Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book Review: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

Pages: 256
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."

Sunshine Mackenzie is a well-known chef with best selling cookbooks and millions of adoring fans.  This all changes when her social media accounts get hacked and some of her deepest, darkest secrets get exposed. Cue her world coming crumbling down and even her personal life is in pieces once her husband finds out some of her secrets that she has been keeping from him.  Her fans are upset as even who she claims to be isn't accurate at all; essentially, she is a fraud. Where do you go when you have lost everything? Well, Sunshine heads back home to Montauk and right back to her estranged sister. But Sunshine refuses to be down for too long and picks herself up by the bootstraps.  Laura Dave's Hello, Sunshine is a delightful beach read that has all the fluff you would want in a beach read, but it also examines bigger things like life in a digital age.

Sunshine is a character that although I disagreed with, I still cared about her in HelloSunshine. I mean she is a bit of a hot mess by the time her world comes crashing down and although she lied and took part in despicable things, I still was, somehow, rooting for her. I think that is a testament to Dave's writing. She made me care about Sunshine and I wanted to see her learn from her mistakes and rise from her ashes.

Sunshine is also a complex character in HelloSunshine.  When she returns to her childhood home, not only has she hit rock bottom, but she has to confront the shaky relationship she has with her sister and in turn spend time with her niece. I liked this aspect of HelloSunshine and the fact that Sunshine came home to sort of find herself again. And where better to do that than at the Hamptons? The setting of Montauk really added to beach-read appeal of this novel.

More importantly, I liked that Dave has readers examine what it means to live an authentic life, especially when it comes to social media. So often the way things appear on the Internet are contrary to real life and I think HelloSunshine is a nice reminder of this.

If you like a good beach read that has a nice setting along with the idea of finding yourself again and restarting your life, you'll appreciate HelloSunshine. It's definitely a fun book to throw in your beach bag this summer.


  1. I have this one on my TBR and I'm really looking forward to it. I've really been drawn to books lately that talk about social media and how sometimes we fake our persona on them. It's just such a relevant topic.

    1. Yes! Then you will definitely enjoy this one, Angela. I look forward to your thoughts. Thanks for visiting!

  2. I'm glad you liked this one. Having liked Eight Hundred Grapes, I was looking forward to this one. I wish I had been able to like Sunshine but I was just so frustrated with her that I gave up on the book. The subject of social media and honesty is definitely relevant today. I read another book that looked at how people portrayed their lives on Instagram that I liked a little more (My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella).

    Thanks for your review!

    1. Yes, I could see how you'd be super frustrated with Sunshine. Once I got past my annoyance with her, I was able to enjoy the story. I really want to read Eight Hundred Grapes now! I will have to check out My Not So Perfect Life as's been years since I read Kinsella! Thanks for visiting, Christina!

  3. Ehgad. I feel like I'm going to suffer from a sympathetic embarrassment from reading Sunshine's predicament. Yikes. I've had an experience with a social media breakdown several years ago and it wasn't fun. Lol.

    1. I know. It's pretty bad. Nightmare! I can imagine any sort of social media breakdown is not good. You'd probably like this one, Joy! Thanks for visiting!


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