Savannah Sharp

Savannah Sharp

Mr. Smith

Honors English 12


Nicola Yoon

Many authors are awarded and recognized for their hard work in writing literature. New York Times often gives out awards to outstanding authors. Recently, in 2017 a young woman named Nicola Yoon was presented with best seller and the basis of a film of the same name. "Everything, Everything" is just one of her best selling books. She’s also known for her dedicated work in the book, "The Sun Is Also A Star." Both of her works are built off of major life events and her culture when she lived in Jamaica as a young child. As a young child Nicola grew up on an island called Jamaica, filled with many mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches. It is the fourth largest island country in the Caribbean just south of Cuba and west of the Dominican Republic. Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae music, and its capital Kingston is home to the Bob Marley Museum. They are well known for their music, blue mountain coffee, and their bobsled team. Jamaica is filled with many cultures, activities, and their friendly atmosphere. Their official language is English; however, it is often referred to Jamaican Patois and was developed on the island during the slave trade. Most of the population there is African American, and Nicola was born into that culture with her family and experienced many new adventures.Her love of writing began at the age of eight. She would write in journals and read a loud to her mother and father. With all the wonderful attractions there is to do in Jamaica, Nicola never got bored as a child. There are so many vibrant lifestyles of people that she was exposed to. As she grew up, her math skills succeeded tremendously in high school as a young teen. There are six years of primary school that is free, and everything is taught in English.

Schools there are state-owned or private. Secondary school ranges from students who are 12 to 17, which is comparable to middle school and high school combined. These schools are either single sex or mixed. They also have improved technology and given the students access to many computers. When Nicola was attending school here, she, of course, did not have access to this, but instead many books that were helpful in her education. After completing all the years in school, students are able to transfer to different schools to get a professional degree. However, Nicola decided to move to the United States and further her education at Emerson College to take many classes, eventually majoring in something she loved. In Boston, Massachusetts Emerson College was founded in 1880 by Charles Emerson and is mainly focused on the degrees in Arts and Communication. Here at Emerson, Nicola majored in electrical engineering. This class generally dealt with the study of electricity and electronics and applying to other factors that could be used for. Moreover, they worked on a wide range of components, devices and systems, from tiny microchips to huge power station generators. It wasn't until Nicola’s senior year of college when she decided this career choice was not the right fit for her. During her last year in college she took many creative writing classes and that’s when she discovered her love of reading and writing. She met many new faces and created strong relationships with them. This never happened when she was previously in a different career choice. Many people find themselves when they are in a career that they enjoy, and this is exactly what Nicola did. She later went on to become a financial data programmer for investment firms. She worked in the field for several years and then later decided to enroll in a professional creative writing program, where she earned an M.F.A, Master in Fine Arts. After that, she succeeded in her writing tremendously.After many years of writing on the side, she got her first book deal in 2015. Her first publication was titled, “Everything, Everything.” This happened with the help of Delacorte Books for young readers to be published. This turned out to be the best selling book of the year. With previously marrying her husband David Yoon, he helped with a few illustrations that are included in the book. This book is about an 18 year old girl who is unable to leave the house because of a supposedly terrible disease she will receive if she enters the outside world. She eventually discovers a boy next door that she is attracted to and she will do whatever it takes to try and be with him, to physically touch him, even if it involves trouble.

