Customer Reviews for

Shine Shine Shine

Average Rating 4.5
( 43 )
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5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

A must-read that defies categorizaton.

I absolutely loved this debut novel from Lydia Netzer. At first found the seemingly disparate threads of the story a little jarring, but once the book hit its stride, I was glad I had kept reading. The writing is gorgeous and the characters stayed with me long after I ...
I absolutely loved this debut novel from Lydia Netzer. At first found the seemingly disparate threads of the story a little jarring, but once the book hit its stride, I was glad I had kept reading. The writing is gorgeous and the characters stayed with me long after I put the book down. Highly recommend!

posted by jmbatty on July 24, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

I got this book from the library because Joshilyn Jackson (autho

I got this book from the library because Joshilyn Jackson (author of “A Grown Up Kind of Pretty”) recommended it highly on her website. After hearing so many good things about it, I really wanted to like this book.

The main character of the book is Sunny. At the sta...
I got this book from the library because Joshilyn Jackson (author of “A Grown Up Kind of Pretty”) recommended it highly on her website. After hearing so many good things about it, I really wanted to like this book.

The main character of the book is Sunny. At the start of the story, Sunny is pregnant with her second child, and her big secret is that she was born with a condition that made her completely hairless – she is bald, but she also has no eyelashes, eyebrows, or hair anywhere else on her body. When Sunny had her first baby, she began wearing wigs, because she decided she could not be bald and be a mother. Wearing the wig became part of her “Mom” persona, but Sunny realizes that the Mom wearing a wig is not who she really is. Sunny spends the rest of the novel trying to figure out if she can be her true self, Mom, and Maxon’s wife all at the same time.

Maxon, Sunny’s husband, either has autism or Asperger’s (it’s never stated clearly) and he is a mathematical and engineering genius. NASA has chosen him to go on a mission to the moon. I liked Maxon’s character, and I thought Netzer’s way of describing his thinking in code (If Teacher = Nagging, then Head = Nodding. Loop until Teacher = Quiet) was interesting. Maxon is on the rocket for the mission for the entire story – we only see him interact with Sunny through flashbacks.

The main theme that Netzer emphasized throughout the story is that no one is really “normal.” We all have our secrets. The problem I had with this message isn’t that I don’t agree with her; the problem was that the secrets Sunny finds out about other people (her mother, Maxon’s parents, a neighbor) were so bizarre that I just didn’t buy it. I know that lots of people live with extraordinary circumstances, but I don’t believe that everyone I know is sitting on a bombshell like these characters were. Another issue I had was how this book jumped around in time. In flashbacks, the characters are newly-weds, toddlers, new parents, high school kids, etc. I’ve read books where authors used this technique to gradually bring you into an awesome conclusion. In this book, it felt disjointed and clunky, and half the time I wasn’t sure what Netzer was trying to tell me or prepare me for. Maybe I’ll reread this in a few years and see something in it that I didn’t this time around, but for now, this book was not my favorite.

posted by Ashley_UNC on December 3, 2012

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  • Posted July 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A must-read that defies categorizaton.

    I absolutely loved this debut novel from Lydia Netzer. At first found the seemingly disparate threads of the story a little jarring, but once the book hit its stride, I was glad I had kept reading. The writing is gorgeous and the characters stayed with me long after I put the book down. Highly recommend!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 3, 2012

    I got this book from the library because Joshilyn Jackson (autho

    I got this book from the library because Joshilyn Jackson (author of “A Grown Up Kind of Pretty”) recommended it highly on her website. After hearing so many good things about it, I really wanted to like this book.

    The main character of the book is Sunny. At the start of the story, Sunny is pregnant with her second child, and her big secret is that she was born with a condition that made her completely hairless – she is bald, but she also has no eyelashes, eyebrows, or hair anywhere else on her body. When Sunny had her first baby, she began wearing wigs, because she decided she could not be bald and be a mother. Wearing the wig became part of her “Mom” persona, but Sunny realizes that the Mom wearing a wig is not who she really is. Sunny spends the rest of the novel trying to figure out if she can be her true self, Mom, and Maxon’s wife all at the same time.

    Maxon, Sunny’s husband, either has autism or Asperger’s (it’s never stated clearly) and he is a mathematical and engineering genius. NASA has chosen him to go on a mission to the moon. I liked Maxon’s character, and I thought Netzer’s way of describing his thinking in code (If Teacher = Nagging, then Head = Nodding. Loop until Teacher = Quiet) was interesting. Maxon is on the rocket for the mission for the entire story – we only see him interact with Sunny through flashbacks.

    The main theme that Netzer emphasized throughout the story is that no one is really “normal.” We all have our secrets. The problem I had with this message isn’t that I don’t agree with her; the problem was that the secrets Sunny finds out about other people (her mother, Maxon’s parents, a neighbor) were so bizarre that I just didn’t buy it. I know that lots of people live with extraordinary circumstances, but I don’t believe that everyone I know is sitting on a bombshell like these characters were. Another issue I had was how this book jumped around in time. In flashbacks, the characters are newly-weds, toddlers, new parents, high school kids, etc. I’ve read books where authors used this technique to gradually bring you into an awesome conclusion. In this book, it felt disjointed and clunky, and half the time I wasn’t sure what Netzer was trying to tell me or prepare me for. Maybe I’ll reread this in a few years and see something in it that I didn’t this time around, but for now, this book was not my favorite.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    From its hairless protagonist, Sunny, to her Nobel Prize-winning

    From its hairless protagonist, Sunny, to her Nobel Prize-winning rocket scientist husband, SHINE SHINE SHINE is truly an original.

