Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pure Sunshine” as Want to Read:
Pure Sunshine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pure Sunshine

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  895 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
A spellbinding trip of a novel about three friends breaking apart in their quest to stave off boredom and sameness.

It's not about the drugs. It's not about the girls or the fights or the fading streetlights. It's about two nights that weren't going to be different from the rest but then took a turn. It's about trying to find out who you are and who your real friends are. I
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Push
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pure Sunshine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pure Sunshine

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Eva Leger
Mar 05, 2009 Eva Leger rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: I wouldn't do that to anyone
Recommended to Eva by: like some other book by the same publisher
Have you ever found yourself praying that part of a page would be blank? I mean, you're reading the book and you're hoping the last page of the chapter you're on will end at say, the top of the page instead of the bottom? Because that's just a little less you'll have to read that way? That was what happened to me with this book. The only, and I do mean only, reason I finished this was because it was for a spring challenge task. I never would have finished it any other way.
I feel a little guilty
Sep 03, 2008 Annie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2013 Rhiannon rated it it was amazing
Brendon, a teen who likes to be wild, have fun and take drugs is cought in a world of pain and confusion. Although he might be having fun partying with his friends drugs, its just hurting him inside.
Brendon and his best friends, Kevin and Will just want to live life as fun as it is. I think they just want to live young wild and free. If you think about it, they kinda act like Snoop dog and Wiz Khalifa's lyrics they sing:
"So what if we get drunk, so what if we smoke weed. Were're just having fun
Feb 16, 2010 Jessica rated it liked it
So....this book is about 3 boys that i guess are sensation seekers. That live in philly they are looking for a job time this weekend and this one drug dealr at school tells them about this one drug called pure sunshine. it was a small yellow tablet decorated with small sunshines on it and will said it had a small sent of lemons and if u havent caught on the drug was lsd or acid you can say and in these 2 nights things just go wrong this kid finds out the frighting part of drug's and how drugs ru ...more
Jul 07, 2007 dp rated it liked it
Shelves: youngadult
dude, remember that night we, like, totally took that acid at my parents house when they were away? it was such a good trip. the next morning, white worms were raining from the sky.

