As my sister and I made our way into the movie theater, oversized popcorn and all, I beamed with excitement, knowing I was about to see one of my favorite YA books come to life inside of a movie.
When I first discovered "The Sun Is Also A Star" was going to be taken to the big screen, I was admittedly skeptical. In my opinion, too many books are ruined with the failure of transforming it into a well-liked feature film. However, after learning of the actors who were up for the main characters of Natasha Kingsley and Daniel Bae, I instantly became thrilled. Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton are two, one-of-a-kind actors in today's movie/TV scene, and their dedication to the storyline of this book generated this feeling that they were going to truly shed light on this original storyline about a young student's family facing deportation.
The element I loved most about this film was the perfectly-chosen cast. Each actor displayed a strong level of commitment to their character, and while I would have liked to see more depth in the characters, I felt that Shahidi impeccably-captivated the struggles Natasha went through with her family and her complicated, yet inescapable love with Daniel. Similarly, Melton genuinely took hold of Daniel's character. His charismatic, poetic personality, the struggle between what his parents want for him and what he wants for him, and the love he grows so quickly with Natasha effortlessly shines with the dedication from Melton.
Another element to the movie I found entirely beautiful was the setting of the film. While I was stunned by the New York City skyline, and the beautiful sunset shots from the street, I thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in the not-so-picture-perfect settings of the under-the-bridge skate part, and the busy streets of different New York boroughs, such as Harlem. The film truly captures every piece of New York City, as a way to show people why Natasha feels so completely empty when thinking about being taken away from her home of nine years. Throughout the movie, Daniel and Natasha travel around several parts of New York City, from Grand Central Terminal to the planetarium where Daniel witnesses Natasha's undeniable love for astronomy.
Although the ending is different in the movie than it is in the book, I still very much enjoyed seeing a glimmer of chance for the future of Daniel and Natasha as they find themselves in the same café where they sat five years ago, except now Natasha is preparing to earn her Ph.D. and Daniel is about to share his poetry with the world.
I genuinely encourage all lovers of YA romance genre to go see this film in the near future. It showcases the struggles that many teens and families are facing today, and I believe it's important for young viewers to be shown this unique storyline.