Saturday, 20 April 2013

Sunshine by Nikki Rae

Title: Sunshine
Author: Nikki Rae
Released: January 28th 2013
Pages: 330 (eBook)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
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18 year old Sophie Jean is pretty good at acting normal. Sure, she’s not exactly happy, but happiness is nothing compared to being like everyone else. She can pretend she’s not allergic to the sun. She can hide what her ex-boyfriend did to her. She can cover up the scars she’s made for herself. Ignore anything. Forget anything. Then Myles enters her life, and he has more than a few secrets of his own. When accident after accident keeps happening to Sophie, she can’t help noticing that he’s everywhere. That he knows too much. That she’s remembering too much.

It’s one thing covering up her own dark past, but does she really need to worry about people finding out just how much Myles likes her? Or that despite how much she doesn’t want to repeat past mistakes, she kind of likes him back? Not to mention the fact that she now has to conceal that Myles drinks blood-that he says he’s about four hundred years old.

She almost forgot about that part.

But Sophie has no plans to ruin the normal life she has created for herself. She can deal with this little glitch, no problem. Even if word has gotten around to the wrong vampire about Sophie and Myles, even if she’s putting the few people she loves at risk. Suddenly, those who were monsters before are just people, and the monsters? They’re real. Now being a normal human being is the least of her problems. Now she has to stay alive.

This is possibly one of the best indie books I've ever read. As soon as I read the blurb, I knew it was a book I had to read. I can't say I was addicted from the beginning - but as I crept closer towards finishing it, the more I didn't want it to end! This is a paranormal novel that holds depth and grip, and deals with a whole world of issues - not just sexy vampires.

Admittedly, it was a slow start. I easily liked the character of Sophie, as I found a lot of qualities she had that were within myself, and I found I could relate to a lot of her issues. However, as Rae built up Sophie's life, I found it just a tad too...dreamlike? Too cliche? A gay brother with multicoloured hair; a gay best friend; tattoos at the age of fifteen; a mum who freaked out over literally was too fictional. I know it is a fiction novel, but I wanted to believe I was living Sophie's life beside her, rather than reading something out of someone's imagination. I didn't feel that realism at the start, but as I read on, I began to warm to the character's and the concept in general.

As I touched on earlier, I loved how Rae didn't just make this a vampire novel - it dealt with rape, self-harm, dealt with a lot of things, and whilst part of me thinks too much was crammed in and made light of, I also think it was a nice change. Well, I guess "nice" isn't the right word to use when talking about issues like those, but it was interesting to read about.

I liked Rae's take on vampires, and I admired how she stuck close to how they originally were, but with a bit of a modern twist. And by modern, I don't mean that sparkly Twilight rubbish - I mean retracting fangs, able to project themselves into animals; that kind of thing. Although I liked how it was mixed with realistic aspects, perhaps it was a bit too much to add in a vampire on top of everything else. I would class this as a paranormal genre, but I think it could have been a great contemporary novel, too. Myles could have been your ordinary guy, and you'd still be left breathless by the end of the book.

Although I liked Sophie's fiery attitude and how each character had their own, distinct personality, I did find her constant dismissal of Myles eventually annoying. I liked that Rae kept those characteristics there, and that it wasn't insta-love - for Sophie at least - but after a while, I couldn't help but roll my eyes and think, Come on, kiss the dude already! If I was Myles, I wouldn't have been as persistent with her - she was horrible to him, yet he just kept bouncing back. Myles is literally a rubber-band. Well. A cute rubber-band.

I think the ending could have been stronger, which is probably why I'm giving this a three-star rating. It was too quick - lots of things happened way too fast, and I found myself easily lost about what was happening. Myles could have been human for most of the novel, as the vampire aspect didn't really come into it - apart from at the end, when suddenly it's vampires galore! I would have liked vampires to be in the novel a bit more on the whole, and I would have liked the ending to be far less Twilight than it was.

Despite a few things, I loved this novel. It was slow to start, but once I hit about 20% of the way through, I was hooked - I couldn't get enough of Sophie's witty charm and Myles' adorableness. If you love indie novels, get this book - if you don't, get this book anyway! A really thorough, imaginative book.
Rating: 3/5