Customer Reviews: Sunshine
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on August 29, 2016
Love this story! Read it several times. I do have to skip through some things though, both to keep it clean and to keep the story moving.
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on August 28, 2016
For someone who loves to read rich interior landscapes, well as exterior ones, this is a nearly perfect book. The young woman (Rae or Sunshine) who is the protagonist is drawn exceptionally well, her relationship with the world beautifully laid out. At 25, she is still young enough to question nearly everything, but old enough to have a good sense of her own self, her strengths and weaknesses, her abilities. Nevertheless she is on a journey, reluctantly, and finding out about the magic she needs to use is only a small part of that. Much if not most of the story takes place in Sunshine's head, yet with all the inner talk, there is little about it that I would call whining. I HATE whining, hate to read it, hate to hear it, hate to do it. So it came as a relief to travel her interior and find that the questioning and self-doubt she is prone to is told in a way that reads as simply this: a young woman thrown into the deep end of a battle for which she can't believe she even might be equipped. She speaks with a genuine voice, and with humor that is often twisted and deep black.

If you want action-adventure, gun-fights, magic-fights, car- or spaceship-chases, heroes with whips or wands, this ain't it. Even as magic fantasy, this is VERY different.

If however, what you like is to discover a unique book by a unique talent, by all means and with all due haste, read this!! It's truly excellent, exceptional, wonderful.
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on August 22, 2016
The story unfolded like any good book wood it was deep and satisfying and surprising all at the same time it's like no other vampire book I've ever read and I loved it
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on August 21, 2016
Massively entertaining storytelling, rich world creation and invention of new types of magic that nevertheless reverberate timelessly. Characters I found myself really caring about and rooting for. At first I was a little turned off by the somewhat wandering (though witty) narration of the lead character, but I got to like her so much I got over that and found myself unable to put the book down. And I fell in love with a vampire.

OK, it's not for everyone. My husband, for example, wouldn't like it, perhaps for the same reasons he doesn't like Nina Kiriki Hoffman. (Too nice? Too female?) Even as McKinley skillfully portrays darkness and evil, and even as the character begins to lose faith in herself and her universe... the reader doesn't. (Or I didn't, anyway.)

McKinley has insisted for years that there will be no sequel. Big sigh.
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on August 20, 2016
I had to reread it immediately when I found an ecopy and purchased the audio, too, which was good. It helps to read thru each word rather than skip to all the exciting bits. McKinley loves to delve into details until this world is as real as Real, but the action.... it's so astounding and white-knuckle gripping. No vampire compares to Con, to the extent he is so awful until he morphs into approachable and then into More. I love how Rae evolves to find surprises inside herself, finding room to love Con without loving Mel any less. So deliciously complicated. This story is complete in itself, but lingers long with plenty of scope for the imagination to fill in the adventures of a hundred more years.
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on August 18, 2016
innamon rolls as big as your head. I want one. Sunshine is a baker who likes inventing new desserts. Then she gets caught in a vampire gang war - sort of? - and escapes captivity - she can do WHAT??? - and has to deal with life, continued.

(Long sentences and Sunshine's asides add to the ambiance of the book. )

She can deal with the police and her family by pretending traumatic amnesia, but what about the non-healing wound? What about Sunshine's magic, newly woken up and won't go back to sleep? And what about her weird new bond with a vampire? Neither of them like it, but its here to stay. Worst yet, what about the vampire who kidnapped her and wants to know how she escaped?

This is possibly the best vampire book ever written. Sunshine never wanted to be a hero! She's a baker of excellent bread and wonderful cookies! Which I want.
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Before I tell you why I disliked this book so much, I'd urge you to buy it on Kindle if you are contemplating a purchase. The paperback font is tiny and the contrast with the paper not that good. It was hard on the eyes.

As to content, I bought this book because of the positive reviews of friends and forums. I've never read anything by the author before. This book was disappointing to me from page one to the last page. The main character Rae is a sort of aimless soul with work she fell into that she does well. The book is filled with drifting tangents of her thoughts as well as baking metaphors. As a person she is not well formed. There is some drama in the first 100 pages that takes forever to resolve. The rest of the book meanders through the aftermath and consequences of that experience.

I was particularly let down by character development in this book. The villain. the (human) boyfriend, the vampire...none of them are more than flat single dimensional tools. The plot sets up a good guy/bad guy story line that is never really explained. People end up having magical powers that just so happen to be exactly what is needed at the moment. And this all moves at a glacial pace, feeling more like a 1000 pages than 400.

The book is organized oddly into 4 parts with no chapters. The parts do not seem to have any reason for being. The syntax and diction are off-putting; Mckinley often using words in peculiar ways, especially in the first half of the book. This book never engaged me or pulled me in. It was a chore to read and yes I read the entire thing. I can't recommend it in any way and could not even cough up 2 stars for a rating.
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on August 15, 2016
I have read this book multiple times. There is something about the relationship between the main characters that keeps me coming back, reading between the lines for more and more clarity-- in the best possible way. This is not your typical teenage vampire love story, so if that's what you're looking for, you're not going to find it here. This is a single POV story from the perspective of Sunshine, a woman who works in her family's diner baking bread and designing morbidly decadent desserts. When she is kidnapped by vampires, her whole world gets upended. This is the story of how she takes back what control she can with the resources and allies she has at hand. It's a very relatable coming-into-your-own story.
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on August 11, 2016
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I like to read it every year in the fall, nearish Halloween. It always, always makes me want to start baking, cinnamon rolls in particular. Fantastic book!
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on August 11, 2016
Great read and the second time I have read it!
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