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3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  27,934 Ratings  ·  3,233 Reviews
There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind.

Until they found her...
Mass Market Paperback, 405 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by Jove (first published September 1st 2003)
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Gina There is romantic tension, yes. But that's not the primary thing going on. In fact, the main character seems to forget about her romantic associations…moreThere is romantic tension, yes. But that's not the primary thing going on. In fact, the main character seems to forget about her romantic associations for large chunks of the book. This book has an interesting take on romantic stuff and vampires!(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat Kennedy
Jun 08, 2010 Kat Kennedy rated it liked it
Okay, so I seriously pondered over whether to give this book three stars or four. In the end, I DID enjoy it so I felt generous and gave it four, but it's not without its faults.

Once, when I was a little kid, my parents bought me my favourite ice cream. There's actually only one kind of ice cream that I actually like and that's mint choc chip. Only they bought this MASSIVE bowl of it with a banana in it and extra chocolate sauce. I can only guess that they'd finally decided to slowly kill me via
Mar 31, 2011 j rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2011, mr-pointy
Here is a useful tip, should you ever find yourself face-to-face with a vampire: they are living corpses that eat people. They are not sun-sparkling, abstinent forever-teens. Staying inside all day and being forced to personally kill all of your food doesn't bode well for your mental health (not to mention the fact that you have been alive so long, you've had to re-buy all your Beatles albums in like five different formats).

Robin McKinley gets this the way Stephanie Meyer or even, sometimes, Buf
Mar 28, 2009 Annie rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2009
This is my first Robin McKinley book and I'm sorry to say that it'll probably be my last. I know she has a large fan-base and I know that she is critically acclaimed but I just couldn't get into her writing. Even if Neil Gaiman says it's 'Pretty much perfect.'

The whole novel is written like one giant info-dump with barely any dialogue or interaction between characters. It's made up mostly of the character's internal reflections and while she's certainly quirky, I didn't find Sunshine endearing.
Mar 25, 2011 karen rated it liked it
since joel is being a slowpoke, i am going to write this review before i forget everything i was/am thinking about it and it gets lost in too-many-books-past.

yeah, so i had no idea this book was about vampires.

but, karen, you have voted for both elizabeth and mariel's review of this book, surely you read reviews before you vote!! surely you don't just "insta-vote" and RUIN for the rest of us???

yeah, yeah, yeah.

to be fair, i did read elizabeth's review but it was ages ago, when i ha
Sherwood Smith
Jan 15, 2014 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: fantasy
I've seen Robin McKinley accused of having only one plot: variations on "Beauty and the Beast." This kind of reductionism, of course, can be extended to just about any story. Some of us over a certain age even used to have test questions on this in Tenth Grade Literature: What is the plot of this book? A) Man vs. Man, B) Man vs. Nature, C) Man vs.Universe. Perhaps this one can be further reduced to Woman Gains Choice, and we first encounter it in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, written in the ...more
I didn't know much about this book going in - vampires and cinnamon rolls - that was about it. Therefore, I, of course, was quite surprised to learn Sunshine was a hardcore urban fantasy novel. Quite a departure for Robin McKinley known for her fairy tale retellings. This book was nothing like she ever wrote before, that's for sure. I didn't know she had it in her to write something so tech-heavy, at times sexy and in such a perky "voice."

Now, I love to complain about new urban fantasy that lack
Nov 09, 2013 Sean rated it really liked it
I've liked Robin McKinley in a low-level way for the past ten years or so. I really liked Beauty , The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword , and when I've seen a new McKinley book I've generally tried to pick it up and read it, for old time's sake. I thought I was fairly familiar with her style and tone.

Which is why I was completely unprepared for Sunshine. Who knew McKinley had a dark, experimental, inventive, alternate-universe/vampire novel in her? Who knew she had an engaging, modern,
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Sep 27, 2009 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of heroine-oriented urbanish fantasy with vampires
I have mixed feelings about this book. It took me multiple attempts to finish it, but I'm glad I did. Someone compared this to Buffy and Angel as far as the romance aspects. Do not believe that. This book has some romantic aspects, but it's more of a coming of age story (although Sunshine is an adult when it starts). She's coming into her powers that she never really understood.

