Welcome to my stop on the HELLO, SUNSHINE Blog Tour!
I’m thrilled to be a part of the tour and to able to share my thoughts about Leila Howland’s newest release. HELLO, SUNSHINE is a story that’s hopeful, delightful, a touch bittersweet, and so easy to devour in one sitting. And if you’d like to know what else I thought, scroll down for my review.
For my stop, I also have a giveaway for a copy of NANTUCKET SUMMER – a bind-up of NANTUCKET BLUE and NANTUCKET RED – courtesy of the publisher, Disney-Hyperion. So if you’re in the U.S. and would like the chance to win a copy, just enter in the Rafflecopter.
The tour continues through next week, so be sure to check out the schedule at the bottom of this post for more reviews, author posts, and spotlights.
But first, if you’d like to know more about HELLO, SUNSHINE, the bookish details follow immediately below.
About HELLO, SUNSHINE
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Title: HELLO, SUNSHINE
Author: Leila Howland
Release date: July 11, 2017
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
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. Unfortunately, after a few grueling months, LA is looking like the worst idea ever. 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 her big break? Or will she have to move back home with nothing but some bad head shots and a monstrous credit-card bill?
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Note: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.
HELLO, SUNSHINE is a fun and hopeful, sweet and also bittersweet, thoroughly engaging, and incredibly entertaining read. Its heroine, Becca, is both optimistic and anxious, lovable yet maddening, completely relatable, and absolutely adorable. And with an adventure in Los Angeles that is full of highs and lows, successes and failures, financial and emotional challenges, and challenging and interesting and odd people, it promises to be a captivating and utterly delightful, one-sit read.
Becca Harrington wished she could put a positive spin on her decision to move to Los Angeles to spend a year pursuing a career in acting. But she would much rather be going to college like everyone else in her class, even if it meant going to school in the same city as her rival, Brooke.
She never thought every school she’d applied to would reject her for one mistake. She never thought her boyfriend would bail. And she never expected to be filled with such doubt and uncertainty about herself, her abilities, and her future.
Unless she can figure out how to support herself, learn to survive and get ahead in a city as cutthroat and temperamental as Los Angeles – without a car – and overcome her self-esteem issues – in an industry that is known for destroying confidence – she’ll have to go back home, reapply to college, and hope she doesn’t get turned down again.
Though with a plan, a little bit of luck, a few good ideas, a couple of friends to lend a hand, and the courage to take chances, she just might make it.
Leila Howland wrote a story that is uplifting, though not overly so. She put Becca on an emotional rollercoaster. She gave her a number of lucky breaks, but balanced them out with crushing losses. She introduced her to some wonderful people, but also those that weren’t nearly as nice or as normal. And she tested her strength, her resiliency, her adaptability, and her willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.
HELLO, SUNSHINE is not a cotton candy read – super sweet, light and fluffy, and nothing more. While it has moments that are upbeat and hilarious, it has many more that are substantive. Becca learns a lot about what it means to be an adult, to rely on herself, to persevere, to choose her own path. She also learns what it’s like to wear a bear costume, to eat yogurt without a spoon, to get creative with shower curtains, and just how expensive juice can be in Los Angeles.
For those looking for a summer – or anytime – read that will make them laugh, keep them hooked, make them root for the heroine a bit more often than they’ll want to throttle her, and that will give them a taste of the life of an aspiring young actress in L.A., HELLO, SUNSHINE is a must.
About Leila Howland
A graduate of Georgetown University, LEILA HOWLAND spent five years acting in New York in everything from an MTV public service announcement for safe sex to a John Guare play at Lincoln Center, and was a proud company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. Currently, she is a school librarian in Los Angeles, where she lives with her family. Visit her online at leilahowland.com or on Twitter @leilahowland.
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Courtesy of the publisher…
- ONE (1) winner will receive a finished copy of NANTUCKET SUMMER – US only
- Must be 13 or older to enter
- Giveaway is open to US only
- There will be ONE winner
- Giveaway ends at midnight, Pacific, on July 22nd
- Prize will be sent by the publisher
- Winner will be chosen by and announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
- Winner has 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About NANTUCKET SUMMER
Title: NANTUCKET SUMMER [Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red bind-up]
Author: Leila Howland
Follow the exploits of Cricket Thompson as she explores the alluring island of Nantucket and faces the unexpected in this collection of Leila Howland’s first two novels.
For Cricket, a summer on Nantucket with her best friend Jules is a life-changing dream come true. That is, until Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy, and Jules becomes a stranger. And instead of lying on the beach working on her tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise. But it’s the things she hadn’t counted on—most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits—that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.
Cricket is headed to Brown University in the fall, but to help pay for her living expenses, she returns to work on Nantucket for the summer, where she finds challenges she hadn’t anticipated. As her world opens up in new ways, Cricket questions the future she’s been working toward her whole life. With the pull of a love triangle complicating everything, she’ll have to learn that success isn’t just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she’s been trying to ignore—her own heart.
I looked up; he was so close. Our cheeks touched.
“You are just . . .” he said into my ear. My eyes closed, eyelashes like matches striking my cheeks, setting them on fire. He kissed me, long and sweet, on the mouth.
“Just what?” I asked when we came up for air, stunned, heart stomping like a parade, wrists aching from holding the oars. He seemed unable to finish his sentence with words. He pulled the wet oars inside the boat, wrapped his arms around me and kissed me again.
Praise for Nantucket Blue
“[Howland] evokes the Nantucket setting vividly . . . when it comes to indulgent beach reading, sometimes it’s more fun to get pushed over by a
wave than to stay safely on your towel.” —The New York Times
“Sand, secrets, Nantucket Reds, and romance. A fresh, feel-good debut.” —The Boston Globe
“Readers should feel empowered by Cricket’s efforts to grow up into a strong, honest, and emotionally intelligent young woman, even as they are enchanted by the romantic and exclusive island setting. This is a natural beach read, but will easily win Howland year-round fans, too.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Fans of Sarah Dessen will find much to like here, as the charm of this summery yarn lies in Cricket’s open appeal.” —Library Journal
“[Cricket’s] story is told in a way that is both engaging and alluring. Definitely a standout novel in its genre.” —School Library Journal
Praise for Nantucket Red
“Enjoyable and introspective, this is more than just a summer beach read.” —Kirkus Reviews
“In this novel about finding oneself and following your heart, Howland creates a character that readers will be cheering for from beginning to end.” —VOYA
“Nantucket Red is an engaging continuation of Cricket’s story, and its pace is perfect for a long weekend or beach read.” —School Library Journal
The Tour Schedule