Natasha begins to develop hope, but that is met with a few realizations, particularly with Daniel’s family, which could kill things like a relaxer.
|Book’s Publish Date||11/1/2016|
|Genre||Romance, Drama, Young Adult|
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Separated, But Not For Long: Natasha, Daniel, Hannah, Jeremy
Despite Daniel’s optimism, Natasha’s persistence on looking for an exit is starting to get to him. So when she has her appointment with an immigration lawyer, that seems like the end for him. Thus leading to Natasha meeting Hannah, Attorney Jeremy Fitzgerald’s paralegal, and receptionist. Someone who seems nice and capable, but is too distracted by the fact Jeremy was in an accident and because of his wife, and the fact he has two kids with said wife, she isn’t able to be there for him as she likes.
Breaking things down between those two, and the car accident, Hannah never saw herself as more than a supporting role in whatever she was doing. Yet, there is something about Jeremy, which makes her feel seen. Yet, she isn’t a home wrecker, so she keeps her feelings to herself and just keeps things in her head. But, with Jeremy nearly dying, thanks to Donald possibly, it seems he is ready to admit he loves Hannah and leave his family.
But getting back to Natasha, Hannah makes it seem there is a reason to have hope and that jolts her to a different mindset. One which leads her to wonder about the possibility of being with Daniel for real and not just a moment. Which, with her not getting his number, and being a bit rude, leads her to think she missed her chance. Yet, with a meeting with Jeremy later, she heads to the lobby hoping he is still there and…. He is. Thanks to pushing his interview back they have more time to spend together.
Meet My Dad, And Brother: Daniel, Natasha, Charlie, Dae
With Natasha’s reaction to him waiting not being negative, outside of asking what happened to his interview, Daniel takes what he can get. Leading to him trying to be cute, her not really laying into him and instead laughing. Then with her talking about “What should we do now?” oh that’s all Daniel needs to hear. Unfortunately, what they should do and what he needs to do conflicts in a major way since he still has a money pouch from his mom he needs to drop off. Meaning they need to head to Harlem to his family hair shop.
This leads to a very awkward moment for Natasha, who Daniel tries the nickname “Tash” on – she doesn’t hate it. Said moment is whether to bite the bullet and bring Natasha into Black Hair Care, the family store, or have her wait outside. After all, on top of dealing with dad’s take, which will light up the family dinner, there is Charlie. So, originally, Daniel tells her to wait outside which gives her a slight pause, but she gets it. However, he asks for a do-over, and she smiles so big that clearly what she wanted was for him to nevermind his family and just bring her in.
Which is a low-key disaster. Not so much because of the dad, who upon learning Natasha is Daniel’s friend he pushes her to have a relaxer, but Charlie. Someone who consistently picks with Daniel since he thinks his academic probation will be forgotten with Daniel bringing around a Black girl with a big afro. Yet, Dae doesn’t seem to pick up what Charlie pushes out there or simply isn’t willing to make a big deal of it in public. However, in trying to play down Charlie’s comments, Daniel says some awkward things which he immediately regrets since something he says deals with the size of his genitals.
The Reaction: Natasha, Daniel
Daniel is very apologetic about what happened but Natasha? Well, it seems the whole situation is the funniest thing to happen to her, or around her, in a long time. But there is a bit of guilt that comes to exposing Natasha to that so he apologizes profusely before turning things around and bringing up getting food. However, before they head to his favorite spot in Koreatown, there is a train ride and more intimacy questions.
But what has to be noted is Natasha getting quite close, shoulder to shoulder with Daniel, and him smelling her hair. Which, just reading, may sound weird, but let’s take note that while his father’s shop may often feature Black women, it doesn’t mean he often gets this close. Luckily, when confronted by Natasha, his spring rain comment makes for a good rebound.
Leading to the question of how their relationship with their parents are? Of which Daniel notes with his dad there feels like there is a wall between them, but he is close with his mom. As for Natasha? Well, still a bit shy to opening up, she just nods and gives thumbs up or thumbs down. A positive nod and thumbs up for mom and the most disapproval you can give with saying so little when it comes to her dad.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- In these 50 pages there is also a chapter on how and why Koreans found themselves a large part of the hair industry.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
The poetic heart is not to be trusted. It is fickle and will lead you astray. It will tell you that all you need is love and dreams. It will say nothing about food and water and shelter and money. It will tell you that this person, the one in front of you, the one who caught your eye for whatever reason, is the One. And he is. And she is. The One—for right now, until his heart or her heart decides on someone else or something else.
The poetic heart is not to be trusted with long-term decision making.
— Natasha | Page 102
Love is not love if it’s not requited.
— Daniel (Page 107)
For a minute, I let myself feel how tired I am. It’s hard trying to hold on to a place that doesn’t want you.
— Natasha (109 – Hardcover)
Hope is the thing with feathers.
— Natasha (114)
America’s not really a melting pot. It’s more like one of those divided metal plates with sperate sections for starch, meat, and veggies.
— Natasha (128 – Hardcover)
To grow up is to grow apart
— 130 – Hardcover
Sincerity is sexy
— Natasha (137 – Hardcover)
It’s hard to come from someplace or someone you’re not proud of.
— Natasha (144 – Hardcover)
Who are we if not a product of our parents and their histories.
— Natasha (144 – Hardcover)
Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.
— Daniel (150 – Hardcover)
[…] you can love someone and still have a not-so-great relationship with them. I wonder how much of our non-relationship is because of typical father versus teenage boy stuff […] and how much of it is cultural […]? Sometimes I feel like we’re on opposite sides of a soundproofed glass wall. We can see each other but we can’t hear each other.
— Daniel (150 to 151 – Hardcover)
Daniel and Natasha have only known each other a few hours so it makes neither easily exposing their flaws something I love so much. Be it Daniel afraid of how Natasha could react to his family, or Natasha not wanting to expose her immigrant status. It makes this relationship, weird as it started, seem rooted in realness. For, as Natasha said, even after months of dating, Rob did not meet her father. So imagine meeting your new friend’s dad the first day. Much less, meeting him with warnings that it will be an awkward experience.
I don’t know about you, but as someone who rather enjoys YA novels, especially featuring new romance, I love that there is nothing easy about these two getting together. Nearly at every step, there is something new. Be it Natasha’s unease with Daniel, which she rightly should have, paired with Daniel having to go against his family’s cultural attitudes towards Black people. At least in terms of them being anything beyond customers.
To me, it creates the sort of awkwardness which is often missing since that “X Factor” destroys all obstacles. Like, increasingly, interracial romances are popping up, but the difference are not noted. I don’t think in Yoon previous work, Everything, Everything it is really gone into as well. Granted, the lead had a bigger issue in that she was dealing with a low-key Munchausen syndrome by proxy situation, but my point is, you have to appreciate The Sun IS Also A Star taking on everything which could become an issue for a long term relationship. Rather than double down on Natasha’s immigration status and make everything else hokey-dory.