Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sunshine, Robin McKinley

I read Beauty back during my children’s lit college course and loved it. So I was a little surprised by the much darker themes in Sunshine. I get that it is a vampire story hence the darker themes but maybe I’m just too used to the nice, sensible Twilight vampires.

This book has an interesting hook and I definitely wanted to know the outcome but I found myself skimming pages for plot points ignoring all the many (many!) boring parts that were weighed down with details I didn’t care about. I also realize that I am partial to stories with a romance so it’s not a big surprise that I kept feeling frustrated by Sunshine’s love life. She has a mysterious boyfriend with potentially supernatural tattoos (Awesome! I know, right?) that is kept at arm’s length during the story (we never get details on the tattoos, grrr). The romantic in me assumed this was so we wouldn’t be upset when Sunshine ditches him for the vampire.

Except she never ditches him. She and the vampire just have a creepy pseudo-sexual encounter one time. I can honestly say that if I had read this book at 16 I would have been intensely grossed out by some of McKinley’s more descriptive turns of speech in describing this rendezvous. I’m making it sound a lot worse than it was; it truly was just a page but it was jarring in comparison to the rest of the book. To me, it just came out of nowhere. Anyway, obviously it intensely grossed out 27 year old me so maybe some things just don’t change.


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