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Sunshine [Library Binding]

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

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Book Description

December 2004 1417645857 978-1417645855
?A gripping, funny, page-turning, pretty much perfect work of magical literature? (Neil Gaiman)?first time in trade paperback.

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?

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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 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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine- Amazing!!!!!!! July 9 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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 she did. I was just blown away by both the writing and the wonderful plot. Constantine is just perfect...though I would really like to know more about him. My only regret for this book besides that is the fact that McKinley never actually get around to telling you (SPOILER WARNING) if Sunshine's a partblood or not. I'm not really a vampire person, but this book was just breath-taking. By the way, I'm under 13 but I still read this book. SOME of us are mature enough to handle it. It's not like I've never heard of any of it before, what with school and our American culture, which is pretty obsessed with "R-rated" notions anyways. But, Sunshine is an amazing tangent for Robin McKinley and I demand a sequel! I assure you that if you read this book, you will in all likelihood feel the exact same way. A job well done, Ms. McKinley!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Something of a disappointment . . . June 22 2004
By Jasper
Format:Hardcover
Well, Robin McKinley is one of my favorite authors -- in fact, she's pretty much the only one whose books I purchase in hardcover anymore (I'm cheap ;) ). When I learned that her next book (this one) was a vampire book, I was intrigued -- most of her books are fairytale retellings, or set in her own original world; vampires seemed a bit of a switch. I wanted to see what she would do with the idea.
Unfortunately, this experiment on her part wasn't much of a success, in my opinion. McKinley's world- and atmosphere-building were out in force -- the "alternate universe," modern-day setting she comes up with is interesting in and of itself and is greatly detailed. However, the story set in this world falls very short of the world's own potential.
McKinley's "Rose Daughter" -- my favorite of her books that I've read -- is slow in pace and has little action; this is just fine in a happy retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story, but McKinley takes the same approach to "Sunshine"'s dark and complicated version of the same story -- and it just doesn't work. The whole way through the book I was waiting for action, for something to happen, but nothing did -- until the very end, where quite a bit happened, all at once, rather abruptly, and without really seeming to fit in or satisfy the end of the story.
Apart from this, McKinley drops a *whole* lot of hints and threads in this book that are never tied up -- threads that she never even *tries* to tie up. The reader's just left at the end going "hey! What about . . . - insert character/story detail here - ?" Apparently, also, according to McKinley, she does not plan to clarify these details -- she doesn't think she'll write a sequel, even though the book seems designed to lead into one.
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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 7 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 Courtesy of Teens Read Too
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. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2010 by TeensReadToo
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a keeper!
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. Read more
Published on July 17 2010 by CajunQueen
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, entertaining but not really vampiric
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... Read more
Published on July 4 2005 by TSP
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 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 7 2004
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