    The story begins with Sunny's unsunny life -- her husband Maxon has just launched with NASA into space with his precious robots, her mother is surviving in the ICU on life support, her son copes with life on different terms, and her pregnancy seems sure to become an early delivery after a car accident. But the worst happens for Sunny when, in the car accident, her wig flies off and lands in a mud puddle. In that revealing moment, her whole world sees that she is truly different, hairless, bald and covering it up.

    Through the story, we journey with Sunny as she comes to terms with her differences, with her societal world, with her mother, and with Maxon. It is the story of coming back to one's true self after wandering far to become someone we're not. It is the heartachingly beautiful story of coming back together with the ones we love. SHINE SHINE SHINE is a powerful story that I deeply loved, and is one I will not soon forget.

    A wonderful debut by Lydia Netzer! I give SHINE SHINE SHINE my highest recommendation. A must-read for 2012.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Sunny and Maxon are two long time lovers who marry, have a child

    Sunny and Maxon are two long time lovers who marry, have a child, make a life in suburbia..then Maxon goes to the Moon, Sunny is discovered for the hairless mother that she is, and all hell breaks loose! The story ultimately is about what is is to be human, to have faults, to love, to question your capability as a mother , daughter and wife, and ultimately accept who you are -- flawed and all.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    A great cast of character, and an interesting engrossing writing

    A great cast of character, and an interesting engrossing writing style.
    I really enjoyed this book, it is a look at marriage, love, family, and
    life. The characters were complex without loosing the idea of
    characterization. Interesting, fresh and new. My only issue is that
    the author didn't do more research when it came to the main characters
    alopecia. It is a well documented disorder and to have Netzer just keep
    saying she is completely bald and no one knows why was something I got
    stuck on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    What a great little find! Thank you N.Y. Times Book Review. Poig

    What a great little find! Thank you N.Y. Times Book Review. Poignant, quirky, smart, and so very human. This is not a book for idiots.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    If you’re looking for predictable, this isn’t the b


    If you’re looking for predictable, this isn’t the book for you. Lydia Netzer has written a novel that is a little bit real, a little bit sci-fi, a little bit quirky, and more than a little bit fun. You need to read it at her pace and just let it wash over you with both its insanity and wisdom rolled into one. I admit it took me a few chapters to catch the rhythm, but once I got it, I was into it.

    The novel is filled with contradictions, a genius husband with all of the peculiarities that geniuses have trying to fit into society, including a child apparently with Asperger’s, not so unlike his father. Meanwhile, Sunny, his wife, through whom most of the book is seen, is plagued with her own insecurities while trying to normalize her very not-normal family. And yet in the end, is there anyone who is really “normal?”

    Fasten your seatbelt for this trip to the moon and beyond. My most memorable sequence: “A death happened at 3:12 in the morning. A private death between the mother and herself, before she could finish her one last dream. This is what it means to die: You do not finish.”

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Ghost

    Name ghost looks. All black withbwhite tigerstripes down back. Crush shiningstar mate looking. Kits wants some. I would like to be deputy. I am kind loyal caring strong fast helpful brave and protective bye!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I found this book to be a huge waste of my time. I stuck with it

    I found this book to be a huge waste of my time. I stuck with it for about 60 pages and then skimmed the remaining chapters. The writing was awkward and choppy. I found the characters hugely underdeveloped. All in all, I wish I had saved my receipt so I could return this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    ~Path of Crooked Twilight~ -Chapter one- +Scarlet Memories+

    The sunset was a blaze of bloody red, tinged with orange. Twilight flicked a pebble into the orange-stained still waters of the twoleg pond. Realizing how long she ad been sitting there, she got up and gave a quick messy lick to her greasy matted fur. The constant roar of monsters had become mute to her ears, for she had inhabited a new home across the Black Tail (Twilights word for thunderpath). Twilight scurried across dead spiky grass to the edge of the Black Tail. She stood impatiently, for an endless line of monsters had lined up and were not moving. A screeching noise somewhat like a yowl split the air, he had heard that nois before. Twilight flicked her ear, studying the metallic figures for a moment. Steadily he weaved her way in between the two bumpers and arrivedat the other side, which was open to pine forest. With a yawn, she fell into her den, which was an abandoned rabbit hole, and slept fitfully. She awoke with a start, the damp air freezing her to the bones. Twilight jerked her head sideways. Somethin was trickling down her neck... and it was bloody red. Terror burst inside of he. A flash of dark was flooded by light, and with a dizzying sense she realized she had just woken into a dream. The trickle was a simple drop of mud. Wait- mud? That meant the hole would cave in! Rain! It could be flooded! Twiligts eyes grew as wide as moons as she rammed herself out of the rabbit hole, smacking her hea several times in the process. Outside, rain was pouring down harder than hailstones. Twiligt darted here in there on terrified and stiff paws. She looked back at the den, which was flooded. Sh ran onto the Black Tail, looking for shelter. But she had not realized that a car was racing straight foward to her, because the sounds had become mute to her.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2013

    Very strange book in my opinion....and I often like unusual stor

    Very strange book in my opinion....and I often like unusual stories, but not this one. Difficult to follow as it jumps back and forth in time. Have not finished this book and probably will not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    Good novel

    Interesting and creative with good observations on life

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Med cat den

    Hollow tree.

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    Amazing

    I absolutely loved this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Fern

    Swam in a cool creek and brought swans back to the freshkill pile.

    0 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Weird!

    Very, very weird book, yet intriguing. Didn't like it but had to finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2012

    A unique and creative debut!

    Math, space, robots, autism and some wonderfully compelling characters. This novel can sometimes read like poetry, sometimes challenges you to keep up but it is well worth the effort.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Bellaki to nightstar in ur

    In ur drn... can i ask u a quick question?

    0 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    To nightstat

    Speedkit son of riverdream is ready to be a app

    0 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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