There are situations along the way, in which Madeline suffers a wide range of consequences. Nicola was heavily inspired by this book, because once she had her first kid she was very protective over her. She was very concerned for her safety in the outside world as her child would grow into a teenageer and evetually into an adult. This is just like any mother is concerned and over protective over their first born child. A first born child is a mother's everything and anything their kid does or says mpacts them so much. After some time, Nicola started to imagine a child whose life truly was threatened by the world, moreover by being in it. She began to think how it would effect a mother and daughter's relationship as time would go on as well as knowing who else would it effect besides themselves. Throughout the book, it is easy to see that the mother is over protective over her daughter. She has always been told that if she were to go outside she would die. This relates back to Nicola and her daughter’s relationship and how she would make up silly stories about something bad that may happen if she were to do a certain thing. However, children would be very curious if this is true or not, leading them to have occurring consequences, just like Madeline had in the book. Madeline was so attached to Will and his features that she risked everything and went to Hawaii with him. The author later quotes, “Everything is a risk. Not doing a risk. It’s up to you.” (Yoon and Yoon, 2015). Nicola clearly added this event because she was expressing her feelings as a worried mother and the consequences the child will receive. Although Madeline was technically not allergic to the world, she did end up getting sick and having to go to the hospital. This shows that every mother has a reason to worry.Nicola also adds and it’s stated in the book, “Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love.” (Yoon and Yoon, 2015) Although it is frowned upon to disobey parents, it may also be different in this particular situation. Madeline was locked up in her house for almost 19 years and never got any experience with the outside world. The author proves to the audience that people need to go out and reach their goals in life and experience the world, just as she did with writing her best selling books. Everything has consequences in life when someone breaks the rules. Nicola clearly put all her thoughts into one book, all because of her experience with her own daughter. It showed in the book that Madeline was eventually old enough to make her own decisions and knew what was right and wrong. She went against her mothers back, and the consequences were received. Many mothers today are worried for their child's safety and it is understable to be overprotective. However, Nicola proved that it can come with unexpected events and terrible outcomes. Today, she has raised a very successful child and has proved that any mother can in her book "Everything, Everything." After successfully writing this book, in May of 2017. This was awarded best selling motion picture, along with her best selling book of the year. After successful years of marrying her husband and having her first child, they continued to further their life in Los Angeles, California. She now is a hopeless romantic who firmly believes that people can fall in love instantly and it can last forever. This self development led her to write her latest book, "The Sun Is Also A Star." This was published in 2016 with the help of her ideas and the security of love and passion. To help write this award winning book, she gathered many ideas from her own life and romance stories. Her husband David has also helped in illustrating her books and continues to support her and her publications. He has been a huge part of her life and believes love can happen anytime and anywhere. She proves in this book that love is complicated, but people have to go above and beyond to reach what they want. In the book "The Sun Is Also A Star," an adventurous girl named Natasha and her family moved to the United States illegally from Jamaica. She eventually crosses a guy named Daniel, a Korean American, while he is on his way for an interview with a Yale alum, while she is on her way meeting with a lawyer to prevent her family’s deportation to Jamaica. Throughout the book they eventually fall in love. Nicola heavily includes her own life story into the book, including moving from Jamaica. Many families or individuals who move from one country to another experience so many different situations and cultural differences. In Natasha's case it was meeting a boy that was in the same situation, moving from a different country to New York. They share their cultural differences as they get to know each other just like Nicola did with her husband, as he was an American and she was Jamaican. Sharing these different cultural experiences can give so much knowledge to other people and the appreciation of others. Moreover, not only does she share her culture, but also falling in love with that special person. In the book Natasha states, "Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself." (Yoon, 2016).

All throughout, she finds her true self and what she is capable of doing in life. In the book, with the help of her boyfriend Daniel, she continues to find herself and appreciates love that way. The author includes this quote because she as well found and loved herself when she got married. However, she is not claiming that someone may need a spouse in their life to love themselves. It is the fact that they can continue to love and find themselves and that person can better them throughout their lifetime. Many people in life struggle with having confidence in themselves, and that is why she stressed that in the book. Additionally, love is such a powerful emotion that it causes people to accomplish more things, rather than being alone. Nicola also makes a statement in the book, “We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.” (Yoon, 2016). She proves this when Natasha goes to court to make herself legal to live in the United States. Without having this big dream and self love, this would’ve never gotten accomplished. She clearly adds this major event in the book, because it reflects on her own life, but in her own way with writing her books. Nicola had a dream of being a writer and going forward with this, she accomplished many of her goals. This led her to win awards such as, New York's Best Time Selling Author and soon to be best selling motion pictures. Many successful authors use their own life events in their writing to achieve a best selling book. Nicola used many of her own stories and added twists to them. From her first book "Everything, Everything" she added her personal connection when she had her daughter and the fear she had of letting her do her own thing. Also, she depicted the character experiencing the world and having fun in life, but being aware of the consequences. In her second book, "The Sun Is Also A Star" she has created the main character to be an immigrant from Jamaica finding true love in the United States. She proves that love can be found anywhere, just like she found her true love when she moved to the United States as well. Moreover, Nicola has been a very successful author and continues to write award winning books. Growing up in Jamaica was a life changing experience for her, as well as marrying her husband David. With the help of her husband and the life changing events that happened in her life, she has successfully published her award winning books. Any author can have this success in their works, as long as they put forth the effort and add life changing events that the audience could relate to as their own. 

Works Cited 

Lundquist, M. (2019). Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon - Author Biography - LitLovers. [Accessed 31 Mar. 2019]. (2019). 50 Fascinating Facts about Jamaica. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Mar. 2019].

Yoon, N. (2019). Bio — Nicola Yoon. [online] Nicola Yoon. Available at: [Accessed 31 Mar. 2019].Yoon, N. and Yoon, D. (2015). Everything, everything. Los Angeles: Delacorte Books, p.156.Yoon, N. and Yoon, D. (2015). Everything, everything. Los Angeles: Delacorte Books, p.201.Yoon, N. (2016). The sun is also a star. Los Angeles: Delacorte Books, p.148.Yoon, N. (2016). The sun is also a star. Los Angeles: Delacorte Books, p.177.