Book Review: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

hello

Book Title and Author: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
Publication date and Publisher: July 11, 2017 by Simon Schuster
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick-Lit, Contemporary
Pages: 256 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: June 27, 2017
Goodreads

4 Stars

 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestseller Eight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves. Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.

Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor. And then she gets hacked. When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life. In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.

My Review: 

I was drawn to Hello, Sunshine because of the summery, citrusy, juicy cover that wouldn’t stop calling my name! I admit that I didn’t read the blurb of the book before I requested to read it nor had I ever read anything by Laura Dave. I just knew that a book that looked this sunny and refreshing would deliver (even if the old saying is to never judge a book by its cover)! Let’s just say that this time, I was completely right about the cover speaking for itself! What gem of a book! But what I thought would be a light, easy, breezy beach read is surprisingly more than that although it is definitely a book I highly recommend packing in your beach bag for a day! You will not be disappointed by this quick, yet unpredictable, surprising read!

 

Let me introduce you to Sunshine “Sunny” Mackenzie: she’s a cooking star with a YouTube cooking show, millions of Twitter and Facebook followers, several #1 bestselling cookbooks, a deal with the Food Network for a cooking show, a gorgeous husband, and an amazing NYC apartment. Basically, she has everything she ever dreamed of and more!

Yet, in the very first chapter, everything in Sunny’s life begins to unravel when someone hacks her Twitter account and exposes her deepest, darkest secrets. On her thirty-fifth birthday, her life crashes down around her and she loses everything. But you just cannot help feel sorry for her even though you have to question many of the choices she made along the way to her celebrity status that led to her devastating losses.

However, in these circumstances, Sunny proves she is a strong, independent woman. She is like a phoenix rising from the ashes as she completely starts her life over from scratch by returning to her home, a place she vowed she would never return. It’s her return to her roots that shows Sunny how the life she’d been living was not only fake but had turned her into someone who was inauthentic and only cared about appearances for the sake of her social media status.

I so love how Dave takes us along on Sunny’s journey to rediscovering her true self and the road to happiness! It was also great to see Sunny interact and reconnect with her estranged sister Rain, her adorable, super-smart niece Sammy, and many other characters she meets along the way–some likable and others not so much! Also, being a bit of a foodie, I really enjoyed all the food talk and references to meals in the book! There were times when I was reading that I would get so hungry I’d have to grab a snack!!

My only complaints with the book were the ending and the reason why the hacker exposed Sunny as a fraud.  The ending was abrupt and could have been fleshed out more even if by adding an epilogue so the reader could know how things had ended a little bit more for Sunny, and I had to reach a bit to understand the hacker’s reasonings for why and what they did. Still, neither of those things took anything away from the pure enjoyment of the book in my opinion, but it did cause the book from receiving a 5-star rating from me. All in all, it was just such a joy to watch Sunny awaken to the person she really was and stop hiding from herself that made me really love the book!

This is a witty, funny, well-written read that is also very deep at times. The topic of how social media consumes us and what many of us do to make a good appearance on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc is a very relevant one in today’s age for Dave to explore. While we may not curate our lives like Sunny did to maintain her celebrity status, most of us try to portray our very best selves on social media….the most flattering pictures on Facebook or Instagram even if it must be taken 20 times to be “perfect” or just enough information given in a Facebook post to keep up with or upstage a family or a friend. I know that as soon as this review is written and posted it will be linked to Goodreads, Google Plus, and Twitter, so I know social media is an integral part of my blogging and reviewing. And I want my review to reflect the best parts of me. So when does social media become too much a part of our everyday lives or invite us to become people other than who we really are? That really is what Dave is asking the reader in Hello, Sunshine and why it is so surprisingly a deeper read than what I expected. I definitely recommend this book as the perfect summer read, and I know that I will be reading more of Dave’s books in the future!

