Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: November 1, 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 Stars
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?
I loved this book.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker for YA romance, even the love at first sight kind that’s a little bit unrealistic, but even though this book falls into that love at first sight kind of story, it’s just so well done that it feels like it could totally happen. I think there is something about being 16 or 17 and believing that you’ve just met the love of your life at a record store that feels real. Anything is possible when you’re a teenager.
The book has a switching POV which works in this book. It doesn’t just jump between the two main characters but does flashbacks and jumps to side characters to explain their motives in respect to Daniel and Natasha. Each section has it’s own voice and style. It’s truly a work of art in that way. It’s just beautiful written.
This is the story of immigrants, Daniel is a first generation Korea-American, and Natasha is the daughter of illegal immigrants. I found the narratives sounding how these facts impacts their lives is amazing and interesting. I am, as I have mentioned before, a white woman from NH and most my family have been in the United States for at least three generations (some since the early 1600’s not the Pilgrims, but close to the Pilgrims). So I don’t have a family story like either of these characters, so I found it so interesting to learn and get a look at how heritage and being the first generation in a new country shapes people.
The book takes place in New York City, which, in my opinion, is on of the few places a book like this can take place. There is no other place in the United States like New York; there are so many different people and life stories happening there.
Daniel’s struggle between being the good son and wanting to be a creative, a poet in his case, feels universal. That pressure to do and be better than our parents is a universal struggle, but that pressure can be amplified incredibly as a child of immigrants. He doesn’t want what his parents want for him and finding this girl, this girl who may be leaving the country in half a day if everything doesn’t go exactly right on this day feels like she can change everything about the direction of his life.
Natasha’s life has been a struggle her whole life. It’s been a struggle to fit in in this new country, to be both Jamaican and American. She is struggling on the day that she meets Daniel to keep her family in their house. She’s doing everything her parents, who have for the most part given up, should be fighting for and she knows it. She feels the weight sitting on her shoulders and she does the best she can.
I think this is an important book, especially for readers who are outside the demographics in the book, it’s slice of what other people, people we see every day but never interact with, are going through.
I read this book in days, and it only took me two days because I started it on a Thursday and had to go to sleep so I could work the next morning. It was a fast paced excellently written important book that happens to center around two teenagers falling in love.
I highly suggest picking this one up if you haven’t yet.
Until next time Internet,