Received from NetGalley for review.
‘“Hope” is the thing with feathers…’ – Emily Dickinson
Be still my beating heart. I loved this book, and even though I don’t believe in love at first sight and I’m not convinced about fate, this book makes me want to believe in it all – to believe that anything and everything is possible. The basic premise is this: Natasha is facing deportation back to Jamaica due to her dad’s drunken error and is doing all she can to stop it. Daniel is heading to an interview for Yale to be a doctor, a career path chosen by his Korean parents. Natasha is a scientist, all fact and logic. Daniel is a poet, a dreamer, a hopeless romantic. They meet by chance in New York City on the day Natasha and her family are due to be deported and a crazy and unexpected day unfolds for both of them. Is it fate? Is it chance? Is it love?
We’re kindling amid lightning strikes. A lit match and dry wood. Fire Danger signs and a forest waiting to be burned.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this book – I couldn’t figure out a solution from the blurb and the reviews I read were seriously mixed, but I became so invested in it, in Natasha and Daniel’s story, just like when I read Everything, Everything. I loved that the narrative was split between Natasha and Daniel, as well as having small insights into other characters and ideas – it was really interesting discovering more about the different characters we meet throughout the story. I think I’m going to have to accept that Nicola Yoon’s writing speaks to me on a molecular level – her writing is so fluid and easy to read, yet incredibly clever and funny, and I will be eagerly awaiting her next novel.
‘Are you secretly my father?’ I ask.
‘I sound like a fifty-year-old Korean man?’
‘Without the accent.’
Natasha and Daniel are fantastic characters, and I was invested in them and their lives entirely. Although this is a story of attraction and love, and the possibility of fate, there are still very real issues addressed that Natasha and Daniel face: immigration, deportation, cultural expectations, protective/pushy parents, familial relationships. Even though the story takes place mostly over the space of a day Natasha, Daniel, and their families are skilfully crafted and became very real to me in a few pages. Natasha is serious and scientific where Daniel is dreamy and creative but they work together so well. They have distinctive voices and there was incredible humour and heartbreak in their dialogue and thoughts.
I just loved it. I loved everything about it and I’ve found it hard to convey just how much I enjoyed reading it and why. And that ending! I am destroyed, in the best way.
Observable fact: I don’t believe in magic.
Observable fact: We are magic.
Read: November 20th-23rd 2016