Sunshine Nails

This story is a hilarious, yet heartwarming read!

Raegan’s book review of Sunshine Nails

In the bustling city of Toronto, Vietnamese refugees Debbie and Phil Tran have painstakingly crafted a comfortable life centered around their family-run nail salon. However, the tranquility shatters when a high-end chain salon emerges right across the street, sending shockwaves through their world. As if that weren’t enough, their landlord decides to raise the rent, placing their beloved business on the brink of closure.

Facing these daunting challenges, the Trans turn to their daughter, Jessica, who has recently returned home in the aftermath of a tumultuous breakup and a departure from her previous job. With the family reunited but tensions running high, Phil and Debbie are confronted with a crucial decision: do they prioritize preserving the unity of their family or embark on a fierce battle to save their cherished salon? The clash between familial bonds and the fight for business survival unfolds in this gripping tale set against the backdrop of urban life.

I had a really great time with this month’s book! Not only is it a funny book with lovable characters, but I really love that throughout the whole book, the family’s bonds get stronger with one another, despite all the problems they face. Even in the face of a bunch of problems, they learn life lessons and the importance of love and trust. This book is a cool cross between The Fortunes of Jaded Women and Gold Diggers, and really stuck with me after reading. If you’re looking for a funny story with great characters and a heartfelt message, this is just the book for you.

“Some people just work harder than others. And some just have better ideas than others. Take Ten has earned their right to be there. That’s it. That’s all it is. The universe doesn’t owe you anything.”

Sunshine Nails

Discussion Questions: 

☆ SUNSHINE NAILS unfolds through the perspectives of the Tran family members, including Debbie, Phil, Jessica, Dustin, and Thuy. In what ways do their individual viewpoints showcase similarities or differences in their experiences?

☆ What were your initial thoughts about Savannah, the owner of Take Ten?

☆ The Tran Family is divided into two generations—the parents, Debbie and Phil, and their adult children, Jessica and Dustin, along with their niece, Thuy. How do the dynamics and characteristics of each generation distinguish them from one another?

☆ Numerous humorous moments punctuate the narrative. Which specific scenes brought laughter, and how did these instances shape your perceptions of the characters involved?

☆ Explore the significance of the golden Buddha statue in the salon. What do you believe it symbolizes for the Tran family?

☆ Initially portrayed as somewhat aimless, both Dustin and Jessica undergo significant personal growth throughout the novel. How does each character evolve as the story progresses?

☆ Compare Phil’s and Debbie’s approaches to resolving the family’s financial challenges. Did you perceive one as more drastic or extreme than the other?

☆ Jessica’s high school friendships play a recurring role in the narrative, ultimately influencing the tensions between Sunshine Nails and Take Ten. How do these relationships contribute to Jessica’s development, and how do they transform as the story unfolds?

☆ Analyze Thuy’s decision to work at Take Ten. Do you agree with her choice, and what events or actions led her to make this decision?

☆ Despite being set in Toronto, does SUNSHINE NAILS convey a universal story that could transpire in another city? Explain your reasoning.