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Sunshine [Paperback]

Robin McKinley
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 27 2010
There hadnÕt been any trouble out at the lake in years. Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts for a minute. But then the vampires found her . . . Now, chained and imprisoned in a once-beautiful decaying mansion, alone but for the vampire, Constantine, shackled next to her, Sunshine realizes that she must call on her own hidden strength if she is to survive. But Constantine is not what she expected of a vampire, and soon Sunshine discovers that it is he who needs her, more than either of them know.

Originally published as an adult novel, but now in YA for the first time, Sunshine is an alluring and captivating vampire storyÑone that will ensnare fans of paranormals everywhere.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Buffyesque baker Rae "Sunshine" Seddon meets Count Dracula's hunky Byronic cousin in Newbery-Award-winner McKinley's first adult-and-then-some romp through the darkling streets of a spooky post-Voodoo Wars world. Now that human cities have been decimated, the vampiric elite holds one-fifth of the world's capital, threatening to control all the earth in less than 100 years, unless human SOFs (Special Other Forces) can hold them at bay by recruiting Sunshine, daughter of legendary sorcerer Onyx Blaise. As breathlessly narrated by Sunshine herself, the Cinnamon Roll Queen of Charlie's Coffeehouse, in the inchoate idiom of Britney, J. Lo and the Spice Girls, Sunshine's coming-of-magical-age launches when she is swarmed by noiseless vampires one night and chained in a decrepit ballroom as an entr‚e for mysterious, magnetic, half-starved Constantine, a powerful vampire whose mortal enemy Bo (short for Beauregard) shackled him there to perish slowly from daylight and deprivation. Most of the charm of this long venture into magic maturation derives from McKinley's keen ear and sensitive atmospherics, deft characterizations and clever juxtapositions of reality and the supernatural that might, just might, be lurking out there in "bad spots" right around a creepy urban corner or next to a deserted lake cabin. McKinley knows very well-and makes her readers believe-that "the insides of our own minds are the scariest things there are."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, lives a quiet life working at her stepfather's bakery. One night, she goes out to the lake for some peace and quiet. Big mistake. She is set upon by vampires, who take her to an old mansion. They chain her to the wall and leave her with another vampire, who is also chained. But the vampire, Constantine, doesn't try to eat her. Instead, he implores her to tell him stories to keep them both sane. Realizing she will have to save herself, Sunshine calls on the long-forgotten powers her grandmother began to cultivate in her when she was a child. She transforms her pocketknife into a key and unchains herself--and Constantine. Surprised, he agrees to flee with her when she offers to protect him from the sun with magic. They escape back to town, but Constantine knows his enemies won't be far behind, which means that he and Sunshine will have to face them together. A luminous, entrancing novel with an enthralling pair of characters at its heart. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it. Aug. 30 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Thought you knew Robin McKinley? Had her all figured out as a teenybopper set, girl-power fantasy writer, eh? Ha!

Absolutely LOVED Sunshine from first page to last. Set in a slightly dystopian future in a slightly parallel world to our own (yes - that does sound familiar, but this is no "Damar"), our navel-gazing heroine is suddenly swept off into a surreally violent situation.

Read this as an antidote to the Stephanie Meyer vampire-dreck that's out there. McKinley's vampires don't "sparkle" - they explode into showers of fast-decaying gore. Except Constantine, of course, protected by the unrealized charms (in every sense of the word) of our heroine.

Blood and chocolate and a tiny bit of reasonably graphic sex - this is a young adult/adult read for the non-squeamish who enjoy a creatively-realized alternate universe.

While I've always greatly enjoy McKinley's YA stories, namely her Damarian novels and short stories, Sunshine takes us to a whole new level. From reading the description on the jacket, I hesitated to take it home; vampires are not really my thing, I thought. Never really imagined I'd like it, but I gave it a try just because it was Robin McK. So glad I took the chance. Good stuff!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine July 5 2004
Format:Hardcover
Sunshine is not the first Robin McKinley book that I've read, but I have to say that it's the first quite like THIS.
It's about a girl named Rae ('Sunshine' is a nickname) that is a baker in a futuristic world of wars between vampires and humans.. She doesn't seem to have a very happy life, or, at least, a very interesting one. But that all changes when she decides to take a little nighttime excursion to the lake in her town.
While she's there, meditating about her life, a group of vampires appears behind her, gets her into a red dress, and deposits her, for the most part unharmed, in a mansion ball room with another vampire. This vampire is different, though- he's a prisoner, for one thing, and it doesn't seem like he's going to kill her.
She, of course, eventually falls in love with this vampire, and it gets a little bit repetitive until the end, where it semi-breaks out in a 'Hey- we aren't gonna die, and we killed the bad guy. Life is good, but, man does it still have problems.' kind of way.
My opinion? I kind of liked it, though it takes a while to grow on you and there are these infuriating little bursts in the book where you wonder 'Okay, where did that come from, and why did you take so long to tell me about it?' Other that that, it was pretty darn good and really imaginative, in a certain kind of way.
I do have to say this, though- Robin McKinley fans, beware. This is totally unlike Beauty and Spindle's End. It's really kind of dark and depressing, and you wonder why some of the characters do the things they do- or, more importantly, why they don't do the things you want them to do.
And kids and parents, beware- this is Rated R in about everything that's possible to be Rated R in. Kids that aren't in high school and mature enough to handle it shouldn't even consider this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Sept. 2 2010
Format:Paperback
After years of peace with the vampires, Rae "Sunshine" Seddon makes a big mistake and wanders by the lake to get some peace and quiet. She is captured by vampires and imprisoned next to one who implores her to tell him stories to keep them both sane.

