Book vs. Movie: The Sun is Also a Star

Grey image with movie icons and Don't Judge a Book by its Movie title.

Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations.

The Sun is Also a Star is a book to movie adaptation that could have been so much more. The novel is an incredible love story that focuses on destiny. However. the screenplay just seems to have strayed so far from the book that it is incredibly boring to watch. With an incredible cast and fantastic cinematography, this is a disappointing film.

Book vs. Movie: The Sun is Also a StarTitle: The Sun is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Cast: Yara Shahidi, Jake Choi
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Screenplay: Tracy Oliver
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

three-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

Amazon “Book

The Sun is Also a Star: Book vs. Movie

Nicola Yoon’s 2016 contemporary, The Sun is Also a Star is a book that explores fate from the perspectives of Natasha, Daniel, and the Universe. The serious aspect of Natasha’s looming deportation is offset by her one day chance meeting with Daniel. Also, there is an element of humour in the novel that adds to its appeal. When I re-read this book recently, I chose to listen to the audio version and I highly recommend it, as it is well narrated.

❀ Film is a Let Down Compared to The Book

The film adaptation is quite a let down, as there is no real movement in the plot. This is so surprising because the book seems as though it is perfectly set up for the screen. Natasha and Daniel spend a day in New York learning about one another’s cultures and explore the city, while the universe brings them closer together. It is a whirlwind of a book that reminds me of the Ethan Hawke film, Before Sunrise. Simply put, there is no wow factor in this book to movie adaptation. It is super boring and the romance in the book does not translate to the screen at all.

❀ Superb Casting

The fact that this movie falls flat is surprising because the acting is actually quite good and the casting is superb. Both Yara Shahidi and Jake Choi are perfect for the roles of Natasha and Daniel. As the movie version has left out the role of the Universe, a good chunk of the film focuses on cinematography. If you love New York city, there is no shortage of landmarks and artsy shots of the city.

❀ Wait for its Netflix Release

While many books turned into films can be a bit of a let down, The Sun is Also a Star is a book that could have made a fantastic film. Unfortunately, even with a perfect story and cast, the screenplay does not do the novel justice. Skip this one at the box office and wait for its release on Netflix if you are curious about it.

About Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

 

31 thoughts on “Book vs. Movie: The Sun is Also a Star

  1. Beware Of The Reader says:

    I loved this post! Because you “tell it as you felt it” LOL And yes if the actors were goods what did go wrong?

  2. Stephanie @ Bookfever says:

    I bought the book when it came out and I haven’t even read it yet (as usual lol) but it’s still disappointing to hear that the movie is a let down. Maybe I’ll see it someday once I’ve read the book but I know not to have high expectations at least.

  3. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books says:

    Oh thank you so much for sharing this review! I haven’t read the book, but I wanted to read it and see the movie as well, now I think I might wait a little while and maybe get to the book first 🙂 I’m sorry this was a bit of a disappointment, that’s too bad, it sounded so promising!

  4. Jaime Lynn says:

    What a disappointment to hear. I don’t read a ton of contemporary stories, but The Sun is Also A Star is one that I picked up on impulse and ended up devouring. It was beautiful, poignant, consuming. It was such an amazing story. And I could definitely imagine it being made into a movie, and being just as fantastic. It really stinks that the story didn’t compute through the screen. Definitely waiting to Netflix this one.

  5. Em @ Books & Cleverness says:

    I have yet to see this one, but I WAS planning to watch it in theaters. I absolutely loved the book, and I agree — the cast is perfect. Sorry to hear you didn’t love the adaptation. I was hoping this wouldn’t end up as Nicola’s other adaptation, Everything, Everything. I’ll probably still shell out the cash to see it, though.

  6. Sarah L says:

    So many movies fail to live up to the books they’re supposed to be based on. One I did like as much as the book is A Wrinkle in Time. Different than the book but very good in its own way.

  7. Judy Thomas says:

    I prefer books to movies as I am often disappointed in a movie if I watch it after reading the book.

  8. Kathy Davis says:

    I haven’t read the book yet. I think that I will start with that before watching on Netflix. Thanks for the review.

  9. Wanda B says:

    If I read a book that is absolutely amazing, then I almost never watch the movie later. It terrifies me because things are so often changed.

  10. Nancy says:

    Agreed. I have read books that were better than movies & sometimes even movies that were better in that format than the book.

  11. Calvin says:

    Interesting point to come across. It’s rare but some movies are a whole new level in adaptation, some brings out the story well

  12. NANCY says:

    Sometimes when I encounter a movie that is lacking but the overall plot is a good one, I will search out the book to read. Most times, as writers learn, much of their original intrigue gets lost on the cutting room floor. Between screenplay writers, producers & directors, much of a great story can get lost or ruined.

  13. Judy Thomas says:

    I love Stephen Kings books and much prefer them to the movies made of them. It is always more horrifying in my head while I am reading the book.

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