08 July 2017

Weekend Cooking: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

Review: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
Are you the same person on your blog and on other social media as you are in real life? I think most of us can answer that question with a resounding yes. Okay, so maybe we don't photograph our kitchens when the sink is full of dirty dishes, but for the most part, what we present to the world is fairly truthful.

Sunshine Mackenzie (not her real last name), started on her road to culinary personality fame after Ryan, an agent and producer, decided he could turn her amateur YouTube videos into a brand. All seemed to be going as planned until, on the morning of Sunny's thirty-fifth birthday, all her social media accounts were hacked.

In this way Laura Dave's newest novel, Hello Sunshine (Simon & Schuster, July 11), begins. The story of how Sunny copes with having all her secrets exposed to the world is both funny and a little scary.

For Sunny, the biggest problem is not that her husband learned about her one-night stand but that her fans know she is not at all who she said she was. She can't cook, she can't develop recipes, and she's most decidedly not from the South. In fact, she grew up in a large beachside house in the Hamptons. Oops.

After Sunny loses her marriage, her book deal, and her television series, she is forced to confront her authentic self and decide whether she wants to remain in the food world and, if so, in what capacity. Other plot lines involve Sunny figuring out which person in her life was responsible for the hacking, her rocky relationship with her sister and niece, and her friendships with various people in the Hamptons.

Hello, Sunshine is a cute, fun book, perfect for foodies and bloggers. The characters are easy to root for or boo at, and the story moves along at a decent clip. Dave has a good sense of humor, but manages to add depth to her novel, particularly when exploring branding, image, and competitiveness. I can't say I liked Sunny's husband or her producer much, but I enjoyed getting to know the other people in her life.

Some of my favorite scenes took place in the kitchen of a snooty Hamptons restaurant. In addition, I also liked the mystery of the identity of the hacker, and I was as surprised as Sunny when the culprit was revealed. The ending was left a little up in the air, but I'm okay with that.

I recommend Laura Dave's Hello, Sunshine for foodies, bloggers, and anyone looking for an afternoon escape. The novel is light on one level, but the underlying layers will give you pause to think. In fact, I bet this would make a great book club pick, and I think Sunny would agree that grilled cheese sandwiches are the thing to serve at your meeting.

[Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the review copy.]
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


nishitak 7/8/17, 7:46 AM  

This book is probably just right for me, considering I am a blogger and blog about food in addition to books. Sounds really entertaining.

Tina 7/8/17, 7:50 AM  

I would love to read this book, I have to go add it to Goodreads now. Maybe the library has it. When you mentioned her double li I was put in mind of the old movie Christmas in Conneticut . Barbara Stanwck was supposed a former cook but she never actually cooked or baked anything. I'm old, remembering that :-)

bermudaonion 7/8/17, 8:40 AM  

When I first started meeting bloggers, I realized I already knew MOST of them from their online persona, but there've been a few who are a little different in person. This book sounds like so much fun!

Jackie McGuinness 7/8/17, 9:08 AM  

I definitely would love this book. Are we who we really are on our blogs? I think so, I agree I don;t show my messiness.

(Diane) bookchickdi 7/8/17, 9:32 AM  

I read Hello Sunshine on a train ride home, and it definitely keep my interest, and although I didn't guess the culprit, I found the reveal to be a little hard to swallow. But it will get people talking, that is for sure.

Deb in Hawaii 7/8/17, 11:28 AM  

Great review. This sounds like a fun book. Like Tina, I was reminded of Christmas in Connecticut--so I must be old too! ;-) I have the author's Eight Hundred Grapes on my Kindle but have not gotten around to reading it yet.

Claudia 7/8/17, 11:33 AM  

This sounds like a fun book. Maybe even for our Cook the Books Club. I think something's not working with the linky - it didn't put up my post? I'll try later.

Vicki 7/8/17, 1:39 PM  

I want to read this!

Greg 7/8/17, 11:43 PM  

Wow that would be embarrassing! I really liked Eight Hundred grapes by the same author, so I'm tempted to give this a try as well.

gluten Free A_Z Blog 7/11/17, 9:58 PM  

Thanks for the review- I definitely want to read it - and thanks for hosting the linky and giving us the opportunity to share our posts.

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