I am currently 200 pages into reading The Awakening of Sunshine Girl, a 296-page fantasy novel by Paige Mckenzie.
The Awakening of Sunshine Girl is the second of Paige Mckenzie’s trilogy. This novel was released on March 1st, 2016. I chose to read this book because I had already read the first book in the series. I was left on a cliffhanger and wanted to read the next book.
In The Awakening of Sunshine Girl, the story takes place a couple days following the end of the first book, so the plot is still recent. The main character Sunshine had just found her mentor/real father, and she is afraid to confront him. After she learned about her new abilities and finally learned about who she really is- how she is so special-, she is suddenly hit with the reality of danger with no explanation.
Her mentor/father Aidan “orders” her to come with him to a “secret” place where she can be safe because her powers put her in danger. She is forced to leave behind the people she loves the most at the beginning of the book. Sunshine tries to keep a distance from her father, but once he takes her to Mexico to his lab, she learns more about him and the rift. The rift has happened a few years ago, and she is learning more and more about what happened in the past. Aidan tells her that he believes Sunshine can help him with his crucial experiment (I’m not going to spoil what it exactly is), which is necessary to save humanity. She has to be trained to fight against the dark spirits, but also her kind who have joined the other side against her.
Then, she also meets Lucio who she befriends quickly and figures out that he and Aidan are the last people left in the lab. They are the only people of their kind who don’t want to kill Sunshine.
Up to where I’m reading, Sunshine is put in the danger of someone specifically wanting to eliminate her that she least expected to be. At the same time, she has to save her kind and help a soul move on that doesn’t want to. It may be too late– but Sunshine is trying to save the world.
I was surprised the time when Aidan opened up to Sunshine and told her what really happened the time she was adopted and why. Sunshine was shocked when she figured out the truth that had been hidden from her her whole life. She figured out why the other side eventually left from Aidan’s, and why they want Sunshine eliminated. “I finally understand what Aidan meant when he said he didn’t abandon me: he gave me up to save me” (158). This was surprising because I realized that Aidan didn’t have any bad intentions and he was on Sunshine’s side all along.
I think the genre of this book is horror fiction/ghosts. I think this because even though the book takes place around a normal town in a normal surrounding, Sunshine figures out that she is not normal and has special powers. These special powers are not possible in real life, which doesn’t make it realistic fiction. The ghosts/spirits/haunting aspect of the book makes it more of a horror novel because at times the book can seem like a horror movie, especially at the end of the first book when she has to fight byherself to save those she cared about.
I like the way the author describes the scenes when Sunshine helps a spirit move on. I really like her craftsmanship when she has Sunshine learns about the spirit she is helping move on. I also like how the author made Sunshine special where she can see what the spirits look like and their surroundings, unlike Lucio and Aidan. This I think will help later in the plot so Lucio and Sunshine can put their powers together to help them win and defeat the other side.
Finally, I was interested in the passage when Sunshine enters Aidan’s experiment and is faced with multiple, tortured and trapped spirits. Sunshine hears them begging her for help, but she knows she can’t for the sake of the experiment.
“Please, the spirits plead. I can’t tell whether I’m speaking out loud or just in my head when I tell them I’m sorry.
I would if I could.
I’m supposed to be stronger.
But maybe I just made them stronger.
Strong enough to escape Aidan’s lab and turn dark.
Strong enough to blanket the entire world in the darkness.
I was supposed to be a super-luiseach who could help spirit after spirit move on all at once, like some kind of mystical assembly line. Instead, I’m an experiment gone awry, just like the other luiseach thought” (164).
What I love about the passage is when Sunshine is thinking about how strong she made the spirits to be, and what they could do. I love the use of the fragment sentences and how they add the effect of suspense and meaning to the passage. This book is full of scenes like these when Sunshine faces spirits and she always ends up hurt or let down by her failure. I’m glad I read this book and I give it a 6/10.