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Sunshine (Sunshine, #1) by Nikki Rae
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Sunshine (Sunshine, #1)

by Nikki Rae

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This novel contains some fantastic characterisation. Sophie is far deeper than the average paranormal romance protagonist, showing noticable character development as the the story progresses. Although rape is often used in literature for nothing more than shock value, Rae uses the device skillfully within the story in order to create a deep trauma for Sophie to overcome.

Most of the other characters in the novel are similarly well rounded, with her best friends and brother being amongst the most memorable. It was only the "villians" that I found to be a little lacking. Her mother is practically a fairy tale stepmother who seems to have no motivation to make Sophie miserable but does so anyway. There is also a bad guy who appears within the last fifth of the story (no spoilers here) who appears from nowhere and does not explain the motivation of his actions. I really hope that this is developed in later novels as I would love to know why he hates Sophie so much.

Unfortunately, I felt that the storyline was a little weak. The first half of the novel was painfully slow and full of expository dialogue. Although the story picked up pace in the second half, it really did not feel as though it was going until the final couple of chapters. Because of this, I was a little underwhelmed by this story but I am optimistic that the series is only going to improve. If it can maintain the excitement of the ending of Sunshine, Sun Poisoned is going to be fantastic. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Aug 21, 2014 |
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review as part of the Sun Damage Blog Tour.

My Thoughts: Did Twilight ruin vampires for you? If you said no, WTF? The idea of sparkly vampires didn’t make you bust a gut? Seriously?! Good for you. I’m always a little leery of a vampire series, especially in the young adult genre. They really tend to be hit or miss

Sunshine is a solid start to the Sunshine series. It has much darker subject matter than I expected based on the overview. I was thinking there might be similarities to the Twilight Saga. I was right, to a point. There were points throughout Sunshine, mostly in the beginning that reminded me of Twilight (how Myles and Sophie interact with one another to start).

The main character, Sophie, did start to get on my nerves with all of her issues (medical, emotional, etc.). You name it, she probably had some vague form of a related problem. Her reluctance and flat-out refusal for positivity and moving on with her life actually started to piss me off. Then I realized how accurately the author was portraying Sophie to someone who may have similar things going on in their life. I’m aware of how vague those statements are, but I can’t do it without giving away major plot points and hating myself for it.

The author dives right into accurately (I’m assuming anyway) portraying the darker aspects that we all try to hide from others and sometimes even ourselves. That dark little voice that nudges you to choose wrong or tells you that you’re not good enough. Nikki Rae’s interpretation of this inner darkness, specifically through Sophie, was spot on and incredibly realistic.

The fact that it was all under a fantasy story line made it better for me. I’m drawn to fantasy like a moth to a flame. I would recommend Sunshine, as long as you realize the seriousness included. It’s not a light, fluffy, vampire fairy tale. It is very enjoyable though.

For more reviews, check out reviewsinapinch.wordpress.com now! ( )
  ReviewsInAPinch | Mar 28, 2014 |
*This review containers some spoilers*
Being a teenager is hard enough. Getting through high school and figuring out what your next big step is going be...not exactly easy and most of the time pretty scary. But when your life is an emotional train wreck it doesn't make it any easier. Sophie Jean is 18 and starting her senior year in high school. Her mother, Momzilla (I think it's my new favorite word!), wants to live in her own perfectly crafted world. Unfortunately Sophie creates a ripple in that pretend world where everything must be perfect. Sophie isn't normal... Solar Urticaria - in short she's allergic to the sun. She doesn't leave the house without a trench coat, dark sunglasses and every possible exposed patch of skin slathered in SPF 120. Momzilla wants to "fix" her, but there's no cure. The doctors say she might "grow out of it" but there are no guarantees. Dr. Helmet agrees to take her on as a patient thinking some new experimental treatments might just cure her. She hates them! Each procedure is worse than the last; each ending with the same results, an allergic reaction to whatever drug or treatment he tries.

Ok, now I am not going to lie...when this little secret came out I immediately thought of Twilight. And again, I can't lie, I have read all of those and seen the movies and told my husband every little detail of every book and corrected parts out loud during the movies. We have a girl who doesn't fit in, who meets a boy who doesn't fit in and they find each other and find that they fit in with each other perfectly. There are a lot of similarities. But, this story is darker....there are a lot more secrets being kept. Biggest difference for me....Myles doesn't sparkle! But we won't get into that discussion because I might just get lynched if I make the wrong person angry with my opinion on sparkly vampires!

