Review: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

I was so excited to read Laura Dave’s newest book because I loved Eight Hundred Grapes so much when I read it couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like Hello, Sunshine. The main character, Sunshine, has lied her way into her own YouTube cooking series, A Little Sunshine. She’s got a book deal, and she’s about to have her own Food Network TV show…until she gets hacked. Someone shares the truth of her origins and her affair with her producer, and then everything falls apart.

There were two things I didn’t like about this book, and almost nothing that I did like. First, Sunshine loses everything because her lies were exposed, but yet she thinks the solution to her problems is to keep lying. Ugh. She was so annoying. And then second, I didn’t like the way this book was written. It starts by saying that Sunshine lost everything in one night – her career and her husband, and then it takes 30% of the book to tell that part of the story. I was pretty bored during that 30%.

At about 50% the book gets a little bit better. Sunshine goes home to stay with her sister, and I did kind of enjoy their relationship and the family drama. But mostly I just liked that finally this book had some characters I didn’t completely hate. Rain, the sister, and her daughter, Sammy, are pretty great. Their lives are hard, but they’re trying to make things work. Plus a local fisherman enters the picture, and he tells it like it is and doesn’t take any crap from Sunshine. I liked that.

I’m writing this review before actually finishing the book, but I don’t think it will redeem itself much for me. Plus I rate books on the full reading experience, and not just the ending. I wish I had enjoyed this book more, but it was too shallow and petty for my taste. I still want to read some of Laura Dave’s older novels, but I won’t be recommending this latest one to anyone, sadly.

Rating: 2 Stars

Hello, Sunshine
Laura Dave
Simon and Schuster
July 11, 2017

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.

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