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Pure Sunshine

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  800 ratings  ·  57 reviews
A spellbinding trip of a novel about three friend 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
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Community Reviews

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Eva Leger
Mar 05, 2009 Eva Leger rated it 1 of 5 stars
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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.
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
Sep 13, 2007 Debbie rated it 1 of 5 stars
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
Elena Hirdler
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
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
Valerie Basham
I just loved it. <3
Sep 11, 2008 Christian rated it 1 of 5 stars
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
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C.L. Forrest
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
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,
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.
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
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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
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
Adele Griffin
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
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Jun 22, 2015 Therese marked it as to-read
Per Andy Freeburg
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.
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
I very much enjoyed reading this book while in high school. It wasn't a long read, but I did find it rather profound, and relatable to people of my demographic.
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.
Nenia Campbell
“Pure Sunshine” is a reference to the tabs of acid that one of Brendon's dealer friends hooks him up with in the beginning of the book. They're shaped like little yellow suns and turn the city of Philadelphia golden when he takes them. LSD, or acid, is a psychedelic drug that creates hallucinations, and symptoms very similar to synesthesia (or the combining of senses — like being able to TASTE sounds, or HEAR colors). Or, in Brendon's words, "For five bucks you can get f***ed up all night." Char ...more
I couldn't get past the first chapter or so. I felt like it was just a couple of teens trying to be different or cool or whatever and doing drugs to feel that way. I thought it would be a better book if I were actually tripping with them. Tried to read it twice and felt the same way both times.
This book is very good.I probably finished it in like two weeks it's about a kid that does some acid with his friends get into somethings that people usally dont get in to.I would recommend this to teenagers.You guys would love this book well if your into drug books.Well hope you like it!
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is this the end of this story?? 2 10 Jun 13, 2010 04:40PM  
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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...
Zombie Blondes Life is But a Dream Dirty Liar Tomorrow, Maybe The Heights

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“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
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