Shine Shine Shine

Shine Shine Shine

by Lydia Netzer
4.3 53


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Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

A New York Times Notable Book!

"Over the moon with a metaphysical spin. Heart-tugging…it is struggling to understand the physical realities of life and the nature of what makes us human….Nicely unpredictable…Extraordinary." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

When Maxon met Sunny, he was seven years, four months, and eighteen-days old. Or, he was 2693 rotations of the earth old. Maxon was different. Sunny was different. They were different together.

Now, twenty years later, they are married, and Sunny wants, more than anything, to be "normal." She's got the housewife thing down perfectly, but Maxon, a genius engineer, is on a NASA mission to the moon, programming robots for a new colony. Once they were two outcasts who found unlikely love in each other: a wondrous, strange relationship formed from urgent desire for connection. But now they're parents to an autistic son. And Sunny is pregnant again. And her mother is dying in the hospital. Their marriage is on the brink of imploding, and they're at each other's throats with blame and fear. What exactly has gone wrong?

Sunny wishes Maxon would turn the rocket around and come straight-the-hell home.

When an accident in space puts the mission in peril, everything Sunny and Maxon have built hangs in the balance. Dark secrets, long-forgotten murders, and a blond wig all come tumbling to the light. And nothing will ever be the same.…

A debut of singular power and intelligence, Shine Shine Shine is a unique love story, an adventure between worlds, and a stunning novel of love, death, and what it means to be human.

Shine Shine Shine is a New York Times Notable Book of 2012.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250020413
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 07/02/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 768,375
Product dimensions: 5.72(w) x 8.08(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

LYDIA NETZER was born in Detroit and educated in the Midwest. She lives in Virginia with her two home-schooled children and math-making husband. When she isn't teaching, reading, or writing her next novel, she plays the guitar in a rock band.

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Shine Shine Shine 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
jmbatty More than 1 year ago
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!
jlking More than 1 year ago
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.
Ashley_UNC More than 1 year ago
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.
ChaoticMA More than 1 year ago
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.
wordstoliveby More than 1 year ago
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.
CathyFitzgerald More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
BBR47 More than 1 year ago
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.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got locked out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will give you what you want...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Runs away. Sorrry ur not descriptiv enough
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
I chose "Shine Shine Shine" because I was searching for intelligent fiction - and Netzer's writing certainly "fits the bill."  I do wish she would get all her scientific facts correct - such as the shape of planets. Contrary to the book, all planets are not "round (see page 195);" in fact, our own Earth is ellipsoid, and the shape varires by the gravitational effects of the moon. But overall it was accurate, and I appreciate her inclusion of NASA, robots etc. It's also refreshing to read stories that are not predictable. In more simplistic book, you know the resolution by the end of the first chapter, so why bother reading the rest? I hope Ms. Netzer will continue to write intelligent books for many years, and I can't wait for her next work!
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dottie1 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting and creative with good observations on life
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very, very weird book, yet intriguing. Didn't like it but had to finish it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.