Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

What They Say....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.

What I Say....Sunshine is the result of our social media engineered life.  She has become a food and lifestyle guru via all the platforms, she's "internet famous".  She's about to get her own TV show, ala Rachael Ray, and everything seems to be going well - except her personal life.  She can barely be bothered to go to her own birthday party - or to look up from her phone at her husband.

But she does go to her own birthday party and the anonymous texts begin - threatening to expose her for the fraud that she is.  Sunshine doesn't know how to cook, her recipes all come from her partner's wife and she's been lying to the world.

That night her life falls apart as the anonymous source begins to spill all of her secrets on Twitter.  It's a bitter downfall via the medium that built her up.

Thus begins Sunshine's fall from grace, ending with her living on her sister's couch, a sister who doesn't like her very much, friendless, husbandless and jobless.  

At this point there's nowhere to go but up, but even that isn't easy for her.  She is face to face with the fact that people don't seem to like her very much in person, a hard pill to swallow for someone who thought she was loved by so many strangers.  And through her story, we find out she hasn't really been someone to love, disloyal to her husband and family and drinking her own koolaid.  

At times this made it hard to root for her - she kind of got what she deserved.  It was a somewhat melancholy read because there was no storybook ending, but definitely worth reading.

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