Celebrity in the social media age & The cost of curating our lives in Laura Dave’s Hello, Sunshine.
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.
I really enjoyed this book. It was such a light and yet gripping book and I envied Laura Dave‘s ability to create a plot so seemingly frivolous and yet so relevant and engaging. Sunshine Mackenzie is not a likeable character and she makes so many bad decisions from the start of the book until nearly the last quarter of the novel. Still, it makes the story more human.
Hello, Sunshine reveals how lifestyle guru Sunshine Mackenzie‘s online persona is born, how she gets lost in internet fame and social media validation and ultimately how that affects her family and real life. I did not find this book at all predictable and that’s one of my favorite things about it. Prepare to be surprised by the twists and turns in this one and to be forced to stop everything until this book is finished. It is definitely a page turner.
The protagonist and a couple of other characters are occasionally really annoying, but definitely tolerable! Best of all, this book will make you think about creating boundaries between REAL life and online life and making sure that who you are on your perfectly curated Instagram feed is who you are in reality.
It’s amazing, after all, what you’ll ignore when you want something to be right, isn’t it? Like in this case, the truth.
He tilted his head, not buying it, wanting to hear the truth in all its dirty matter. I used to love that about him, but recently I found it tiresome. I just wasn’t in the mood for too much honesty. And Danny was the one person who demanded it, who didn’t want me to perform for him- which often felt like the hardest performance of all.
That was the thing about lying. You got used to it, and it was what you did. The truth became a low groan that you could hear, but didn’t really need to address. When you were out of practice lying though, the effort it took to lie well, the energy to turn a story, became obvious. It was almost as hard as telling the truth.
“So you’re saying everyone is a liar?” “I’m saying it’s the way of the world now to display yourself. And there’s no putting that genie back in the bottle”, he said. “And some people integrate it well, they find social media connective. But for the rest of us, it’s a different story. Literally. And no one’s talking about it. The cost of curating your life.”
I’d been wrong about the ways we move past the versions ourselves that no longer fit. I’d thought it involved running, as far and as fast as your feet could carry you, from your former selves. I didn’t understand that was the surest way to wind up exactly where you started.
Hello Sunshine is a perfect beach read and even if you’re not on a beach this summer, you’ll want its pretty cover in your face for sure!
Also, see nine other amazing summer reads in this list of book recommendations
MY RATING: 4/5
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