The writing is very intricate and quite stream of consciousness. If you made it through The Sound and the Fury, this b
Gloria Mundi
Thinking is bad for you. The heroine of this novel, Rae Blaise or Sunshine, as she is better known, finds this out the hard way after she drives out to the lake to have a think and avoid arguing with her mum. Because while there, she is kidnapped by a group of vampires, dressed in blood red silk and chained in a room with another vampire, Constantine. But clearly, Sunshine is a bright girl (I am still unsure exactly how old she is supposed to be, early twenties, I'd guess) and learns her lesson ...more
Adult vampire urban fantasy. Sunshine lives in an alternate post-apocalyptic world in which Others - vampires, weres, demons and angels - are accepted and everywhere. We don't see any angels, mind you. This one's all about the horror. Sunshine herself lives an ordinary life working in her step dad's cafe, until she does something stupid and gets herself captured by the 'darkest' of the Others: vampires. Seriously messed up psychopathic supervillains. Sunshine finds out a few things about herself ...more
Jan 18, 2009 Felicia rated it it was amazing
Extremely enjoyable, I liked this book much more than Twilight. It was a while ago I read it, but I kept the hardback around, which says a lot since I am forced to be ruthless with what I keep after I read due to space.
Mar 23, 2011 Mariel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: personal jesus
Recommended to Mariel by: black celebration
I wish that Robin Mckinley's Sunshine never had to end. I almost didn't read it. I'd visit the fantasy shelf in the book shops and go "ooh um do I want to read this or not?" (Funny how the films and books I debate on are often the ones that I've loved the most.) Now, I visit the McKinley shelves, beaming at my favorites. "I wish I could read you for the first time again!"

I read the goodreads and amazon reviews. Some are favorable, others are not. I couldn't tell anyone if they'd like it or not.
Oct 29, 2007 Miss_otis rated it really liked it
Truth be told, I’m sick to death of vampire stories. There’s so rarely anything original or new in the genre, and I’m really just not a fan of the Sexy, Mysterious, Dangerous Creature of the Night thing anymore.

However, I do love Robin McKinley, she’s the only reason I picked this book up, and I’m glad I did. Turns out this book isn’t “about vampires” in the way you might think; Sunshine’s world is either ours in an unspecified future, or an alternate versions of ours in which magic is very rea
I look forward to this season every year because it means I get to reread SUNSHINE. This is one of my few solid seasonal reads. I revisit it every year for so many reasons. Because it originally came out in October. Because it absolutely encapsulates autumn for me. And Halloween, of course, what with all the vampires and the midnight outings and the smell of fallen leaves and cinnamon rolls in the air. And because it's just one of the biggest Angie books there is. I remember being almost apoplec ...more
I have the worst touch pad in the world on my computer, which just erased an entire review. So here's the short version:

The plot: unfocused, slow. It has a few exciting hot spots, spaced widely apart. The end is anti-climatic and doesn't feel worth all the build up. I wasn't thrilled with all the time she spent world-building, which didn't seem to make sense for a standalone novel in which most of that information would never be used or heard from again.

The characters: Sunshine herself was well-
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

This was a good read, but wow, curveballs! Firstly, the writing style/protagonist's voice takes some getting used to. Rae/Sunshine is a bit of a verbose chick. Secondly, the book opens with the impression you are reading urban fantasy of the Sookie Stackhouse variety - and then it takes a MASSIVELY dark turn. Good but dark.

My rating really wavers between 3 and 4 stars.

Full Review:

Geez Louise. Amazon just poked me today, asking how many stars I would give this book, and I realized,
Jan 04, 2009 Laurie rated it did not like it
First of all, let me say I love Robin McKinley's work, and was so excited to see a new title I just grabbed it and started right in. I was pulled into this new world, having a hard time putting the book down, when WHAM! Two pages of erotic description, using language I would never have expected from an author of McKinley's caliber. I felt betrayed, as if I had found a beloved, trusted family friend showing pornographic videos to my children. The language and passage under consideration did nothi ...more
Sep 18, 2010 Hirondelle rated it really liked it
Lots of people seem to want RM to write a sequel to this. After one reread, what I truly demand is the cookbook. Perhaps wisely the author avoids too many details about the cooking/baking, which is maybe wise, readers with different baking skills might find it obvious or ludicrous or something, but the references are all so tempting. I really want to know the secret for Bitter Chocolate death! And I am half-seriously thinking of compiling a list of everything Rae bakes during this book just for ...more
When I picked up Sunshine for the first time and realized that Robin McKinley had written a vampire novel, I was almost horrified: it seemed a far cry from Damar and retold fairy tales, and vampire novels are certainly not usually my thing. But McKinley is easily one of my top ten favorite writers, so I sat down with it one night and got so sucked into it (pardon the pun) that I stayed up most of the night finishing it (which is a bigger deal than it used to be, with a toddler who gets up when h ...more
Sep 30, 2008 Jodz rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Vampire fans
Shelves: read-in-2008, fantasy
I didn't really like this book, yet i didn't not like it either.

It took me a week to read this book which is a rare thing for me as I average a book every day or 2. I just wasn't captivated by it. Not just that it was so Slow some ground coverage went on for pages!

