Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

When it rains, it pours and in Sunshine Mackenzie’s case, it’s pouring cats and dogs. Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave shares the story of Sunshine Mackenzie, a celebrity chef with a huge social media following. She’s living the perfect life…until she isn’t. A mysterious hacker begins to leak Sunshine’s devastatingly personal secrets out for the world to see. Just like that, everything she had built begins to fall.

When it seems like things can’t get any worse, Sunshine returns to her hometown and the doorstep of her estranged sister, Rain. Yes, you read that correctly, the sister’s names are Sunshine and Rain. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but it’s not exactly smooth sailing from there for Sunshine.

While there were portions of the story that I thought were cheesy (starting with the sister’s names), I was really interested in the way Laura Dave examined the idea of living a “curated” life. During a time when social media rules all and sucks up so much of our time, we’re seeing people not only share, but share content intended to make their lives look a certain way. Is it possible to share authentically? If anything, Hello, Sunshine is a conversation starter. 

I enjoyed Hello, Sunshine – it’s a quick read that’s great for long summer days!

Standout Quote:

“‘Did it ever occur to you that if you weren’t living in fear of other people’s opinions of you, no one would have the power to take anything away?'”

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

First Comes LoveAs the title implies, this book is about love and how it is at the core of everything we do. First Comes Love is bestselling author Emily Giffin’s most recently published novel. I really enjoyed reading Giffin’s book, Something Borrowed, a few years ago along with the movie adaptation staring Kate Hudson, so I was excited to pick this one up too.

When the Garland family loses their golden boy on a cold, dark winter night, their world shatters. The two sisters, Josie and Meredith, have never been close and are pushed even further apart by this loss. While Josie lives life to the fullest and unapologetically, Meredith keeps a calm control over her perfectly ordered life. 15 years later they are approaching the anniversary of Daniel’s death and with it, tensions rise and secrets threaten to emerge….Although Daniel has passed, he is still very present in each of their lives.

Throughout the book, the two sisters are pretty awful to one another, each one geared to expect the worst of the other. It’s almost like they each make an effort to hurt the other as much as possible and then feel extremely guilty afterwards. Sometimes their nastiness was hard to read, but as the book went on, their relationship changed as well.

First Comes Love 2Even though First Comes Love touches on dark and intense issues, it’s told in a light tone, making it a good choice for summer reading. I enjoyed the story and was especially intrigued by the complex relationship between the sisters.