Customer Reviews for

Shine Shine Shine

Average Rating 4.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 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 4 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 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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