Sunshine

Sunshine - Robin McKinley Ah, Robin McKinley. You know, I've always heard about her books, but I realised while reading this one that this was technically what I would consider my first (I can't count The Blue Sword as I started reading it a few different times and never got farther than halfway through each time...) What I noticed right off is that if you're looking for a straightforward writing style, please carry on your way because this story wanders in the most beautiful way imaginable. Now, I've always had mixed feelings about first person novels (not to mention first person vampire novels). A lot of times I feel like the personality of the narrator seems forced when it's written in first person. Maybe because a lot of YA books are being written in first person nowadays and all the characters are coming out sounding faintly similar, but nevertheless, i'm usually not drawn to first person novels in the way I'm drawn to third person.This book, however, was brilliant. Sunshine didn't just kind of tell you about the world she lived in, she rambled and went off on random tangents and talked about things that were kind of not relevant to the situation. Yet, it never seemed forced and it never seemed like it was too much or too wandering. What it did do was give the reader the absolute perfect vision of the world building. Because, admittedly, right off it's kind of really confusing to get your bearings into the world that this book is set in. I spent quite some time trying to figure out the setting and what kind of time period this is (think alternate reality, post-huge magic/Other war, vampires = the ultimate bad guys) set in. Because Sunshine told you absolutely everything, the reader gets the most vivid pictures of the setting ever. It was lovely, I honestly wish this book had a sequel (not necessarily about Sunshine... just set in the same world) because the world was so fascinating. Now, this is a vampire book (the word has become a bit taboo around these blogging parts. You know me, i adore vampires but don't appreciate their portrayals nowadays) and goodness gracious it was perfect. The vampires were scary. Even Constantine, the vampire that Sunshine eventually ends up helping is scary all the way. Never does anything let you forget that the vampires are vampires and their deadly. No sparkles. No warm fuzzy human feelings. These are the cold, deadly, elegant predators that we all know and love best. All in all, though, I just loved Sunshine herself. Silly, overthinking Sunshine - who laid in the sun like her nickname, woke up at four in the morning to bake cinnamon rolls, had an intriguing family history, and a knack for feeding people. She was spectacular. She acted how a person would, and should if they were suddenly thrust from their normal lives of baking at a coffee shop to shoved into an ancient vampire gang war. She was strong, but she panicked, she had moments of undeniable weakness, she had moments where she wanted to give up, but she never did. Even when her situation became more and more bizarre and more hopeless. She just kept baking and feeding people and being Sunshine. She was perfect. Reading this has definitely convinced me to give more books by Robin McKinley a try. Because this was a spectacularly woven book full of vampires, magic, and cinnamon rolls.