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


3.84  ·  Rating details ·  38,834 ratings  ·  4,386 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)
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 Sunshine, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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)
Andria Nope. Would love another book set in the world though. I love it.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  38,834 ratings  ·  4,386 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sunshine
Kat Kennedy
Feb 14, 2010 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 16, 2011 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
Sherwood Smith
Oct 18, 2008 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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Sunshine is definitely worthwhile if you like vampire lit, though this is a bit of an odd one. :)

This urban fantasy novel starts with a bang, one of my favorite beginnings in a fantasy novel. Rae "Sunshine" Seddon is kidnapped by a gang of vampires, chained to the wall in an abandoned, isolated mansion, and left as a victim for another vampire, Constantine, who is also chained up nearby (the gang even cuts Sunshine so the blood will make her harder for Constantine to resist). But resist he does
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a very welcome surprise coming out of my dire expectations. :)

I mean, a vampire romance. Seriously? Another?

Well stop scratching your head and stop moving on to another title. This happens to be one of the *good* ones. There are lots of elements that you've seen before, I'm sure, but it's all in how its written. McKinley has been writing all kinds of fantasy for over thirty years. She knows how to accomplish a lot in relatively no time at all.

Gorgeous world-building and a populace that
Mar 10, 2011 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
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
Jan 18, 2009 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.
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Oct 31, 2008 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
Jun 18, 2007 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, mo
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
Jan 18, 2012 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!
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Hmm. Where to start? This book was quite unique and strange. I love me a good vampire tale and this certainly was one- vampires are at the centre of the actions of the story. And yet...the point of the book seemed to be more about the world building. This was a fascinating world with many magics and part blood demons, ward makers and charm weavers, a special Others police force...
But while it was fascinating in places, the book seemed to be almost a long information dump. If this was the first
Mar 23, 2011 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.
☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness
Oh man what a fucking disappointment. I was really really looking for some creepy vampires, this has been tagged as "horror"? Didn't really feel horror-ish to me.. annnnd I don't know but Constantine was like the lamest vampire love interest ever. The female MC annoyed the fuck out of me and I mostly just fantasized about kicking her teeth in.
And for the most part of the book ABSOLUTELY NOTHING happened!!! It was all blah blah blah "the Others this and that" and making cinnamon rolls.

I can't ev
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
Jeffrey Keeten
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I was put off by the narrative at the start of the book that explained what had happened before. I'm never a big fan of those. Fortunately that was a concise section and I was able to get into the story about Sunshine. I loved the next 1/3 of the book. It actually felt cosy learning about Sunshine's life in the bakery. To some this may seem mundane, but to me it was nice after a hectic day to read about how to make cinnamon rolls. The section with her trapped with the vampire Constantine, both c ...more
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
2.5 stars

What I can only assume is a superb April Fools joke by the book gods, my first themed book for April Singles turned out to be an actual Non-series book (if you aren't as obsessed with my life as I am, usually during this theme I laugh, groan, and joke how all the books I pick for this turn out to be actually in a series). What is wrong with this you ask? There is no way on earth this should be a contained to one freaking book story.

Don't believe me? Imagine if you will, if Darkfever b

What a frustrating book! On one side, this is an amazing read. McKinley paints a deeply complex and detailed world peopled by humans, weres, vampires, demons, and people who can wield magic. The feel is very much urban however, but one that has suffered wars and has not yet quite recovered. The author succeeds in conveying such depths that it is only too easy to immerse oneself.

Characters are also brilliantly portrayed, full of subtlety and ambiguity. Rae is very easy to like. Her seemingly
Oct 29, 2007 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
Sep 18, 2010 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
Lala_Loopsie [fire breathing B!tch Queen]
If you see the read date, you would be surprised, but hey, i don't take months to read a book.

I'll start from where i left it, which is where i remember.

Sunshine/Rae is back home. Yippee(note the sarcasm). That's what it felt like with her.

The main problem with Sunshine were her internal thoughts. She had a lot, too many. And OK.→ Head=thoughts=chaos, and it doesn't make al attractive book. But here there was only Chaos, everywhere. She would be thinking about one thing, the next, she would t
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-
Jan 04, 2009 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
Kim Kaso
I read this some years ago, I remember liking it. A re-read should be good, I can refresh my memory enough to do a full review.
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,
Sep 23, 2008 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Forgotten YA Gems: Sunshine: General Discussion 7 23 Nov 01, 2020 10:55AM  
Readers Unbound: Sunshine 82 13 Jul 22, 2020 01:41PM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Hoopla Pick - April 29 5 11 Apr 30, 2020 07:40AM  
All About Fantasy!: February BOTM GF - Sunshine 3 10 Apr 02, 2020 12:15PM  
Between The Wines: September Book Choice 2019 2 2 Sep 02, 2019 12:53PM  
Beyond Reality: Sunshine -- Finished Reading **SPOILERS LIKELY!** ( 6 38 Jul 05, 2018 12:35PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Solstice Wood (Winter Rose, #2)
  • A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1)
  • War for the Oaks
  • Wintergate (The Border Kingdom)
  • The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
  • Rise (Paper Gods #2.5)
  • Bryony and Roses
  • Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5)
  • Beast
  • Masquerade in Lodi (Penric & Desdemona, #9)
  • Sunglasses After Dark (Sonja Blue, #1)
  • Ascendant (Songs of Chaos #1)
  • Death & Desire (The Jezebel Files, #2)
  • Academic Magic: Academic Magic Book 1
  • Web of Lies (Trueborn Heirs #2)
  • Dark Glass (Montague & Strong Case Files #11)
  • Midlife Blues (Not Too Late #2)
  • Kentucky and the Great War: World War I on the Home Front
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

If you love the fantasy genre, this is the season for you! Some of the biggest books out this fall promise to be epics full of magic, adventure,...
196 likes · 49 comments
“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.” 514 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.” 356 likes
More quotes…