everything come to the conclusion that it did
- The end really threw me for a bunch of loops
- I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it
- The cover is absolutely stunning, and ties into the plot so well
- Nicola Yoon writes characters of color and that is so, so important
- All of Natasha’s “observable facts”
- I felt my heart break so many times, but I’m not sure if this is necessarily a bad thing
- It ended
- Charlie really is a bag of dicks on fire
- “I didn’t know you this morning, and now I don’t remember not knowing you.”
- “There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.”
- “We’re kindling amid lightning strikes, a lit match and dry wood, fire danger signs and a forest waiting to be burned.”
- “The thing about falling is you don’t have any control on your way down.”
- “Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.”
- “Sure, but why not more poems about the sun? The sun is also a star, and it’s our most important one. That alone should be worth a poem or two.”
“It’s a long life to spend doing something you’re only meh about.”
My Thoughts: I’m not even sure where to start with this review, to be completely honest. I kind of skimmed the synopsis of this book, but I didn’t read it thoroughly because I didn’t want to know what I was getting into; and I’m very glad I did that. Nicola Yoon (with the help of the universe) brings two startlingly opposite characters together through a million twists of fate, and brings up the question of What if? and makes the reader think of all of the alternate universes that could possibly exist from all of the infinite choices and paths life could take.
From the beginning, Daniel and Natasha are likeable and relatable. It’s clear that they are two very different characters, but opposites attract and this is no exception. Daniel, the Korean American poet on his way to a medical school interview, and Natasha, the scientific realist about to be deported for her father’s mistakes, are so completely different, and fate kept interviening and bringing them together. They. were. meant. to. be. I loved the way Natasha viewed the world– scientific, black and white, explainable– but I also loved the way Daniel viewed the world– controlled by fate, chance, love, and passion. I felt like I could very easily relate to both of them, and it made me fall that much harder and feel their emotions that much deeper as I made my way through the book.
In addition to wonderful characters and a plot that kept me guessing, Nicola Yoon did something that not a lot of young adult authors do– she wrote main characters of color. I’m a huge advocate for diverse books, and I was very pleased to see not only diverse characters, but how their equally diverse parents dealt with life in a country surrounded by white people.
Finally, I absolutely loved the way this book was written– Natasha and Daniel had their own chapters, but the important characters, the ones who helps twist fate just a little bit, were significant enough to have their own chapters as well.
Overall, this book was absolutely beautiful. The characters, the plot, the concept of fate and timing. It was just what I needed to read tight now, which just proves that timing really is everything. I’m pretty sure that Nicola Yoon is my favorite young adult author. She’s two for two and just keeps throwing these amazing books at us and I hope she keeps doing this.
I would recommend this book to fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green, but really anyone looking for a great read that will take you for an emotional ride would love this book. I couldn’t put it down, and neither will you.