By: Nicola Yoon
Synopsis: Natasha is a girl of facts. Fact: She’s an illegal immigrant and today she is getting deported. Fact #2: There is a small chance she can stop it. Fact #3: She will not fall in love with the cute guy she meets. Fact #4: Fate does not exist.
Daniel is a guy of dreams. Poetry is his outlet for his strict upbringing. When he misses his interview for Yale, and runs into a beautiful girl, he considers it fate.
Taking place over the span of 12 hours, Daniel desperately tries to get Natasha to fall in love with him, and despite herself, Natasha tries not to. TSIAAS tells the tale of what happens when two universes collide.
First Line: Carl Sagan said that if you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
Favorite Quotes: (I had 48 tabs of quotes I loved. I’m only posting a few here.)
Names are powerful things. They act as an identity marker and a kind of map, locating you in time and geography….In the end she chose both, Korean and American. American and Korean. So they would know where they were from. So they would know where they were going. (page 16)
“She’s my boyfriend’s girlfriend.” Red Tie turns his attention away from the crime in progress and onto me. “How does that work, exactly?” (page 53)
Still, getting over him didn’t take that long at all. And that’s the thing that makes me wary. Where did all those feelings go? People spend their whole lives looking for love. Poems and songs and entire novels are written about it. But how can you trust something that can end as suddenly as it began? (page 58)
There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will. (page 74)
But 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. (page 102)
Hope is the thing with feathers. (page 233)
I’m just looking for someone to save me. I’m looking for someone to take me off the track my life is on, because I don’t know how to do it myself. I’m looking to get overwhelmed by love and meant-to-be and destiny so that the decisions about my future will be out of my hands. It won’t be me defying my parents. It will be fate. (page 235)
“…God is the connection of the very best parts of us.” (page 272)
Hearts are not made
Or any material that could
Crack Into Pieces
Hearts don’t break.
They just stop working.
An old watch from another time and no parts to fix it. (page 303)
He makes a sound and now I know what a lifetime of pain sounds like. (page 328)
Rating and Review: 10 out of 5 stars
Okay, let me start off by saying this, don’t judge me.
I feel like you’re going to judge me after you read this review. Here are a few quick facts about me: I am a cry baby. Legit can cry at the drop of a dime. Weddings, baby showers, movies, if someone else is crying, anything, and that includes books. This book made me cry. Not just a small tiny bit like the Denzel “Glory” tear. I mean all out ugly cry. The silent one where you make no noise for about 10 seconds but your mouth is hanging open.
It was insane. Looking back on it, if someone had recorded me, I’m sure it would be viral by now and DJ Mustard or someone would have a #NecoleCryChallenge.
Anyway, on to the review. Buy it. It’s as simple as that. TSIAAS is a book you cannot miss.
It starts with seventeen-year-old Natasha Kingsley who is the jadiest of the jaded. She immigrated to NYC from Jamaica with her mother and father when she was 8 years old. Her father had hopes of becoming an actor. When that didn’t happen and his dream was deferred, the family ended up becoming illegal. In a drunken admission, her father told some cops about their situation and BAM. Deported. In a desperate attempt to stay in NYC, Natasha tries one more time to meet with someone who can stop her imminent deportation.
Daniel Jae Ho Bae is a dreamer. Born in a strict Korean household, his mother and father made plans that he would become a doctor. When his older brother Charlie, flunked out of Harvard, all the pressure was put on him. Agreeing with the plans, Daniel schedules an interview with a Yale alum. He doesn’t want to be a doctor, but in the wake of Charlie’s mess, Daniel feels like he has to. When Daniel spots Natasha on a NYC street, fate takes over and their worlds collide.
As the next 12 hours unfold in the novel, readers are privy to the push and pull of every relationship. It is sweet and endearing. At the same time it is beautiful and ugly. Yoon pulls the curtain back on the strange and all encompassing thing we call love and how it can find and mend even the most broken relationship.
It is told from multiple perspectives, mainly Daniel and Natasha, but it mainly shows how one action causes another reaction. TSIAAS is full of science and yet full of heart and things you can’t explain away with reason.
I know what you’re thinking, there is no way I could have liked everything about this book. You’re right. I hated the ending. Hated. But, that didn’t stop me from loving the book overall.
TSIAAS needs to be added to your cart. It’s something you’ll read over and over again. Get ready to become addicted.
*This book received a starred Kirkus review.