Hello, Sunshine: A Novel - Laura Dave

Sunshine Mackenzie truly is living the dream. A lifestyle guru for the modern age, Sunshine is beloved by millions of people who tune into her YouTube cooking show, and millions more scour her website for recipes, wisdom, and her enticing suggestions for how to curate a perfect life. She boasts a series of #1 New York Times bestselling cookbooks, a devoted architect husband, and a reputation for sincerity and kindness—Sunshine seems to have it all. But she’s hiding who she really is. And when her secret is revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. What Sunshine does in the ashes of destruction will save her in more ways than she can imagine.

In our modern world, where celebrity is a careful construct, Laura Dave’s compelling, enticing novel explores the devastating effect of the secrets we keep in public…and in private. Hello, Sunshine is a fresh, provocative look at a woman teetering between a scrupulously assembled life and the redemptive power of revealing the truth.


This was fine. This was solid. This was enjoyable. This wasn't addictive.


I felt like this was just so close to me loving it, but I never really became completely drawn in. Why? I'm not sure. This had solid writing, an interesting plot, and some well-drawn characters. But meh.


First of all, "spoiler" alert, the big fall from grace is simply that she didn't write her own recipes and isn't from where she said she's from. If she had been a bestselling author, I might have felt differently, but I found it hard to take the big deal seriously because they're recipes, and especially with the internet, recipes are so widely spread that anyone could have created them.


Our main character is immediately introduced as unlikeable and not entirely honest and I loved that about her until she proved to be quiet mediocre and kind of likeable but definitely not unlikeable. I think I got too excited about having a villainous main character that to then have her be jovial was not terribly fun. The book doesn't take her through any big changes personality-wise and she doesn't really grow or change.


Her new job and her family was probably the redeeming aspect of this book--she has an adorable niece and her sister has some interesting friends. The interactions amongst them were fun to watch, though their history was strange. I loved reading about her new job within the restaurant industry and her strange boss. I wanted to see more of that.

You'll probably enjoy reading this. I did. But it's not one I'll write home about.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.