Release Day Review: Hello, Sunshine, by Leila Howland

Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Hello, Sunshine, by Leila Howland
Publication: July 11, 2017, by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

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.

My Thoughts:

Hello, Sunshine was a book I did not expect to enjoy. In fact, I thought I would be bored of it due to the plot revolving around a girl wishing to become an actress. We all know that becoming famous, especially in the acting industry, is quite difficult because of the over demand and popularity of this lifestyle. Our protagonist, Becca, made this book memorable. This isn't your ordinary "coming-of-age story" where a girl has dreams. This is an amazing story that basically told me, a teenage girl getting ready to apply to universities, that it is okay to follow your dreams. That sometimes the things you feel are right are not meant to be. That your happiness is more important than what "is right." This is a story about inspiration, about taking life to the next level. I absolutely adored it!
I loved how real this story was and how it wasn't cheesy whatsoever. You see, fiction is fiction for a reason, and I constantly find books being so fake, so unreal. Many of the plot events that occur in contemporaries this year are unreachable for many in today's society, but Leila Howland proved that we teens are able to make things happen if we work hard. Becca, the protagonist, wasn't accepted to any colleges for drama and decided that the only way she could follow her passions is by moving to Los Angeles, living in Hollywood and trying to find an agent who could support her. She even makes a to-do list, listing the various things that she wants to get done in California before the year is over. If someone has a dream like this, Howland proves that it is approachable, even though disastrous things may happen in the way.

Becca moves to Los Angeles from Boston after being unable to get into any university, even Julliard - the school of her dreams. She wants to be an actress, and she knows she is good at acting, however, being in the land of acting is more difficult than it seems. It's so expensive to live there, and Becca feels all alone after she is abandoned by everything she has ever known. The question that I kept asking myself as I read this was: WILL SHE MAKE IT?

I obviously will not reveal whether Becca makes it or breaks it. However, I would like to just point out a minor flaw (that did not affect my rating!) of the summary. The summary notes that Becca and her friend, Marisol, might make it big due to a web series that a producer discovers. Yay - this actually does happen in the book, but it occurs towards the end, and when I first read about the book, I expected this specific event to be a main plot point in the story. It isn't. There are more important details that the author focuses on, so I'm hoping that you're not getting the wrong message from the summary.

I loved the romance, the characters... I loved everything. We see that throughout the book, Becca deals with three different guys, and she has a different kind of relationship with all of them. It's real and authentic with one of them (RAJ) and I cannot help but go crazy. I LOVED THEM TOGETHER. Raj was also a man of colour which I am so happy about. (!!!!!) It's so cute how Leila Howland created a society for Becca that has people who are so similar to her. The friendships she creates with Marisol and Raj make me so envious. And I love how there's no jealousy with any of them. Acting is a competitive world, I'm sure, but the friendships worked out and I kind of went crazy inside BEING EXCITED FOR EVERYONE. I may sound like a weird person, but these characters became my friends by the end of the novel.

The ending was just beautiful. I will not announce whether everything turned out okay or not, but let's just say that I was SO satisfied. Satisfied to the moon and back and everywhere in between. I also am feeling some kind of withdrawal from this story and need more. I want to hear about what is going to happen in Becca's future!

Hello, Sunshine is a must-read for anyone. Whether you enjoy contemporary or not, this is an inspiring story about a girl who is not afraid of taking risks to be able to do what she is passionate about: acting. It's one of the best books of the year. GO GRAB IT!

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*

What is a genre that you do not normally read but love a book that is classified in it? 


  1. Ah this book sounds so adorable! I love contemporaries so I'll definitely give this ago. Great review!

    1. Thank you! It is one of the cutest contemporaries ever - I guess I'm saying that because I loved it so much! Read it ASAP! :)


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