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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Battle of Hello, Sunshine[s]!



Blurb from Goodreads:
A Prep School Girl with a Hollywood Dream

Becca Harrington is a reject. After being rebuffed by every college on her list, she needs a fresh start, so she packs up everything and moves to LA, giving herself one year to land an acting gig or kill herself trying. 

Unfortunately, not everything turns out as planned, and after a few grueling months, LA is looking like the worst idea ever. As hard as she tries, Becca can’t land an agent, she's running out of cash, and her mom is hounding her to apply to more schools. In an act of desperation, Becca and her friend Marisol start posting short videos online—with the help of their adorable filmmaker neighbor, Raj—and the videos catch the attention of a TV producer. Could this be it? Her big break? Or will she have to move back home with nothing but some bad head shots and a monstrous credit-card bill? 

Becca may not get the Hollywood ending she was hoping for, but perhaps she’ll learn there’s more than one way to achieve her dream. 
My Review:
 
I totally loved Leila Howland's book from a few summers ago, Nantucket Blue, so I was excited to read her latest offering. And it was engaging from the first sentence.  I really loved Becca - even though she was only 18, she had a dream and I was kind of awe-struck of her pursuit of it.  This felt very realistic to me and I have to say that Leila Howland writes kick-ass women MCs.  Even if they're young, they are so well developed and know what the want.  There is this pushing through life in the face of the fear that she is able to capture and that I so admire! One of the other things that Leila was able to convey in both books was super strong friendships.  I loved Becca's friendships and how she really grew and came into her own over the course of the book.  The beginning of the book started focused on a romance but the romance then took a backseat to the acting, which I thought worked SO well!
I've been trying to fall asleep for five hours. I've breathed according to a pocket-sized book about meditation, read the People magazine I bought near the bus stop in Pasadena, memorized half of a Shakespearian sonnet, and flipped the pillow to the cool side, but nothing has worked.


Blurb from Goodreads:
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:
Even though the MC of this Hello, Sunshine is 20 years older than Becca in Leila Howland's Hello, Sunshine, she isn't nearly as comfortable in her own skin. I typically love books involving food and kitchens but this one was just lacking - I don't mind an MC that isn't perfect and that you might not even like - but Sunshine was pretty awful.  Getting past that, the setting was ok (mostly in the Hamptons) but I just felt like this book wasn't really worth reading.  I don't know that Sunshine learned anything or really grew in the book and I honestly didn't care by the end.
You should probably know two things up front. And the first is this: On my thirty-fifth birthday--the day I lost my career and my husband and my home in one uncompromising swoop--I woke up to one of my favorite songs playing on the radio-alarm clock. I woke up to "Moonlight Mile" playing on the radio (where it is almost never played) and actually thought, as you only would think if you're a total fool (or, perhaps, if you were about to lose your career and your husband and your home in one uncompromising swoop): The world, my world, is good.
Both of these books not only have the same title but they both involve an MC that has lost everything.  I think that Leila Howland was able to show more growth, strength and a good journey than Laura Dave.  Both Hello, Sunshine and Hello, Sunshine were released earlier this week on July 11, 2017, and I would definitely recommend reading some Leila Howland!!

2 comments:

  1. I think that Leila Howland's Hello Sunshine would be my sort of read too, I do appreciate books which show great growth a lot more too! Great reviews Eva! :)

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  2. Wow, I can't believe two books with the same title released the same week ! I've seen them both around and wasn't paying attention and thought one was a UK cover. I'll have to check out the Leila Howland one, I remember when Nantucket Blue was the it book of the season and I never got around to it.

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