IRJE – February 1st: The Sun is Also a Star

In The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, Natasha’s family is being deported. Due to being illegal immigrants, they must leave the US, and return to Jamaica. To put it lightly, they’re not pleased to be moving. Natasha is neglecting to pack, and has scheduled a meeting at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office, in all hopes that a solution will emerge. Her desperation proves how much she doesn’t want to return to Jamaica. Although we don’t know the reason for their sudden deportation, we see a glimpse of foreshadowing into the cause.

My dad doesn’t say anything. He’s mute with anger or impotence. I’m never sure which. His frown is so deep and so complete that it’s hard to imagine his face with another expression. If this were even just a few months ago, I’d be sad to see him like this, but now I don’t really care. He’s the reason we’re all in this mess.  (p. 3)

Although this passage appears early in the novel, it’s clear to see that Natasha has a strong resentment towards her father. At the moment, it’s unclear what he did to deserve this. However, this writing technique is telling us that it’s a prominent detail in the plot, and that we will be receiving an explanation further on. This is an excellent way of hooking the reader, because I immediately started to wonder what Natasha’s father did, and if they will be able to make amends. It seems that what he did is affecting their whole family, including himself. I’m curious to find out what created this unfortunate dynamic, and how it will be (hopefully) repaired.