Crystal Starr Light's Reviews > Sunshine

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
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Jul 21, 2010

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bookshelves: young-adult, fantasy, ebook, buddy-reads, 2015-owned-challenge
Read from December 02, 2015 to January 15, 2016

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, I ought to stop procrastinating and write a review. Which I am reluctant to do because 1) I seem to be running out of steam in writing these reviews and 2) writing a review for this particular book is going to be hard!

Rae "Sunshine" Seddon is just an average girl with an average life. She works in a bakery, reads books about "Others", and does movie night with her mom, step-dad, half-brothers, boyfriend and whoever else pops in. This ALL changes one night when she leaves Movie Night to head to the lake. There she is captured by vampires and is imprisoned with another vampire, Constantine. Will she escape? How will her life change?

This book was different than most vampire books I've ever read. Number 1, this is NOT another Twilight clone! (Breathe a sigh of relief, people!) This is a really gritty portrayal of vampires and "part blood" (meaning anything from werewolves to demons). Not once does Rae dreamily wish Constantine would bite her and whisk her away into the sunset. In fact, Rae's boyfriend is a (probably human) chef, with whom she actually has a good relationship (DO NOT FAINT!).

Number 2, Rae as a protagonist is incredibly different from most of the other first person accounts I've ever read. This style is what I would call "stream of consciousness" - Rae's narration is basically whatever is on her mind, regardless of how or if it might even pertain to the plot. This is how we learn that this society is this post-apocalyptic pseudo-waste ground where the threat of vampires (who control a good 1/5 of the world economy - I think, if I remember correctly) is imminent. It's in chunks, hidden much deeper into a novel than a reader is accustomed to. This makes "Sunshine" much more realistic, but also much more frustrating. When I started the book, I thought it would be a fluffy read in the vein of Sookie Stackhouse; by the time I ended, I was in awe of the very gritty very urban fantasy (very NOT paranormal romance) read I got.

I Buddy Read this with an engineering friend of mine, and we both came to the conclusion we liked it, but Rae's narration almost killed it for us. Also, the fact that this is a standalone is a good and bad thing; I really hate these endless series these days, because I never seem to be able to get to book 1, much less book 18. (Unless I hate-listen to Anita Blake, apparently.) On the other hand, if ever there was a book set up perfectly for sequels, this is it. It is the perfect balance of an origin story, leaving some nice little tails dangling, but still closing up all the loose ends in a way that makes you satisfied.

Am I glad I held onto this book through so many moving/shifting genres culls? Absolutely! Would I read it again? Probably not. Would I recommend? Definitely.
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Reading Progress

12/02/2015 marked as: currently-reading
12/02/2015
2.0% "This book just THROWS you in the world. No explanation that Charlie is the step-dad, Kenny is the half brother, or ANYTHING. WHEW."
12/28/2015
28.0% "I am really enjoying this but Rae is a lot better spoken than I would have suspected from a girl who struggled to finish high school."
01/03/2016
42.0% "I have been terrible about updating my status on this! It's a lot of fun, even if a bit plodding and slow in places."
01/04/2016
46.0% "And Rae's wound is healed!"
01/06/2016
57.0% "I've been reading while going to the gym and hopping on the bike - kill two birds with one stone!"
01/07/2016
60.0% "The ONE time you wanted your sister's doctor to take longer so you could read more!" 1 comment
01/07/2016
70.0% "Goal is to read as much as possible before meeting up for Buddy Reads Lunch tomorrow. I'm proud I've made the progress I have, to be honest. This has been a slow book in places and I got distracted with the holidays. Also, this year, I want to dedicate less time to electronics and more to reading. Yeah, hypocritical, as I'm typing this on my phone before reading. So shoot me!"
01/14/2016
85.0% "I keep falling asleep instead of reading. GAH! I had an extra week to finish and I'm BARELY gonna make it!"
01/15/2016 marked as: read
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