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☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ FIVE STARS
This was such a sweet, hopeful and romantic read. I couldn’t put it down! I’m not usually one to read YA contemporary as they can tend to have a lot of angst (understandable when you’re writing teenaged-aged characters) but this one was the pleasant exception. I mean, there definitely was SOME angst, but not enough to put me off the book thankfully!
The story covered a day in the life of Natasha, an illegal immigrant in the United States who was born in Jamaica. The book doesn’t just follow any day though. It’s the day her family is being deported. It’s also the day she falls in love. The premise of this book caught my attention initially (along with the stunningly bright cover) although I did have a slight skepticism about the notion of falling in love in one day. I shouldn’t have worried though, the author managed to give me all the FEELS while managing to develop the characters over (mostly) one day. This is definitely a book worth reading!
Natasha – The firm believer that life is not about passion, but rather science. A skeptic of fate, destiny and following your dreams, Natasha was the realist in the story. She wasn’t pessimistic but rather preferred to see life in black and white. She saw everything in cold-hard facts. This was slowly worn down by Daniel’s endless enthusiasm for following his dreams. I much preferred reading her POV when she had softened up a bit and wasn’t as cynical.
Daniel – Was easily my favourite character in this book. He was such an earnest, optimistic and romantic guy. He was the quintessential artistic soul, with a dash of saint-like patience and sincerity that pulled on my heart strings. His initial enthusiasm for life caught me off guard and was a bit awkward to read – the guy was dedicated even when most people would be embarrassed. But this soon wore me down. The infectious nature of it was appealing to read about. Who can resist such a kind, persistent soul?
What I really adored about this book (and made me rate it five stars) was the concept of fate. I loved to read chapters from POV of other characters in the story to see how their actions had a ripple effect over the lives of multiple people. It was interesting to read about and made me contemplate how my own actions influence others.
Additionally, I loved the spotlight this book placed on immigration. The life of an illegal immigrant is very hard for many people to grasp, without experiencing it themselves, and I think this book helped people become just a little bit more aware of the daily struggles they face. Additionally, as a second generation immigrant I found myself relating to Daniel’s experience as a Korean-American. It’s hard to merge the two cultures from your parents and environment into a hybrid-culture that works for you. I liked the perspectives from multiple members of Daniels family. We really got to see how each person had created their own balance (or lack thereof) between the two.
Overall, I rated this book 5-Stars for the FEELS, Daniel being an utter sweetheart and Irene’s storyline. They got me right in the SAP centre of my heart and clung on tight. I also adored the ending. It wasn’t what I had expected but left me happy nevertheless.
// have you read this book? what were your thoughts on it? //