Using her long-forgotten power that her grandmother tried to cultivate in her when she was young, she turns her pocket knife into a key and frees herself and the vampire. When the vampires' true plans to decimate and take over the human world within 100 years are uncovered, Rae, a descendant of Onyx Blaise, is recruited by SOF (Special Other Forces) to stop the madness.

The only problem is that her powers were never fully trained and tapped into. With the help of her vampire friend and with enemies at their heels, these two must face the odds to save themselves and all of humanity. Will they succeed? Will Rae be able to control her magic in time to save everyone?

A gripping, high-thrill adventure with lots at stake. The plot and characters are well-developed, and the story is fairly unique and holds the reader's attention. Those who like vampire tales, adventure, fantasy, and apocalyptic books will enjoy reading SUNSHINE.

Reviewed by: Kira M
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a keeper! July 17 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I don't usually enjoy books with a lot of dialogue or inner monologue, but unlike other reviewers, the journal-like quality of this story was why I liked this book. I felt like I really got into Sunshine's head and understood her character better because of the way the book was written. I found the story fascinating and for me the book is a keeper.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, entertaining but not really vampiric July 4 2005
By TSP
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you're a fan of novels that feature dryly humourous heroines, the sort of story in which the principal character doesn't take herself and the world too seriously even when she's engaged in serious pursuits, you might really like this novel. If you're looking for vampire fiction in the truest sense or want vampiric romance, you'll want to look elsewhere.
As another reviewer here has noted, this is more of a character driven fantasy novel which just happens to have vampires in it, along with other fantasy elements and creatures (e.g. magic, werewolves, alternate dimensions, elemental forces, etc.). The main heroine here is something like a merger between an asexual Anita Blake and Fanny Flagg's Ninny Threadgood character. Fans of Charles de Lint might like the plot in this, though the writing is nowhere near as lyrical, of course.
Something that both engaged and annoyed me in equal measure in this book was the frequent introduction and fleshing out of supporting characters, only to ignore them for the remainder of the novel. This, combined with the way the whole story ended, left a huge opening for followup books, giving me the impression that the writer wrote it with the intent to create a literary franchise out of it. If this does happen, I hope she spends time telling the story of Sunshine's sort-of boyfriend Mel as well as that of her landlady. Both are intriguing enough characters to warrant novels of their own.
Oh - a small aside...if you are trying to diet and have a hard time avoiding temptations to eat sweets, you might want to pass on this book, as the frequent references to scrumptious pastries can be diverting.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Scratched
The CD's were scratched and did not play at parts. A wast of money. Do not make the same mistake I did
Published 2 months ago by kat
1.0 out of 5 stars Blah Blah Blah Blah
I was so excited for this book. There were so many great reviews, along with my friend telling me how amazing it is. I went right out to get it, and started it right away. Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2010 by Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine & Constantine SO HOT!
I really loved this story. Although, I wish it was more about Sunshine & Constantine. I pretty much skimmed through all the parts without the two of them together. Read more
Published on June 7 2009 by Deanne Buss
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourites
A suttle lead into a great read, you will want to own this one so you can read it again! Sure wish she would write a follow up book to this one!
Published on May 2 2009 by Information Junkie
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Premise but Too Slow
I was really looking forward to this book because it had been recommended so highly and because I usually love vampire books with an interesting female protagonist. Read more
Published on March 23 2008 by Bronwyn
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing
Another reason not to judge a book by it's cover. I was looking forward to reading this book; it has gotten glowing reviews, and it's totally my style of reading. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2005 by D. Milligan
5.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine- Amazing!!!!!!!
I have read many of Robin McKinley's books....and they are NOTHING like this! I have no idea what she was thinking when she went off on this little writing tangent, but I'm glad... Read more
Published on July 9 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book (even though too much detail)!
A wonderful, moving story wrapped in too much extraneous detail. It keeps going off on annoying tangents, with long paragraphs giving way too much detail about the heroine's... Read more
Published on July 8 2004
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