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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling 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.

An angry, bitter amputee.

An optimist losing her eyesight.

A dying kid.

A suicidal thief.

Four people with nothing in common but their destination.

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?

He'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.

They will encounter adventure, thrills, loss, and love.

And within their travels they will learn the greatest lesson of all.

The hard truth about sunshine...

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

©2017 Sawyer Bennett (P)2017 Sawyer Bennett

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Cyndi
  • Michigan
  • 04-13-17

Great Emotional Story!

This book was nothing like any other Sawyer Bennett book I've listened to! It was such an emotional story line and the characters were all very strong in their own ways. This book is about 4 VERY different people with very different issues taking a trip together, only they each find more than they expected along the way. I giggled, I was sad, I was mad, I was happy.... Yes this hit a lot of emotions!! I loved that each character has their own issues that the others could never really understand completely but they tried and with that they found exactly what they needed in each other. This book touches on everything from depression, illness, PTSD, Loss & so much more. Great story!

With all that I loved about this book I have to say the narration was not one of them. I love Lance Greenfield but I didn't feel he was right for this book, especially since it was a solo narrated audiobook. He fit good for Christopher which was good because the story is told from his POV. But I had a very hard time liking & connecting with all the other characters because his voices & tones made them almost unlikable to me. I especially had a hard time with his female voices. I would have recommended dual narration or if going with a single narrator he needs to be able to pull off off the different ages for both male & female characters.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Love is Watching Someone Die

Would you listen to The Hard Truth About Sunshine again? Why?

Yes and no. Yes, because the story and message are powerful and emotionally engaging, but also no, because I don't know if my heart can take it! This is not a lighthearted or easy listen. Some parts will gut you and rip your heart out, but others will make you laugh and leave you feeling hopeful. Just be prepared to feel every emotion when you start this story!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Connor was my favorite because I felt that he was the most honest and brave of the group. He accepted (as much as a teenager could) what life had dealt him and tried to make the most of what life he had left to live. I loved how many things he was able to cross off his bucket list and how the group rallied around him.

What does Lance Greenfield bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

So much emotion and feeling! Reading the words is one thing, but Lance's narration made the grief and joy our characters experienced palpable. I thought his female voices were OK, but honestly, his voice is so deep that I don't think he could have performed them any better. His narration as Christopher, however, was so powerful and perfect.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Again, yes and no. I wanted to know what our band of travelers would do next and what adventures they would encounter, but I also couldn't handle it all emotionally at once. I needed time to process and understand what these characters were experiencing and going through.

Any additional comments?

When I finished this book, I kept hearing the song "What Sarah Said" by Death Cab for Cutie in my mind. One line in that song has always stuck out to me - "love is watching someone die, so who's gonna watch you die?"

Though a sad sentiment at first glance, I personally feel it's what it means to truly love someone. Standing with them through the pain, set backs, and heartbreak and ultimately as they say goodbye. Our characters experience this, but instead of letting the grief overwhelm them, they open their hearts and let themselves love and be loved in return. This was a truly emotional and powerful listen that I won't soon forget.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Even Better with Sound!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this book to my book buddies, and have already done so. I found it to be so compelling and heart wrenching but also uplifting.

What other book might you compare The Hard Truth About Sunshine to and why?

I found this to be a different change of pace for a Sawyer Bennett book, but it was brilliant just like the rest. I think the feel of the book is like Finding Kyle that she wrote.

Have you listened to any of Lance Greenfield’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first book that I have listened to by Lance Greenfield, and I enjoyed his voice. I would positively do it again.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book had all the emotions going for me. I laughed at times, and was brought to tears with the stories each character told. There were subject matters here that will make you feel for this group.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoy reading a book that has a male POV. I enjoyed this book so much on the ebook format that when I decided to do a re read, I knew I had to go with audio. I feel it just makes it more rounded. I loved hearing what is inside Christopher's head and well as reading it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best Read of 2017

My favorite book of 2017. You will fall in love with the characters . The transformation of Chris Barlow is beautiful to read. I had a smile permanently etched on my face. Please read this book to make your heart sing. Highly recommend. The Audible narrator was wonderful making the story come alive.

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Incredible

This was an incredible book. The performance by Lance Greenfield as narrator was fantastic, he really brought Christopher's character out. The dealt with some heavy topics but did so in a realistic manner. Using humor at times and cold truth in others. You really felt
The characters journey.

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WOW! Just wow!!!

What an amazing story! Ms. Bennett did a great job of crafting a unique story that really, really had my emotions twisted - in the best way. I didn't see half of the storyline coming, but I enjoyed every minute of listening to it!

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The Hard Truth about life and the Sunshine we seek

Well this book is definitely not like any other books that Sawyer Bennett has written. I absolutely love the fact that Sawyer Bennett has made me fall in love with her & her writing even more. This book pulls at all of your emotions & feelers! This book causes you to take a look at yourself and evaluate what is truly important to you and your life. This book broke me and I definitely had an ugly cry over this amazing read. I kept putting it off because I was not in the right head space to read a book of this magnificent but in all honesty it was truly what I needed at this point in my life. I can't thank Sawyer Bennett enough for an another amazing book/journey! This is a must buy. Sawyer Bennett brings pure joy to her books even when is a tough topic such as suicide, death, self-loathing and depression. She gives it that splash of sunshine and gives you a chance to hope. Honestly that's just one of the things the world needs right now is a little hope. This book gives you all the feelers and more. Don't let fear of what this book will make you feel or bring out in you, just read it and truly trust the journey it will send you on. This is a a top read of 2017 for me!

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Good book but wrapped up too quickly

The dozens of strikeouts throughout this book were annoying as hell, er strike that, completely excessive. It was fine at first but started to get really obnoxious.
I enjoyed most of this book but feel that it fizzled out toward the end and wrapped up too quickly. I don't feel any closure or resolution, just more of an, 'oh that's it?, well okay then'.
Overall, I give The Hard Truth About Sunshine 3.5 stars.

Audible: The narrator did a good job. I didn't have any complaints. He was easy to listen to and had good distinction between characters.

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Good but slow

I liked that the story line was so different but for reason I couldn't get into it. I started & stopped it 3x before I finished it. It was a good story and well written.

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Freaking love Lance Greenfield

What a great book, kinda reminiscent of a breakfast club vibe but more broken and damaged.
If you want a book with all the feels this is it. This is the first book I've ever read of Sawyer Bennett's I really enjoyed it. Definitely planning on checking out her other work.