InstaReview: The Sun is Also a Star

Every since I read the NTY article on it, I have been intrigued with the 36 questions that gave you an intimate look into anyone’s life – even strangers. Just the idea of it was really intriguing, so, after reading rave reviews about The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, and the fact that she integrated this study in her story, I had to add it to my TBR pile. Then, after seeing that it was one of the BOTM picks, I had to get it!

[Caption] ✨ The Sun is Also a Star, ☀️ by Nicola Yoon is part humour, part tear-jerker and overall brilliant. It’s told from the perspectives of Natasha 🇯🇲 and Daniel 🇰🇷🇺🇸, with a smattering of stories from the people who shifted their paths during the day they first met.

There were times where I found myself wondering about the seemingly endless day of travelling around Manhattan – no “train traffic up ahead”? – and a few times where I had to go back to see who was telling the story; but after getting into the rhythm of the storytelling, I found myself engrossed, until the last tearful sentence. Seriously, read the last few chapters at home.

This book is more than just a romantic tale (cheers on the great use of the 36 Questions to Fall in Love article). The characters are diverse and their interactions felt real, and that’s what makes me love it so much. It could be the story of someone I know. ⭐⭐⭐⭐


… written by Libba Bray



Libba Bray @ The Scholastic Store in SoHo


After reading the Gemma Doyle trilogy, I was absolutely enthralled with Libba Bray‘s storytelling style. It was imaginative, it was magical, it sucked me in and made me struggle to take my time to savour the tale because I wanted, so badly, to devour it.

Later, I picked up her Going Bovine standalone and was both impressed and perplexed. Perplexed with the surrealness of the story itself (what’s real/what’s in his head), and impressed by her ability to string the absolutely absurd together in such a way that makes you want to keep on reading.

Then, Beauty Queens was released by Scholastic and I was privileged to attend a signing done at the Scholastic Store (pictured above). Beauty Queens was satire and wit. There are a lot of characters, but they never felt flat. It’s definitely absurd, but that absurdity helps to expose the reader to a thoughtful narrative on popular culture, and modern society.

From this point, I pretty much vowed to buy everything Libba released, so when The Diviners came out, I was ready for anything. The Diviners had a lot of things I loved; the roaring 20s, mystery and a touch of the supernatural. Ok, a lot of the supernatural, so much so that I stopped reading this book before I went to bed because it was hard to turn off my imaginings. The main protagonist (Evie) was self-centered, and while I am not a fan of books with main characters like that, she didn’t annoy me as much as I thought she would (though she tried to really hard in the end).

So, after reading an 1800s fantasy series set in England, a surreal dark comedy set in NOLA, an absurd satire, and a 1920s paranormal/historical series set in New York, I think it’s safe to say that Libba Bray is a versatile author; and I’m probably still going to read everything she publishes.


It’s all about Time

Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier


One of my favourite series – that incorporates time-travel – hails from Germany. In the Ruby Red (or Precious Stone) trilogy the travellers have a gene that caused them to travel back in time. All her life, Gwyneth thought her cousin Charlotte had this gene, until (of course) they realise that Gwen is the one who carries the gene.

The trilogy is well paced, has a good mystery that keeps you engaged the entire way through the story, and of course, a little bit of romance. This trilogy is one of my favourites for a few reasons:  Continue reading

…written by Jessica Warman

I discovered Jessica Warman’s books during my very first BEA. When I read YA, I tend to lean towards the Fantasy stories, and there are very few authors whose books attract me from that section. Jessica Warman’s Between was one of those books.

It’s set in the afterlife, where a girl is trying to figure out how she died and perhaps find some peace, at first I was skeptical about Between – especially since the protagonist wasn’t a likeable character. However, I was blown away, and when I had the opportunity to read Beautiful Lies, I practically jumped at it! Once more she did not disappoint.

In Beautiful Lies, two sisters – twins – go to the amusement park and only one comes home. The search for the missing sister commences and a mystery unravels.

While I still read mostly fantasy YA novels, Jessica Warman is one of the few authors I’ll deviate for.

… written by Diana Peterfreund

One of the most underrated writers I’ve read has to be Diana Peterfreund. I’ve read a few of her works and I LOVED them! But you don’t hear a whole lot of hype around her books.

In her Rampant series, she imagined a world where unicorns are not cute and cuddly, but highly dangerous, and only a certain group of girls can keep the beasts in check.

In her Stars series, she imagined world ruined by unchecked advanced technology, where society tries to strike a balance between what is what is good and what is dangerous while dealing with the descendants of those who were negatively affected by the bad technology. Does that make your head ache? Well, she does this while using two fantastic stories for her base plot, Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, and she executes it well.

Her first book in this series, For Darkness Shows the Stars, is one of my absolute favourites! I go back to different passages in that book from time to time – it does help that Persuasion is one of my favourite Jane Austen books.

I also appreciate that she doesn’t give you a lot of info-dumps while trying to get you to understand her worlds. I enjoy the fact that her stories are so vastly different and her worlds enchanting.