Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)'s Reviews > Sunshine

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
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Sep 27, 2009

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bookshelves: dark-fantasy, witch-sorcereress-healer, vampire, scary-sexy-cool-dangerous-hero, girl-power, urban-fantasy
Recommended for: fans of heroine-oriented urbanish fantasy with vampires
read count: 1

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 book shouldn't be a problem. But for genre fiction, I think you have to work too hard to get the enjoyment factor out of it. I'm no literary snob. In fact, I prefer genre fiction. I want to enjoy reading a story and get a message. This one makes it difficult. I am a foodie, so I was salivating at the descriptions of the baked goods that Sunshine makes (she's a talented baker). However, I wanted more of the supernatural aspects and certainly more of the intriguing Constantine. I could have done with about fifty pages more of him.

I think that a reader who enjoys seeing strong women come into their own in a fantasy novel setting would enjoy this, moreso than a fan of vampire romance. There were some geninuely scary moments that gave me a thrill as well. There are also a few gory moments (not too bad, but I feel the need to warn). I'd give Sunshine three stars because it was a good book, but I don't feel the need to reread it. Now if she writes a sequel with more Constantine, sign me up!
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Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

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message 1: by Rane (new)

Rane Great Review Danielle,
Gore and baked goods this books gotta be good ;P


message 2: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Great review Danielle, I tried with this a few months ago,but gave up with it. I like to think it was because I ran out of time, it was part of a reading challenge and I felt as tho I was rushing, but I think the truth is I wanted a HEA or at least some romance between Sunshine and Constantine and I felt it wasn't going to happen LOL.


message 3: by Shawna (new) - added it

Shawna Nice review, Danielle!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, ladies. Don't feel bad, Adrienne. This is a book I started and put down at least twice. I finally forced myself to read it. It's a good book, but it's more of a fantasy book, than a romance. I think they need to take that Buffy and Angel comparison quote off the cover. That is just setting a reader up for unmeetable expectations. There is a hope of an HEA for Constantine and Sunshine, but it's very subtle. I heard she isn't writing a sequel. That's sad.


message 5: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Ah thanks for the info, don't mind if it's a subtle hint thats all I need, easily pleased that's me LOL


Miriam I don't think McKinley can have intended a a traditional romantic HEA after for Constantine and Sunshine, since Sunshine already has a boyfriend and stays with him throughout the book.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I can see where you're coming from, Miriam. But I like to think Sunshine and Constantine find their way together. Nothing against her boyfriend, who is very nice.


Miriam I was thinking as I read it that McKinley chose to have Sunshine with a good boyfriend to show that it wasn't going to be the stereotypical overcome-obstacle-and-get-together-at-the-end type of romance. Sunshine can care for both Constantine and Mel at the same time because they represent such different aspects of her life and who she is. Does that make any sense?


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) That totally makes sense, Miriam. I liked that McKinley made Sunshine's boyfriend a perfectly nice, good boyfriend to have.


message 10: by Rieh (new) - added it

Rieh Medin I always love to read your reviews, Danielle. :3 It's always the deciding factors on books for me. I think I'll give this one a try.

Too bad you live so far from me; I'd send you some of the stuff from my bakery. >w<


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Rieh. That is a really nice offer. I have one heck of a sweet tooth, so that would be very cool (perhaps not for my figure though).

I'm glad my reviews are helpful to anyone in a small way. That's one of the things I love about GR is the fact that we can see what other people think about books, even if we have different thoughts when we read a book. Sunshine was a worthwhile book to read and had some unique things to offer. I wish I didn't have expectations for a vampire romance when I read it, because this diminished my enjoyment of the book.


Miriam I've found so many new books through GR! And one of the benefits is sometimes people warn you that the book is mislabeled so you don't start reading with the wrong expectations. For instance, I recently checked out Silence and Shadows because it was described: "In that mysterious place where the past slips its boundaries and intrudes on the present, in a small English village where history is as alive as the nearest plowed field, James Long brings us the unforgettable story of three people who meet on an adventure through time that will lead to the depths of the human heart." But then I saw all the reviews complaining that they expected fantasy and just got something metaphorical, so now I won't be expecting reincarnation (which is where I thought it was going in the second chapter).


message 13: by Rieh (new) - added it

Rieh Medin Ever since I started working as a baker, I've given up on figures. Because every chef has to taste their work just to make sure it's good. ;)

I'll still try Sunshine if it's in the library then. I only try to buy things that will either help my library's book sales or will stay on my shelf for a while. Hopefully it's there, or a second-hand store. :)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Rieh I don't have much of a figure as it is. LOL. I think that must be a very cool, albeit stressful job to work in a bakery. Do you decorate wedding cakes? I am endlessly fascinated with the cake decorating process.

I love used bookstores. I have found some gems and some great deals, and I am surprised at how soon I find new releases just sitting on the shelves at the ubs.

Miriam it is very frustrating when the blurb doesn't match what is going on in the book. Publishers do a lot of dirty tricks to sell books.


message 15: by Rieh (new) - added it

Rieh Medin Wedding cakes are a must in the bakery business. I love doing the fondant ones, even though they don't taste as good. It's a ton of fun until there's the order where I need a hundred of the same exact thing. Then I just want to take my apron and strangle someone with it. X3

I noticed at the library that people will donate their books almost right after they've finished reading it. It's amazing to see the thirty or forty dollar books that they'll just give away since they're done with them.

I hate it when publishers do that. Speaking of which; the book 'Need' by Carrie Jones? Huge bummer. The blurb lied to me.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) The fondant cakes are the more dramatic, fun-looking ones, but I've heard fondant isn't as tasty. I imagine it's a tough job at times. Bless your heart.

It's nice that people will donate and recycle their books. I recycle the ones I don't want (used bookstore or donate to Goodwill, library). I am possessive about my books. I keep most of them (I am fortunate that I have the space to do so).

Too bad about Need. I have that one in the tbr pile, so I'll be prepared to be let down slightly.


message 17: by Rieh (new) - added it

Rieh Medin Fondant is pretty gross. I wouldn't even use it if it wasn't so popular. But it is fun to shape; just like play-doh, except made out of sugar and a little less pliant.

I've got books all over my basement, sub-basement, my room and in the living room. There's not much room left for anything and I'm terrified that one of these days one of my dogs is going to get into their little heads that it's high time to mark them as territory. I envy you having space for books. X3


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Well the spillover goes in the garage. But that's okay with me. I imagine it is fun to play with fondant.


Miriam I read Sunshine soon after it came; the first edition had a vague but not misleading blurb. I was kinda confused when I saw it sold later to Twilight fans. Bakers are more the target audience!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Publishers will do everything they can to increase sales. That's why I'm so glad I'm on GRs.


message 21: by Nomad (new)

Nomad Robin McKinley is famous for not writing sequels. So unfortunately, no more Constantine. It's something that readers often gripe about with her, wanting more and knowing they aren't going to get it.


Michaela I'm starting this one today... I've never read any of Robin McKinley's books besides "Dragonhaven", which I just finished and loved. The writing style for that one and this one is supposed to be similar, but other than that they're completely different. But in Dragonhaven I got a lot out of it, so I was hoping this one was deep too. I hope it's not too romancy - like Twilight. I hated Twilight. Do you think this is like Twilight?


Miriam It's not at all like Twilight -- it just re-branded that way after Twilight was so successful.


Michaela Thank you :)


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