The Sun is Also a Star

The Sun is Also a Star

by

Nicola Yoon

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Sun is Also a Star can help.
Irene is an extremely depressed young woman who works as a security guard in the USCIS building, which Natasha visits. She takes her time looking through people's belongings, as that often causes them to look at her—these brief moments of connection keep Irene's crushing loneliness at bay. After spending a week checking Natasha into the building, Irene finally decides to investigate Natasha's phone case, which is the album art for the Nirvana album Nevermind. Though Irene doesn't like the cover, she later listens to the album and researches the tragic life of Nirvana's lead singer, which causes her to decide to commit suicide. She ends up not following through after Lester Barnes informs her that Natasha called to thank her (Irene was slow to check Natasha in, which made Natasha late to her appointment and consequently allowed her to run into Daniel). Irene doesn't know what Natasha meant to thank her for, but she seeks help and eventually lives out her childhood dream of becoming a flight attendant. On one serendipitous flight, she's the one to reconnect Natasha and Daniel ten years after Natasha saved her life.

Irene Quotes in The Sun is Also a Star

The The Sun is Also a Star quotes below are all either spoken by Irene or refer to Irene. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Immigration and the American Dream Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Sun is Also a Star published in 2016.
Chapter 4 Quotes

She glances up at me again but shows no sign that she recognizes me, even though I've been here every day for the last week. To her I'm just another anonymous face, another applicant, another someone who wants something from America.

Related Characters: Natasha Kingsley (speaker), Irene
Related Symbols: Headphones
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Sun is Also a Star LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Sun is Also a Star PDF

Irene Character Timeline in The Sun is Also a Star

The timeline below shows where the character Irene appears in The Sun is Also a Star. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Interconnectedness and Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation vs. Connection Theme Icon
...a bin before she walks through the metal detector. She doesn't smile as the guard, Irene, checks Natasha's items. Irene flips over Natasha's phone case, which is the cover art for... (full context)
Chapter 5
Immigration and the American Dream Theme Icon
Isolation vs. Connection Theme Icon
The narrator says that Natasha is wrong about Irene: Irene needs and loves her job, as it's the only thing that keeps her loneliness... (full context)
Interconnectedness and Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Last night was awful for Irene. She felt as though her loneliness wanted to swallow her whole. Irene recognizes Natasha when... (full context)
Chapter 9
Immigration and the American Dream Theme Icon
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Isolation vs. Connection Theme Icon
...receptionist insists that Natasha will have to come back, even when Natasha desperately explains that Irene held her up. The receptionist refuses to call Natasha's case officer, even when she begs.... (full context)
Chapter 12
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Interconnectedness and Destiny Theme Icon
...Natasha allows that several things happened that call her disbelief in fate into question: had Irene not made her late, she wouldn't have met Mr. Barnes; had he not said "irie,"... (full context)
Chapter 13
Isolation vs. Connection Theme Icon
When Irene takes her lunch break, she downloads the Nirvana album Nevermind and listens to it three... (full context)
Chapter 104
Interconnectedness and Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation vs. Connection Theme Icon
...call and she calls Lester Barnes' office. She asks him to thank her security guard, Irene, since the fact that Irene held her up and made her late that morning started... (full context)
Epilogue
Interconnectedness and Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Ten years later, Irene hasn't forgotten the girl (Natasha) who saved her life when she was a security guard.... (full context)
Passion vs. Reason Theme Icon
Interconnectedness and Destiny Theme Icon
Irene followed her childhood dream and became a flight attendant. She keeps an eye out for... (full context)
Interconnectedness and Destiny Theme Icon
Isolation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Once the plane reaches cruising altitude, Irene approaches the black woman and hesitantly tells her about that day in New York. Irene... (full context)