Goodreads Review

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.

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. 


Let’s pray for the sun to shine its warmth upon us always, so we never forget the hard truth of it.

This is my first book by Sawyer Bennett and there is a sad beauty to the book but on top of that it is a book with a hidden depth. Although told by our Hero’s POV he is an upbeat kind of guy even if he doesn’t think so. With his humor and outlook on life makes the book stand out even more for me.

I’m going with Jackass’s words here. Of all of the stupid shite he had done in his life going on a road trip with a misfit crew (like it or not Jackass you are part of the misfit crew) was apparently the worse one. It beat trying to get flowers out of his sister’s nose with a sharp object. But for him going on a road trip is one of the most ridiculous things he has done.

Our road trip group is Goth Chick, Dead Kid and Sexy Eyes. Jackass’s words here not mine.

Jackass aka Christopher Barlow is shameless. He lives life on his terms and I loved him for his shamelessness. Don’t we all want to really say what we think and feel? I for one do and can only say that half the time I can’t be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth. There were times where I laughed out loud and times where I put my hand in front of my mouth and thought he did not just say that but yep he did. We should all take a page of his book. Okay so maybe a tiny corner of a page.

One prime example is

She was unique and angry, and that was compelling to me. I wondered if she’d give me a blow job in return for the joint I had stashed in my cargo pocket. On second thought, she was so angry looking I was afraid she might bite my dick off and I couldn’t afford to lose anymore body parts.

The road trip is for Dead Kid. I should probably start calling them by their real names. So, pay attention for I shall only write this once. Goth Chick (Barb), Dead Kid (Connor) and Sexy Eyes (Jillian)

They are all in group therapy for one reason or another. Some are obvious. Some aren’t. Four virtual strangers set out to watch the sunset on the West Coast. The group dynamics are interesting oh what am I saying it’s just bloody odd. But things slowly start to change. They start to care for one another although none of them want to get to close or to deal with the demons that they have.

For all the cracks they have also come to rely on one another. They become a tight knit group add in a bucket list and you have a great recipe for disaster it is absolutely hilarious in parts yet soul destroying in others. I could feel my heart bleeding a slow trickle to begin with that at the end I was emotionally drained. In a good way. Full emotion you want to feel and a lot of emotion you don’t.

Each with different obstacles to overcome and their problems/issues aren’t less trivial. For some it works for others it doesn’t. Jackass is fascinated by Jillian she is the light to her dark and well let’s just say that Jackass needs to get an attitude adjustment. But feelings are coming…

I swear to God she was like fucking Snow White… all tra-lah-lah, skipping though the forest and singing to the birds. I hated it and because I am a sick fuck, I wanted to see more of it at the same time.

There is a subtle HEA but it is bittersweet in comparison to what happens in the book. Thinking about it makes me want to squeeze out a tear here and there.

This book brings hope. Looking for joy where there seems to be none. You decide which side you can walk on. At times, bleak and tryst the rays of sunshine shining through and touching lives.  It shows you that in the bleakest times there is a reason to live be it for love, friendship, hope and joy.

 This isn’t my usual type of read it also isn’t Ms. Bennett’s usual stomping grounds. She flawlessly hits every high note in the book as well as the deep notes.

In the end, what should we choose?

The choice to live.

The choice to love.

The choice to forge your own path.

Life should be your choice.

P.S. If you have a problem with suicide then this isn’t the book for you.


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