Rating: *** Suggested Age: 15
Summary: “Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?” (Summary found on Goodreads).
Despite the gorgeous cover (and my edition being signed!), I couldn’t bring myself to love this book. Just as a disclaimer here, the main reason is because I don’t believe in love at first sight, so this book contradicted everything I have ever believed. I believe in true love, but that love is gradual; you don’t just fall in love at first glance. Maybe it’s just because I have only been in love once and it wasn’t right off the bat or maybe it’s because I’m only fifteen and have so much more to learn about the world. So, maybe you’ll like this book more than me. Of course, that wasn’t my only problem with it, but I think if it wasn’t so unrealistic, I would have enjoyed it more. The main characters met and fell in love, essentially, in less than twenty-four hours. I’m sorry, but what?? Just what??
I also really couldn’t stand the writing. I don’t like present tense because it sounds awkward unless written well. This book sounded so awkward and disjointed. Some of the sentences just didn’t flow and the writing wasn’t all that beautiful. I’m one for beautiful, poetic writing; long sentences that flow like a river. This book had none of that and I was pretty disappointed, especially since there are people who really like Nicola Yoon’s writing.
The only thing that really kept me going with this book was how addictive it was. I couldn’t just put it down and be comfortable seeing it lying on my desk, mocking me. No matter how much I hated the writing and the plot, I was addicted to it. The chapters are really short, which made me more inclined to binge-read one hundred pages in a sitting (at least it makes sense to me).
I also did like Daniel and I really understood his problems. Even without going through the same problems, I was able to sympathize with him. Some of my friends have had similar issues with their parents, so maybe that’s where I was coming from. The whole entire book I was hoping he would get the happy ending he deserved. Gah, that’s what books like these turn me into–some kind of “we all need happy endings” person. No matter how much I don’t believe in them.
If you do believe in love at first sight and happen to like Yoon’s writing, then go ahead and read it. You’ll probably love it. This book just wasn’t the one for me. I guess while I fell in love with the cover upon first sight, I didn’t like the inside–which is really what matters.