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.

Readers will love every page of this funny, romantic, aspirational, and ultimately triumphant novel about a girl who just wants to make it on her own.

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 3.75 rounding up to 4 full stars! Cute, entertaining, and brimming with vivacious characters, Hello, Sunshine is a breath of fresh air and a really quick read. Looking for a summer novel to make you smile? Well, look no further. Scoop this one up and fall head-over-Hollywood-heels (hills? I suppose either works in this scenario) in love with these fun characters.

♥ Review: I needed a good book to get me over this dreaded book slump that I’m in, and I think Howland’s latest release was just the ticket. I won’t get into the real ins and outs of the plot, considering the fact that I think the Goodreads summary does a nice job of hitting all the hot spots, but I will say that I think that the author did a fairly good job of keeping things pretty realistic under most circumstances. The biggest of those was probably money issues and struggling on a tiny budget, which if you’ve ever moved out on your own as a young adult with no backing from the parentals, one finds out easily that the struggle is real. Okay, so yes Becca did manage to quickly meet up with some friendly folks in Hollywood who helped her on her way from the start and when she finally caught some breaks, they swung mightily in her favor, but that’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Some people find good luck (or blessings, depending on what you believe) like that all the time, so I didn’t roll my eyes too hard. But speaking of Becca and the friendly faces, I have to say that I really enjoyed this cast of characters. Another thing, Becca might have actively jumped at the whole idea of acting and living alone in LA with a serious case of naïvety, but aside from being a fresh-faced teenager, she also couldn’t help how drastically her situation changed upon her arrival, so I gave her a pass on that. To be perfectly honest, I think it made her character development over the course of the book even better. More so, she was just downright likable and relatable, and as vibrant and hopeful as any eighteen-year-old with a dream has a right to be. Marisol and Raj were some great addictions as well. In fact, I wish we would have gotten even more time in with Raj and Becca as a couple, but I could appreciate that she took the time to try to get over her ex completely before diving in to a new relationship. Still, he was the sweetest and I would have scooped him up with a quickness. As for Marisol, I loved that she was blunt and proud and flawed and everything that a good friend should be, miscommunications (*cough*lying*cough*) and all. Also, yay for sex positivity and girls watching out for each other instead of being mean girls in YA! Also also, there were some really great adult role models in this book that watched out for the young ones, and that was awesome, too!

As for my tiny little grievances with the novel, most of it revolved around the repetition of similar scenes and how I felt like that affected the pacing at times. Though, truthfully, it must not have messed with it too much as I finished this book it a matter of hours and all in one sitting.  My other little main issue was not finding out about how Raj’s film did at the festival in the end, but I was certainly hopeful about how these characters’ and their futures would pan out.

♥ Teaser Quote: 

    He looks at me with deep recognition and awe, and I can feel then that Raj loves me. He loves me the way that I am–rejections and all. We kiss again. This time it’s a long, deep kiss that goes on and on. The rest is like swimming at night in a place that you’ve been to a hundred times during the day. Only now it’s quiet. The stars are out. The rocks you’ve known during the day have changed. They have the same shape, but seem to be made of something else. And when you jump in the water, you know it’s not just the place that’s different. You are, too. You’re exhilarated, swimming with your eyes open, rising to the surface, skimming the moon. You’re fearless and whole and anything is possible.

– quote taken from the ARC of Hello, Sunshine, pg. 321-322

Book Rating Breakdown
Cover
Writing
Characters
Plot
Pacing
General Book Feels
Cute, Fuzzies, Flutters
Overall:

♥ Rec It? Yes! I won’t lie, it’s been over a month since I’ve picked up a single book, and even though I was looking forward to this book when I got it, getting over this book slump has proven to be quite the chore at this point. But, surprisingly to me, once I scooped up this little beauty (seriously, that cover, y’all!), I couldn’t set it back down again. I read it in a quick couple of hours and finished with a smile on my face.

♥ A very special thanks to Disney-Hyperion (and their lovely publicist, Ms. Cassie McGinty, especially) for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.

*Disclaimer: An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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