Tuesday 28 March 2017

✤ The Hard Truth About Sunshine ✤ Sawyer Bennett ✤

© Bianca Janeane

• standalone Dramance
28 March 2017
• 222 pages 

5 Stars

New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett has written her most gripping and poignant tale yet. Provocatively heart-breaking, audaciously irreverent and romantically fulfilling, The Hard Truth About Sunshine exposes just how very thin the line is between a full life and an empty existence.

Despite having narrowly escaped death’s clutches, Christopher Barlow is grateful for nothing. His capacity to love has been crushed. He hates everyone and everything, completely unable to see past the gray stain of misery that coats his perception of the world. It’s only after he involuntarily joins a band of depressed misfits who are struggling to overcome their own problems, does Christopher start to re-evaluate his lot in life.

 What could they possibly learn from one another? How could they possibly help each other to heal? And the question that Christopher asks himself over and over again
can he learn to love again?

s about to find out as he embarks upon a cross country trip with a beautiful woman who is going blind, a boy with terminal cancer, and an abuse victim who can’t decide whether she wants to live or die.

Four people with nothing in common but their destination. They will encounter adventure, thrills, loss and love. And within their travels they will learn the greatest lesson of all.

Warning: This book deals with some tough issues including suicide and sexual abuse.

26-year-old Afghanistan vet Christopher has been hurt pretty badly in the war. He hasn't dealt with his pain and loss and anything really, that's why he needs to attend group therapy sessions to learn to live with his anger and hatred towards everything.

That's where he meets Jillian, Connor and Barb. All suffering their own horrors. 17-year old Connor is dying from cancer. Pierced and tattoed goth Barb is a depressed and suicidal thief who has been molested by her uncle as a teenager. And beautiful, sunny and happy Jillian is going blind - next to some other serious health problems.

A very fascinating group of people, but Christopher is not trying to make friends. He just wants to get through those horrible weeks of therapy.
And he's getting his wish, because their group leader promised him he'll be able to quit if he takes the other three on a trip to see the Pacific Ocean! Which is on Connor's bucket list.


OK. Wow. This was ... intense.
You already kind of know what you're getting into when you read the blurb.
But once I started reading...
It's all so ... sad and frustrating and serious. But there's also Jillian who's like a little sunshine unicorn spraying positive hope-glitter all over everyone.

It's a story full of loss and grief and sadness and pain and fury and desperation and hate and fear and hope and by the end it was just a beautiful story about life, love and friendship.

I really enjoyed reading it. Even though I cried A LOT! ☺

Christopher is the main character here - he's telling us this story. And I really loved him. He's so sad and without any hopes and expectations for the future. He feels all alone in the world. But then he meets this beautiful girl. Nothing gets Jillian down. She's going blind, she could die any time, but she's loving life. She's living every second as if it's her last. Full of hope and laughter and sunshine.
And the other two are also helping to keep Christopher's problems in perspective.

You need to read this book. You will cry a lot, but you will also be really impressed and inspired by what those guys went through and how they're learning to deal with it, or at least how they're trying, or not....

Amazingly moving book that makes you feel and think and ... just read it!

I had some tiny problems with the writing...as with every Sawyer book. It's Sawyer's and my thing ☺ It's only me who has those problems with her writing. So please don't be worried or just scroll down and don't read the following...
  I have a HUGE AS problem! Sawyer always uses too much of those ☺ You know the AS's I'm talking about? The AS that could be and should be exchanged for a SINCE or BECAUSE ☺ It's a British thing (if it's a thing at all!) and it doesn't have anything to do in an american book by an american author - especially told in the POV of a 26-year-old angry war vet from the South!!!! 

I really don't want to insult Sawyer. I love all her books, and maybe nobody ever told her she does that.... Sawyer....please stop doing it. But pfff who am I to tell her what to do, so just forget I said anything! It doesn't stop her books from being great!

THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT SUNSHINE takes us on such a heartbreakingly beautiful #RoadTrip ... It's a story about life, death, loss, grief, pain, fear ... and most of all ... hope, friendship and love! Run to your nearest amazon asap and please also buy a box or two of tissues! ☺


ARC received for an honest review

This book!  In the words of Keanu Reeves (circa Bill & Ted's)... woah!

I knew from reading the synopsis that this was going to be something completely different from what we have seen from Ms Bennett in the past, but The Hard Truth About Sunshine completely blew me away.

The four characters are kind of like their very version of The Breakfast Club

 An angry, bitter amputee.
An optimist losing her eyesight.
A dying kid.
A suicidal thief.

 Each on their very own adventure of self discovery.

One of the characters I could relate quite closely to (not saying which one) which made this story all the more emotional for me.

And it was already an emotional read.  Can't tell you how many chapters I had to read through my tears.  It is full of sadness, desperation, darkness - but with a ray of sunshine called Jillian to pull us all through.

I couldn't put it down (well except when I needed to wipe the copious amounts of tears away!)

The story had me captivated, the writing flowed, I was enraptured with each characters story and needed to know what was happening next.

Words can't do what I feel for this book justice.

Read it, you won't be disappointed.


 USA Today Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn't have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.