Sunshine bored me to seems like she just goes on and on *yawn*. I found myself having to re-read a ton of pages cause she would being doing one thing and then start rambling on about something so different and i'd be so lost
Ryan Mishap
Nov 14, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fantasy
I have my alarm clock tuned to NPR as that gets me out of bed and away from it fast, fast. One morning I awoke to hear Nancy Pearl offering summer vacation reading. Weird, I thought she was dead. Anyway, she suggested this one. As I have enjoyed a couple vampire books, I followed her recommendation.
I wish I hadn't. Sunshine is the main character, she works in a bakery and has a little community together with her mom, boss (married to her mom), various friends, and her boyfriend. The world has c
For my sanity, I need to stop reading any books that are marketed towards fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Because spoiler alert: none of these books are ever like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Sunshine is about a normal girl--seriously cannot express how numbingly normal this girl is--who, guess what!, is nicknamed Sunshine (gag) and finds herself tangled up in a supernatural battle after being kidnapped by vampires.

Sunshine wakes up every morning at 4am to bake cinnamon rolls for the family bake
First time reading Robin McKinley. I have heard good things about her, but she struck me as a bit of a fanta-twee author. Anyway, Sunshine was on sale at Audible, and I like a good vampire story, so decided to check it out.

First, if I'd known about the romantic undercurrents, I'd have run screaming. Another vampire romance? Oh, hell no.

So this is another book that got to pleasantly surprise me because I didn't know enough to reject it outright.

"Sunshine" (the main character's nickname, and guess
Oct 11, 2015 Penny rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot.

My problem with it is that is hard to read, it has excessive amounts of unnecessary information, but the story and the connection between the characters is so strong and unconventional that is worth pushing through it.

The tension that the writer creates between Sunshine and Con is incredible, I just wished there had been more about their relationship; I want more about Sunshine and Con together!

I definitely wish there was a sequel, in fact I can't believe there isn't!
Jan 05, 2008 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fictions
I haven't read any Robin McKinley for years and Sunshine made me wonder why. It was a good vampire story. McKinley's world was a lot of fun, sometimes disturbing and sometimes just odd, but always a nice place to be.

I've wondered about the relationship between Sunshine and Constantine; trying to see what it is that I like about it. Perhaps it's just that I'm a sucker for such relationships, or maybe it was that I didn't find it overwhelmingly or explicitly romantic (except maybe near the end).
Oct 07, 2015 Jo rated it it was amazing
What is the definition of insanity for me it is "Sunshine" by Robin McKinley because I have read this book 5 times and I keep expecting things to change.

I love this book so much and every time I read it; I get to the end and remember that there are so many questions left unanswered and (view spoiler) yet again I go to do research to find Ms. McKinley still has a special notice on her website (due to th
It's a 5 stars book because:

1)It's surprise me and made me cry. Don't kill me saying this but it's not a romance... I put it on my romance shelf reading the last phrase of this book. I cry with a huge smile on my face (oh so romantic! It's a stupid thing, really, not a great and long romantic scene, but 2 words... said by someone I would never expected... and I cry ).

2) Robin McKinley is a master with words. It's a wonderful written book. You never get bored, or have time to breath. One scene h
Reba Chin
Feb 01, 2009 Reba Chin rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-author, 2009

WARNING: Reading this book will make you crave a cinnamon roll before you're through! I lasted until about p 272 before I had to go out and get one.

I loved how immediately attached I became to Rae aka Sunshine. From the get-go I could relate to her stream of consciousness narration, her witty asides, and I enjoyed how she would tell important (for the purposes of plot and character investment on my part) pieces of backstory right in the middle of what was currently taking pla
Aug 10, 2010 Marija rated it it was amazing
Ooh, this is very good. It’s like McKinley’s post-apocalyptic take on the Beauty and the Beast tale. And I think it’s even better than her two retellings of that fairytale. There’s a different feel to this book, if you were to compare it to her other novels. In the past few weeks I’ve read a number of her fairytales and they all share a common voice in the way the story’s told and how the events are fleshed out. They’re more traditional with plain storytelling. Sunshine has a more personal quali ...more
Feb 24, 2009 Lauri rated it it was ok
It only got 2 stars because I liked the beginning. The idea of the book was good, who doesn't like a good vampire book. But then it just sort of rambled on and on and I got lost. To many details, too many stray thoughts that didn't matter. Towards the end I was just sort of skipping so I could have closure - and then it didn't even end the way I would have liked. Plus there is a completely inappropriate scene which I didn't appreciate. My advice - skip this one. . .
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Born in her mother's hometown of Warren, Ohio, Robin McKinley grew up an only child with a father in the United States Navy. She moved around frequently as a child and read copiously; she credits this background with the inspiration for her stories.

Her passion for reading was one of the most constant things in her childhood, so she began to remember events, places, and time periods by what books
More about Robin McKinley...

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“I don't put up with being messed around, and I don't suffer fools gladly. The short version of that is that I'm a bitch. Trust me, I can provide character references.” 474 likes
“The train is roaring toward you and the villain is twirling his moustache and you're fussing that he's tied you to the tracks with the wrong kind of rope.” 337 likes
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