read this book if you've never had your own trip. read it if you have, and want to point out the inaccuracies or say, "That is soooo true!"
Claren Morrow
May 21, 2009 Claren Morrow rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I didn't really think of it all as an acid trip, but i did learn some things from it [such as the value of friendship, and my own sanity as well:]...I read it over and over along with all my other Brian James books.
Jul 14, 2011 Sara rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-guy, drugs
At the risk of sounding little-old-ladyish, I am SOOO tired of books that read like a laundry list of abuse of self and others through drugs and violence.
If in real life you want to sit in a corner and quietly drink yourself to death or smoke pot until your lungs rot out, you go right ahead. STORIES, however, have an arc, and for me, they need to show something redeeming about humanity, if even only that one person who was trying to drink or smoke himself to death did something that bette
Valerie Basham
Feb 16, 2013 Valerie Basham rated it really liked it
I just loved it. <3
Samantha Barbise
Jan 17, 2017 Samantha Barbise rated it it was ok
I thought it was a well written book, but the story line dragged a bit.
Sep 11, 2008 Christian rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Christian by: someone begging for an ass kicking
I had really high expectations for this book, no pun intended. My friend said it was one of the best books he'd ever read. I read it in the course of an all-day shift at a failing ice cream stand and I was thoroughly pissed off that I'd devoted any time whatsoever to that book. I was actually pretty worked up about it. "I could have read 100 pages out of a book I'd actually end up liking," was what ran through my head, I think. Anyway, I paged through it or looked it up online or something and f ...more
What a roller coaster ride these kids were on! UGH!! How could they do this to themselves? The first night that they did acid in this book was good for them but the next turned out so bad!! So glad I didn't do drugs. Although this was a good peek into what happens to the brain & what it does to & for friendships. I was surprised that they were coherent & speaking to people normally at school the next day.
I was wondering where the kids' parents were in this storyline. Yes,
Aug 29, 2010 Ali rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elena Hirdler
Sep 09, 2015 Elena Hirdler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gcisd-bookshelf
As a teenage girl, reading this book convinced me to value friendship and my mental purity. “Pure Sunshine” introduces a new type of self realization that I never would have thought of. From the small crushes on the “girl next door” that you never thought you had, to the late night drug trips in the local park, Brendan, Kevin, and Will seek to do anything but what they always do. Brendan, the narrator, gets a hold of a new type of drug that is called “Pure Sunshine”(LSD/acid). As the boys wander ...more
C.L. Forrest
Jan 07, 2014 C.L. Forrest rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Although this book is, at times, totally lost on me, I found myself relating with Brendon more than I thought I would. Brian James' style of writing is a bit boring for me at times, for I feel he himself got lost in the feelings of his characters. I became slightly bored a couple of times as he took almost an entire three paragraphs telling the reader how crappy Brendon felt over the course of that long night walk. However, I felt that Brendon and I felt the same about a lot of things. I have ne ...more
Alice Southwood
Jul 26, 2016 Alice Southwood rated it liked it
Personally, I didn't think this book was great. After reading 'Go Ask Alice', my expectations were high. The problem for me with this book was the main character, Brendon. His personality comes across as being selfish, rude and unlikable which irritated me because when I read a novel I like to be able to relate with the character, however when reading this book I didn't connect with Brendon and the actions he does. Thus, there are positives of this book too. I enjoyed the way Brian James display ...more
Aug 29, 2011 Kimberly rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
This story follows a teenage boy for two nights as he drops acid with his friends. It's a simple premise, and it's a simple story. The words are very realistic, and I can only guess that the author is writing from experience. The boys in the story are very obnoxious and mean, and it's only after a bad trip that the main character decides he doesn't want to be with them anymore.

I remember liking this story a lot more than I did for this reading, but I used to be very into that hyper-realistic, gr
Sep 02, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok
2P, 2Q, S.
It is really rare for me to condemn a book, so you know I didn't think much of this one. The entire plot of the book is that the protagonist finds some good acid and takes it. From what I hear, it's a pretty accurate portrayal. But so what? I'm not a person who thinks that every book needs a moral center, but there should be SOME opportunity for a reader's growth, whether moral or personal or knowledge-based. This is fluff. Maybe there are kids who would be interested in it, but I ha
Sep 13, 2007 Debbie rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: those curious about drugs
Shelves: young-adult-lit
Brendan narrates as he and his friends take tabs of pure sunshine (acid/LSD) and wander around. At first, the boys are having a good time, but Brendan's trip takes a depressing turn and he ends up alone, questioning the world and his place in it.

I was disappointed in the story. Though some readers will enjoy a peek into an acid trip (at several points you really feel like you are riding along on the trip) the ending is abrupt and inconclusive. What could have been a powerful read ends with a fi
Jul 24, 2008 Todd rated it did not like it
I think I read somewhere that this was a great book... or maybe it was that Brian James was an author that teenagers liked. I'm not sure, but for some reason I bought a couple of Brian James books and read this one. It took me a little over an hour and I was not impressed. The action takes place over a couple of days and it is 159 pages of stream of consciousness with sparse moments of dialogue. I hated every minute of it but felt an obligation to get to the end in hopes I would get the point. I ...more
Sep 05, 2013 Melissa rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2012 Dana rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2014 Charlotte rated it really liked it
Pure sunshine is poetic, it doesn't necessarily have a plot but it is abstract and is full of imagery. It is a roller coaster of emotion. A teenage boy more insightful than most perhaps that through his drug induced delusions finds that he himself hasn't been living in reality and bottoms out trying to sort out life in one evening. I wouldn't say that he figured it all out and the ending almost leaves you wondering if he got anything right at all but still you see that even though he is still no ...more
Adele Griffin
Jun 21, 2010 Adele Griffin rated it really liked it
Read this a while ago but just saw it my bookshelf, and feel remiss not to have it in my Goodreads library, because I loved it so much. A gorgeous, strange and excellent recount of a group of friends hanging out and dropping acid in Philly, this is not an overly "plotted" book, and yet it's internally so charged with beautiful prose, and perfectly catches the strange despair and wonder of confused youth. The author seizes that moment like a firefly in a jar, and it's really a beautiful feat, I r ...more
Dec 04, 2007 Rachel rated it did not like it
This entire book is based around a bad acid trip.
I am intrigued by James' other novels, but this book was simply about taking acid and walking around the city. It wasn't particularly well written, and had absolutely no point. The plot was barely there and very dull, and the character development was practically non-existent.

