February 4, 2017 by readingoutside
I can’t say enough good things about this YA novel. I read so many glowing reviews of it, and all of them were justified.
First: it’s a love story between two smart people. Second: the protagonists are minorities. Natasha is a Jamaican (illegal) immigrant, Daniel is Korean-American. Race is acknowledged. It’s an issue in their lives, but does not define them. Natasha meets Daniel on the day her family is going to be deported. Over the course of one crazy, romantic, heartbreaking day in New York City, they fall in love. The perspective switches between the two of them, and the people their lives become entwined with. It’s funny and sad and real. Natasha has a rational, scientific mind, Daniel is a romantic and a poet. Neither are who their families want them to be.
There’s some fun moments, some funny ones when they trade banter, and some more serious, poignant depictions of what it means to have dreams. The ending does not happen as you’d expect, especially in a YA novel. It’s bittersweet and perfectly suited to the nature of the story and the characters. For all the critics who sneer at the shallowness of Young Adult literature, I defy them to find an adult novel that depicts love in such a true, tender way as this one does.