***Thank you Edelweiss, Simon Schuster, and Laura Dave for allowing me to read an ARC copy of Hello, Sunshine in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. ***

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Book Review: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

    1. Thanks, my dear!! I was excited to write my 1st review since surgery, so I was hoping it made sense, lol!!! I’m glad that it did! It really was a good book…there were parts that I got really mad at one of the characters, well two, but it was the bad person, and I wish it had ended differently, but I’m already hunting down more of her books! And I just heard that the book has already been bought for to be turned into a movie, which I think it will make a great movie if produced right! I’m actually excited about that!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You had a surgery! I hope you are all fine. This is a lovely review and the book sounds lovely too. I am traveling to my parent’s home next week. Long vacation plan in an odd month as summer in India is already gone. Going to pick up this one if available. Can’t be bad for a monsoon read. 🙂 I find Edelweiss a little confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did have surgery last Friday, but I am slowly starting to feel better if I don’t over do it and rest when my body says to sleep or take a break 😊

      Thanks for the the kind words! It was a lovely book and fun to review. I believe it is available on NetGalley too, but I saw it on Edeweiss first. I thought they were confusing at first too then I found they were easy to navigate after I read a guide on how to use them . And have so many books! But a lot of books I look for that I don’t talk about on my blog are educational textbooks, and Edeweiss carries a lot of those for review. I also found with Edelweiss that if I request something I’m generally approved the next day. That’s nice when I’m trying to look at things for work!
      Happy and safe travels!! No, this one will be perfect for a monsoon read! 😊

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      1. I was looking for a place where I could find some research work for my own novel. Edelweiss does have better non-fiction selection compared to Netgalley, especially the ones I needed. I will check out the guides. 🙂 Get rosy and healthy real soon. Will drop in again when I am back.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, they definitely do! They are much more educational friendly, but Netgalley is great for novels! Both have their pros and cons. I Googled how to navigate Edelweiss, so maybe start there? I found a WordPress blog that actually broke it down and showed how-to! If I can find the page, I’ll put the link in a comment!!

        Thanks!! I’ll work on it 😀 Enjoy your trip!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!! I do hope you enjoy it if you read it!! I love the cover; it is just so summery! 😊❤ And thank you! I’m feeling better every day. I just have to be very careful and not over do it 🤗❤

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    1. Lol, I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t pay much attention to the blurb! I just knew I had to have it because it was so pretty!! It’s definitely a fun, but semi deep read. I enjoyed it very much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope your recovery is going well! I really loved Eight Hundred Grapes by this author but have read mixed reviews of this one so it’s good to read that you enjoyed it so much. I still have room on my summer tbr so I think I’ll add it:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Renee! I’m feeling better every day as lipupong as I don’t push myself. It was nice to feel up to writing this review, finally! Every thing else I’ve posted this week was prewritten and scheduled.

      I’ve not read Eight Hundred Grapes but have requested it from the library. I’m glad to hear it was good! I really did enjoy this one, but I can understand the mixed reviews. The ending really fell flat like Dave ran out of things to say, so it just rather ends. And I’m sure some people were unhappy with Sunny’s decision in the end, which I was at first then remembered this was about her happiness and rediscovery not mine. I loved the social media aspect of the book and how Dave really points out it can consume us. I thought that was so relevant for today. Let me know what you think after you read it! I hope you enjoy it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks sooo good, Stephanie! I love the social media aspect and what goes on behind the scenes and how what you see isn’t necessarily the truth about their lives.

    Sunny sounds like an amazing and interesting character that I would want to read about. Adding this one to the list. Great job on the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was! And I loved the social media aspect of the book. Most of us know we just see a glimpse of what celebrities want us to see on social media, so I really thought about that. But it’s so applicable to all of us who use social media. I’m guilty of taking umpteen pictures of my kids for a Facebook profile pic because I want it perfect and to project a perfect image although I hadn’t really thought of that until reading this book. Deep thoughts in this little book! And I loved Sunny! She did some stupid, bad things, but I liked her spunkiness. She was honest when things came out, so I admired that. I think you’ll enjoy it! 😀❤

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    1. Thanks!! I was pleasantly surprised at how good the book was, which just made it that much better 😊 I loved the social media aspect of the book! It was so timely and something I think we all need to think about. I just read the book right have been purchased for a movie! I think it will be a great movie depending on who they get to play Sunny and the other characters! I’m excited about that, and I don’t often get excited about books to movies!! 😀

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