D's Reviews > Sunshine

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
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's review
Jun 19, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-lit, fantasy, romance, drama-serious, sci-fi, favorite
Recommended for: fans of relistic fantasy, strong heroines, quirk and sass, cinnamon rolls and baked goods
Read 3 times. Last read September 1, 2009 to April 18, 2016.

*** ORIGINAL REVIEW 9/2009 ***

robin mckinley and maggie steifvater remind me of one another, occasionally, as they populate their books with heroines of gumption and spine who aren't unrealistically abled but whose stubbornness and drive accidentally instruct me on how to confront adversity.

in most of her books, mckinley does a fantastic job of slightly tweaking our surroundings with a fantasy torque, such that it reads as relatable and familiar, with juuuuust an edge of the sparkling unknown.

in this book particularly she is admirably restrained and follows the story where it ought to go, not where we want it to. this is the kind of frustrating plotting that makes me rabid for a story, coming back to it again and again.

and her crowning achievement is infusing this dark, heart-thumping tale with the scent of cinnamon. mmmmmmmmm, baked goods.

(merci', herfica, for throwing this paperback at my head. i know i wouldn't have found it otherwise.)

*** REREAD 12/29/14 ***

this time through, i noticed the considerable pacing problems. the first third is such a fantastic introduction of characters, and the peril is visceral. but the denouement is long, slow, and sometimes repetitive in the thereafter. it's still cast with some fantastic characters and splitting loyalties, but in the end i wasn't QUITE there with mckinley. also, the big bad was much more of a tell than a show, which removed much of the sense of peril in the end.

of note, mckinley doesn't tend to give exhaustive explanations for her fabulously interesting side characters, which both serves to create a very full, realistic, lived-in-feeling universe AND can be quite frustrating to the rabid fan who wants to devour it all.

all in all, though, a fun book in a fantastically compelling world. it remains in my To-Be-Reread-Every-Coupla-Years pile.

*** UPDATED REVIEW -- 4/18/16 ***
i listened to the audiobook version, and the voice actor was AMAZING. i adored her. she gorgeously brought all the characters to life with subtle changes in timbre. a lovely treat.

CAVEAT LECTOR: you will *so* crave all manner of baked goods when reading this. stock your larder accordingly, yo.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
June 19, 2009 – Shelved
June 19, 2009 – Shelved as: ya-lit
June 19, 2009 – Shelved as: fantasy
September 1, 2009 – Started Reading
October 12, 2010 – Shelved as: romance
April 21, 2014 – Shelved as: drama-serious
April 21, 2014 – Shelved as: sci-fi
April 21, 2014 – Shelved as: favorite
April 18, 2016 – Finished Reading

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