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Sunshine

by Robin McKinley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,1802361,553 (4.06)432
There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while.Unfortunately, she wasn't alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don't, when they're vampires.They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion-within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight.She knows that he is a vampire. She knows that she's to be his dinner and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, as dawn breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day.… (more)
  1. 74
    The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause (allisongryski)
    allisongryski: Recommended if you're looking for another well-written vampire story, with complex and interesting characters.
  2. 10
    Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani (Fiamme)
    Fiamme: Similar themes of unlikely alliances between human and non human.
  3. 21
    Moonshine by Alaya Johnson (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Two books which both involve alternate histories where vampire and supernatural creatures have become everyday occurrences - and dangers - and how two women deal with the sudden appearance of a troubled supernatural creature in their lives. Both feature memorable protagonists, as well as fascinating alternate histories of the United States.… (more)
  4. 11
    Daylight by Elizabeth Knox (GirlMisanthrope)
  5. 22
    Midnight Predator by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (sylvatica)
  6. 11
    The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (leahsimone)
  7. 12
    Angelfall by Susan Ee (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Both feature a plucky teenage heroine and an atypical love interest. Neither involves sappy eyeroll-inducing romantic dialogue. As I read Angelfall, I was immediately reminded of Sunshine, however Angelfall is a much better book. If you liked Sunshine, you might like Angelfall. I personally hated Sunshine, but enjoyed Angelfall.… (more)
  8. 23
    Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (leahsimone)
  9. 911
    Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (Anonymous user)
  10. 58
    Dead in Dixie by Charlaine Harris (overtheseatoskye)
    overtheseatoskye: McKinley's sensible heroine Sunshine, grounded as she is in the daily realities of baking and feeding people, reminds me very much of Sookie Stackhouse of Charlaine Harris' wonderful Southern Vampire series. Somehow the contrast between an earthy, pragmatic heroine and the otherworldly vampire love interest heightens the dramatic tension (and the hawtness).… (more)
  11. 014
    Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson (overtheseatoskye)
    overtheseatoskye: If you felt a little let down by the coy ending of "Sunshine," pick up this fun, chick-lit-inflected vampire romp - the final scene, gratifyingly, doesn't leave things to your imagination.
  12. 135
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (goodiegoodie)
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» See also 432 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
A few years back, Neil Gaiman wrote a blog post suggesting a new book-sharing tradition, calling it 'All Hallow's Read'. A friend and I adopted it immediately afterwards, and so every October we swap some of our favorite spooky books.

This is the book I sent out this year, one of my favorite vampire novels... and I couldn't resist reading through it a second time to see if it lived up to my remembered hype. I was a bit worried during the first arc (which had the potential of being handled amazingly poorly)— but overall I'd have to say yes, yes it does.

I've long viewed Sunshine as an answer to Twilight, even though it was actually published a year before that much maligned bit of teen fiction hit the scene. Confession time: I actually enjoyed reading Twilight— it's over-dramatic and silly, completely fails to approach anything like a healthy relationship, and attaches tons of emotional weight to signifiers that actually mean very little— all things that jibe well with what I experienced as a teenager.

Sunshine, on the other hand, feels emotionally real in a lot of the areas modern paranormal romance feels fake— here we're presented a world where vampires slake their cruel hunger on mortals and humanity as a whole suffers for it, where scary things happen to our heroine and emotional trauma results, and the companionship that eventually develops feels natural.

There's a lot of things I feel this book does right, but I think that last point hits on the key one: the relationships between characters feel natural. Maybe comparing this book to paranormal romances is unfair, because romantic relationships really aren't the focus of this story— it's more about how the main character relates to herself, her friends, family, and past. The end result of exploring those relationships is a very vivid, strongly voiced character that I'm quite happy to have revisited.

And of course there's also vampires, magic, vows of undying loyalty, a visceral final battle, and the promise of a hard-won future. All excellent additions.