So now.... it honestly took me about three chapters to really get into this book. There were some parts where I really just wanted to smack Sophie upside her head and tell her to snap out of it!! I rolled my eyes and said "Oh good grief" on a few occasions too (I have a teenager, who happens to be a senior in high school and truthfully the drama of it all is just too much sometimes! Granted boy drama is different from girl drama...but he does have a girlfriend and she creates her own amount of drama!). But I did get into it. And I did learn to really like the characters. Sophie and Myles are good together (even if they do spend way too much time saying "I'm sorry" to each other...that never stopped being annoying).... Boo and Trei are friends you wished you had.... Jade and Stevie are the brothers you wished you had.... Adam is a great guy who put up with momzilla crap for too long, but he's good to Sophie... Leena is the cutest thing next to newborn kittens...and Laura eventually comes around too and instead of wanting to shove her in a closet I actually like her.

While there were points where the story ran a little too close to other vampire stories... it has it's own twist. I like the writing style. There are a lot of questions I was left with (but I went into this book knowing there was a second one so I am hoping to get some answers in that book)... there were some places where I felt like we were just given "information dump". Every bit of information about an event or character that the author could come up with was thrown at us. It overwhelms, but doesn't always answer the right questions. Why doesn't she remember her childhood? Who was her dad and where did he go? Did he die? Run away? Did momzilla chop him up at feed him to the fishes? Why does Michael want her dead? Why can't Myles tell her everything?

Yea, so my husband thought I was a little bit crazy (but hey, he's the one who married me and if he hadn't figured out I was slightly crazy after all this time he can't blame me...I am not a master at hiding the crazy!) because I was seriously sitting on the couch asking myself those questions out loud. I can't wait to dig into book two and hopefully get some answers! Overall, I liked this book. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes vampires, young adult, supernatural (I hate to say paranormal, but I guess by definition, vampires are outside the realm of normal or explainable by science...so there ya have it), it's not so much a romance, even though it's there... that's not the main theme. Now here comes the part I hate the most (not about the book, just about the process)...rating. I'd love to give every book I read 5 stars, because truthfully if you take the time to write something and put yourself out there for the whole world to read...well, you deserve 5 gold stars just for being brave! But this is me trying to convince you to read this book and I don't want anyone to come after me if they read it and hate it...

I give this book a strong 3.5 stars and that's ONLY because it left me sitting on the couch, rocking back and forth, chanting "Why why why!!" There were just too many questions put in my head and not enough answers for them. There is good, strong character development, great supporting characters and a good story line. Perhaps my questions will be answered in book two.

Visit www.bookie-monster.com to read the entire review (yes there is MUCH more). Reviewed by Desiree Putaski, member of The Bookie Monster review team. ( )
  shanafesta | Jan 28, 2014 |
Sophie “Sunshine” was anything but a typical teenage girl. Suffering from a rare condition, solar urticaria, she lived her life the best she could. She only had a couple of real friends, Boo and Trei (who happened to be brother and sister), until a young man, Myles, came into her life.

Sophie was not one to get close to new people, let alone a male suitor, and it tended to make her physically sick when someone attempted to get close to her – for unspeakable reasons. After getting kicked out of her mother’s house and moving in with her brother, Jade, and his boyfriend Stevie, she began to allow herself to get closer to Myles and a “friendship” began to emerge.

Myles knew that there was something about Sophie that she was not telling him. No matter how many times he asked, she would not let him know. When weird things started happening to Myles, it was Sophie that started asking questions. Myles finally decided to fill her in on the fact that he was dead!

Now that she knew, it was up to Myles to try to find out what she was keeping from him, and to keep her from the dangers that were heading her way.

This is not a bad “love story” written by a new author, as this is her first, self-edited and self-published novel. It has its flaws, but it also is able to keep the reader interested. It does tend to run along the same storyline as some other similar novels, but it also sticks to the typical – girl meets boy, girl tries to show no interest in boy, boy won’t go away, girl starts to fall for boy – storyline.

I would recommend for everyone to get a copy of this novel and give it a read. ( )
  BookReviewsByJason | Jun 27, 2013 |
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