I really, really wish Sunshine had a sequel. Or even more than one. So much so that I actually checked Robin McKinley’s website and found a blog post entirely dedicated to the subject. In fact, it’s a republished blog post, originally from 2009. The answer is a twofold “no.” “No,” the author hasn’t had any inspiration to write a sequel and “no” because McKinley doesn’t really write sequels in general. I had noticed that all the books I’ve read from her are standalones, but I hadn’t really considered that her entire body of work might be such.
This is disappointing. I think the ending to Sunshine is a perfectly good conclusion to the adventure, but there is so much more clearly waiting in the wings. I’m not talking about foreshadowing of any kind, just the sense that there’s a lot more going on in the background of the main story which could easily be fleshed out. Several side characters are revealed to have mysterious pasts which could be explored, not to mention the main character’s new…ally? Friend? Whatever, there’s a lot that can be written about.
I am not nearly desperate enough to go looking for fan fiction. I am quite certain it exists because vampires. Well-written vampires, who are actually far less human than any others I’ve encountered in years. Also there’s the fact that McKinley has clearly been asked about a sequel so many times over the years that a blog post is not only necessary, it’s easy to find on her website. I feel this says it all.
So, why would I choose to reread a book that I first read just over two months ago? First and foremost, Sunshine is a wonderful book in every aspect, from the cover inwards. Secondly, I just had to buy myself a copy, particularly with that Carravaggisti cover. That image and layout was a part of what drew me to the book so strongly, and I considered it well worth the extra couple dollars necessary. It was, as you can guess, in that amazon box from the other day. Lastly, I have another busy weekend planned, and I didn’t want to be in the middle of a brand-new book for most of it.
I knew I wanted to reread something, but I’ve been disinclined to revisit a lot of the options on my shelves of late. This is part of my recent desire for new things. I’ve been trying to encourage myself in this, because I know how much I’ve pidgeonholed myself in the past by only picking up new books by authors I’m already familiar with. Then there’s the fact of this blog. When I reread a book that I’ve already posted about, it’s harder to find something new to discuss. Take Sunshine. I spoke about the cover, about the world, and some of the early plot in the story. But now in this post I’ve spent more of my time talking about whether or not there will ever be a sequel and how I ended up choosing to read that novel today.
So not only is it more difficult to come up with a decent number of words each successive time I reread a book, but the blog also makes me feel somewhat guilty, as if I should try harder to read more new books. It’s not as if I don’t have the Pile and more that I could utilize.
That’s not right though. I’m not a slave to my blog. I started this to keep better track of the sheer amount of books I finish in a somewhat ridiculous amount of time. Also to have a platform from which to discuss my thoughts on what I’ve just read. And if I want to reread The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey for the umpteenth time (read: somewhere well over fifty), then I can do so because that’s what I want, and who cares what you readers think?
I mean, I guess I care, a little. But my reading selections should be like my clothing choices: whatever I feel like reading (or wearing), regardless of what anyone else thinks or says. I choose most clothes based on functionality; I don’t want jeans that’ll tear after a few washings or shirts that will develop holes as quickly. Admittedly, I like geeky shirts and socks, but that’s beside the point. I still won’t buy patterned socks if I consider them overpriced for what I’m getting. If any piece of clothing doesn’t look like it’ll last a minimum of five years, it is probably not going to be worth the price. I wear my clothes into the ground, and it’s unusual for anything to survive long enough to be donated.
So I like my books like my clothes: content that appeals to me and that I can foresee rereading again and again over the years. Sunshine definitely fits the bill in both respects, and the added perk of it still being on the new side (in my experience and awareness) makes it an even better choice than most. There are some books where I do know most of the best dialogue by heart, and that may not be the greatest sign. If I remember a book too well, I shouldn’t try rereading it yet. That’s an easy way to burn myself out on it, and I remember what happened with the mysteries.
When I was young, in first and second grade, we did a unit on mysteries in my reading class. I don’t know what it was, but I dove headfirst into mysteries at that point, and I read almost all of them. The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Clue, Clue Jr., The Babysitter’s Club Mysteries, Encyclopedia Brown, Two Minute Mysteries, etc. It’s actually impressive how many book series exist targeting that age group, or the ones slightly above it. The point is, I read so many mysteries in that two-year period that I completely and utterly burned myself out on them. There’s only two types of mysteries I’ve read in the years since then. One is a mystery that is covered in a fantasy or sci-fi “skin.” Of course, I read a lot of things if you make the surface into a fantasy or sci-fi novel. Nonfiction, romance, porn, etc. The other “type” of mystery is actually just a single book. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.
Suffice to say, the only reason I read Christie was because it was a class assignment in seventh grade. I truly appreciated that the book was completely different from any other mystery I’d read before, and have my own copy today. But, honestly, the play kind of sucks. They changed the ending. Ugh.
I haven’t yet decided what to read next. I’m tempted to pick another, shorter, reread to get me through the portions of the weekend when I’ll have time. Though there’s quite a lot to choose from in my Pile now. I suppose I’ll have to see what the morning brings.