Look for the authors other books. They seem a bit more interesting, and probably have some sort of point to them.
Jun 16, 2009 Gabriellaaanais rated it did not like it
I was excited to start reading this book, and expected good things from it. I was hugely disapointed with the outcome. I just wanted each page to be over it. It was overly boring, and i didn't find anything interesting come out of it. I felt as if the author was trying a little too hard. Its a short read, and i don't even think i finished it.
Aug 02, 2015 Kalie rated it it was amazing
Another phenomenal book by Brian James, he never fails to astound me. His work is often rather short but i think that is only because his writing is full of hidden meanings. This book is mesmerizing because of the detail of the experiences that the characters go through but mostly the feelings that the characters experience are very vivid.
Jun 23, 2009 Kacie rated it it was amazing
For some reason, this book gave me a bought of severe depression.
It obviously didn't last but the after effects of the book just made me sad. . . The book was overall good. I'd compare it to Catcher in the Rye but more intense. It shares the same "lost" and "wandering" theme, though
Jul 02, 2016 Christine rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2016
An accurate depiction of dropping acid. The problem is that doesn't really work well for a coherent story line. The author should've just stuck to it being a memoir. Obviously he's got a lot of knowledge and experience on the subject, but as a fictional novel, it just wasn't working for me.
Feb 03, 2008 Chary rated it really liked it
Just reading this book will somewhat make you feel like you're high. Though you may not be UI or anything at the time, this small "pill" of a novel packs a "hit;" be prepared! A good quick read if you're in the mood for the "indie" genre.
Feb 20, 2014 Paola rated it liked it
Shelves: once-upon-a-read
Cool, short read. I liked the ending, and if you want to read about kids who take an acid trip this is the book. I love it, it's brutally honest and set in a big city, so it was appealing to me as I have never lived in a big city at all.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
is this the end of this story?? 2 11 Jun 13, 2010 04:40PM  
  • Kerosene
  • Talking In The Dark : A Poetry Memoir
  • You Remind Me of You: A Poetry Memoir
  • Heavy Metal And You
  • Hail Caesar
  • The Torn Skirt
  • Rx
  • Lucky
  • Whores on the Hill
  • Martyn Pig
  • This Is Push: New Stories from the Edge
  • Beauty Queen
  • Pitch Black
  • Rebels of the Heavenly Kingdom
  • The Bailey Game
  • Why I Fight
  • Mountain Wild (Wild, #3)
  • Goodbye Lemon
I've written numerous children's books, including the Pirate School series and the Catkid series. I'm also the author of several novels: Pure Sunshine; Tomorrow, Maybe; Perfect World; Dirty Liar; Thief; Zombie Blondes; The Heights.

More about Brian James...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“When did life start being something you had to work at and not something that just is?” 11 likes
“Man, it really gets me down. When everything's exhausted there's nothing left. The rate I was running, it wouldn't be long. Then what? What's next? What's the score? I can't handle the rest of my life suspended in boredom. Such a chore! Gonna burn out because I can't stand to fade away. Get it all in fast and get out. No turning back now. It's just the way it is, the way I need to be.” 9 likes
More quotes…