So yeah. I'm going to stay up tonight and tomorrow reading The Excorcist, which my friend sent me as her part of our book swap. I'm looking forward to being scared witless, but I hope that Sunshine finds a place in your heart like it's found in mine (nestled somewhere in the gristle between aorta and left ventricle).

Happy Halloween! ( )
  MCBacon | Aug 2, 2021 |
Vampires, were-chickins, delectable deserts, oh my! ( )
  Conni_W | Jul 7, 2021 |
Always a good read. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
Overall I really loved this book and the main character, Sunshine, however I found McKinley to be long winded in the internal dialogue department at times, and I kept losing focus on what I was reading. The story line itself was wonderful and anyone who enjoyed Anne Rice's vampire novels would probably love this!
  ChelleBearss | Feb 15, 2021 |
At some point in the past I read Sunshine. And I loved it. I don't remember when I read it, I didn't review it on the blog or if I did it got lost in one of my moves along the way. I think it was the first time I remember reading Robin McKinley ((although it turned out that she was actually the author of one of my favourite books when I rediscovered The Hero and the Crown )) .
So when Renay & Ana discussed Sunshine on Fangirl Happy Hour I couldn't resist picking it up again and enjoying a reread. ((I think it is a reread of a reread if I'm being totally honest))
And I loved it again. It's such a great book.
I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again at some point, but I'm very much a character driven reader. If I love, or enjoy, or otherwise appreciate a character I'll forgive a lot in a book, and Sunshine is very much a character focused book. It is a character study in many ways. There is a plot, and awesome intricate but subtle world-building, but mainly it is the main character, Sunshine, and how she deals with her world. And she is such a real, grounded character. I loved her.

I thought her relationships with the people around her were just so believable and understandable. In short, this is a wonderful book that you should go read, and it has meant that I can never see a Robin McKinley book without thinking "ooohhh much read that".
The one thing about the book that's a bit hmmm, is the cover of my copy. It doesn't really shout "pick me" when you see it on the shelf. Although I do think it has a southern gothic sort of feel to it, so maybe it fits? ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
1.5 out of 5 stars. Okay ... I LOVED the plot, the main characters, and the world that the author created!! All very good and just for that I would recommend it for all to read too! However, the reason I have given this book such a low score was because the narrator (Sunshine) rambled like there was no tomorrow! I could have screamed sometimes with how it went from the present situation she would be in, then the next minute she would be talking about things that really had nothing to do with what was going on at the time, and some didn't even make since with the plot. In truth I'm surprised I even finished the book, especially since I liked the book (for the most part) when I was reading it, but as soon as I put it down I had to convince myself to pick it back up again .... since I did want to find out how the book would turn out and end. Also, even though I liked the ending, there was too many loose strings so it felt a little incomplete. *shrug* But that may be just me.

Review By: From Me to You ... Video, Photography, & Book Reviews
Read more of this review and a TEASER here: https://frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot...
 
The best vampire story ever. Hands down. The best.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin McKinleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
del Rosario, KristinDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fusari, ErikaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merlington, LauralNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Peter, my Mel and my Con wrapped up in one (slightly untidy) package. Hey, am I lucky or what?
First words
It was a dumb thing to do but it wasn't that dumb.
Quotations
"You are not consumed by the dark because you are full of light."
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There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while.Unfortunately, she wasn't alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don't, when they're vampires.They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion-within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight.She knows that he is a vampire. She knows that she's to be his dinner and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, as dawn breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day.

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Book description
From the front book flap on the hardcover.

From acclaimed author Robin McKinley--a mesmerizing novel of supernatural desire . . .

Sunshine

"Her feet are already bleeding--if you like feet . . "

There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while.

Unfortunately, she wasn't alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don't when they're vampires.

They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion-within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight.

She knows that it is a vampire. She knows that she's to be his dinner, and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, when light breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day . . .
Haiku summary
A sunny baker
A nocturnal bloodsucker
Opposites attract

(Shmuel510)

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