I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly tugged my heartstrings when I finished the book.
I couldn’t elaborate the feelings that I had when I closed the book.
Something warm and bittersweet, poignant feelings washed over me.
It was only a sigh that escaped me. Neither could I move nor speak. I didn’t even know what happened to me. I felt so overwhelmed and powerless.
I picked up this book knowing it deals with some heavy yet important issues. Although the book itself is categorized as YA, I couldn’t resist my temptation to get my hands on it.
First and foremost, this book totally crashed me; not only is the writing as beautiful and poetic as ‘Everything Everything,’ the story-crafting is also enthralling.
As I briefly mentioned, this book touches on some very important issues such as racism, discrimination, stereotypes, and political issues like deportation.
We tend to let such issues slip away being preoccupied with our daily lives, but surprisingly enough, this book made me realize racism and stereotypes are entrenched in our lives much more deeply than we might imagine. That aspect is explicitly described in the scene where Natasha and Daniel visit a shop Daniel’s father runs. It may not strike you instantly, but I believe the significance and the message will sink in on you as you process the scene.
The characterizations of the two main characters is also brilliant; Natasha is so clever and smart yet is adamant to pass herself off as someone who doesn’t believe in ‘love,’ or ‘fate.’ She love sciences and is pragmatic, but the change she undergoes through the interaction with Daniele comes so gradually and naturally, it feels even beautiful.
On the other hand, Daniel, who is Korean-American and a boy who possesses a mind of poet is just lovable. He is romantic, gentle and passionate. Just as adamant Natasha is toward nonexistent of love, Daniel strongly believes in the power of ‘love’ and ‘fate’ and does everything in his power to get Natasha to see things in his light. The road to success had already been laid out for him, entering Yale and becoming a doctor… yet he is willing to mess up his life for the sake of ‘love.’ The chemistry between those two characters is just beautiful and captivating.
I assume there are a lot of readers who don’t think much of ‘insta-love,’ but I think this one-day romance between Natasha and Daniel resonates with a lot of them; it’s got some special quality and power that speak to our souls.
The underlining limitation to the duration of their romance -‘one day’ -must have taken this story to the next level. They have only hours left and that is all the more reason why they become near-desperate to make it happen; make what happens between them sustainable. It felt kind of cleansing to me. So beautifully written.
However, this book also teaches there are things that are beyond your control, and they often stem from others’ conduct. Life can be ugly and tough; no amount of love or strong volition can overturn the decision that had been made. We just have to let it go.
This fact is told in a very quiet manner yet the message cuts right into my heart.
Speaking of writing, I found the writing style employed in this book was so unique and fantastic. This book is narrated in multiple perspectives, which means each chapter is narrated from a different perspective. The vast majority of the book is narrated from Natasha and Daniel’s perspectives, but you can also read the story from different charactes’ perspectives and it was quite interesting to read how the same thing can be differently perceived through others’ lens.
The author did an amazing job to even include some random characters to weave the story, the characters who only briefly involve in their lives in the specific day- Natasha’s last day in the U.S. before she’s deported back to Jamaica – and it described how each characters’ words and deeds can affect each other’s lives. This ripple effect kind of approach felt fresh to me.
To be honest, it took me a while to get invested in the story and I didn’t find it gripping until the latter part in the story, but from then onward, I was glued to the book, I just couldn’t put it down.
The ending is particularly spectacular – although I had mixed feelings about how the story goes, I was so happy when I reached the last airplane scene. The epilogue beautifully wraps up this amazing, beautiful story.
I really adore this book. This is not a mere YA book. I recommend everyone reads this.This is definitely worth a read.