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Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

Shine Shine Shine (edition 2012)

by Lydia Netzer

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290None38,510 (3.79)22
Title:Shine Shine Shine
Authors:Lydia Netzer
Info:St. Martin's Press (2012), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Audiobooks
Tags:read, fiction, audio, 2012review, 3.75/5

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Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

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    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Anonymous user)

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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
See the full review at Short & Sweet Reviews.

This was an intriguing, but very strange, book. None of the characters are particularly easy to like, and maybe hard to identify with, but you still empathize with them, especially as the book delves into their backstories. It's set against the backdrop of locales as exotic as Burma and as every-day as a small coal town in Pennsylvania. As the book jumps between the present-day and the past, going all the way back to Sunny's birth, you get a real feel for what has shaped them into the people that they became. It's an interesting study of difficult people having difficult relationships and loving each other anyway.

I wasn't sure how I felt about the book at first. The author has an almost stream-of-consciousness style to her writing, and the story jumps around frequently in time, but once I got used to it, it was easier to follow. It works on some levels as social commentary about what people do to fit in and be accepted, and what happens when people stop playing by the rules. I don't think it's a book for everyone, but if you're interested in a story about love, death, and the moon, I'd say to give it a shot. ( )
  goorgoahead | Dec 4, 2013 |
This was a great choice for our book club and brought out an excellent discussion. It is admittedly not a book for everyone. If you liked All Families are Psychotic, this will probably be an excellent choice for you. I loved it. ( )
  DowntownLibrarian | Nov 13, 2013 |
** spoiler alert ** Hm, I know I'm not the first to say I'm not real sure what to say about this book, nor am I the first to say that it is very unique. And of course, like so many others, that is something I really like about this book.

HOWEVER, the synopsis I originally read did not do me any justice because the book I read didn't follow through as...interesting in terms of pace. Sure the characters are very interesting and I love the overall story of their nerd love. I'm a bit of a nerd myself so I liked her inclusion of equations and descriptions of their "strange" interactions with each other. This book was great in the sense that it highlighted a relationship that you don't see all the time, if ever and is not one you're going to get to see behind the curtain so-to-speak in real life.

That said to say the book is sci-fi, and about astronauts and space is very misleading; this may give the reader the sense that this is really a book about going into space in a more active sense than what really occurs. Maxxon, the husband (who may be autistic), is a genius who goes into space but those scenes are very muted and not very interesting. Instead you end up feeling like the story is more about Sunny and more about their relationship than anything to do with Maxon colonizing the moon using his super robots. It's kind of like those previews you see for movies with a lot of crazy CGI then when you watch the movie you find out that all the good parts were in those previews and there was little more to witness.

To cut my review short I think this book would have been better served being a novella rather than a 336 page novel, although I read the kindle edition. I don't ever consciously quit a book otherwise I would have given up. Reading this for me seemed to take forever and I couldn't wait to stop to be honest. Then when the book did come to an end there was really no conclusion and certainly not a climax. I don't know if she plans a sequel to this but, no offense, I wasn't interested enough to read another installment like this, way too drawn out. There were many, many scenes that held my attention and I did like Sunny quite a bit and Lydia is a good writer but the story rambles on a lot to where those scenes and moments that got my attention quickly get worn out. And this happens a lot. What happened to me as well was that there's so much going on in this story with the characters' personal lives which is really well developed and the flashbacks to their childhood together, that you wind up waiting and waiting to reach a peak or for the story to turn and twist and do something more than just be interesting and unique. You wait for something to happen and it never really does.

So I loved the ingredients of this book but the overall recipe was very watered down without much punch or kick even though we get teased into thinking their will be, even from a romantic sense nothing is delivered. What does Sunny's new baby really look like, is she bald like Sunny? Does Maxxon ever make it home? Is Bubber, their autistic son, better off his medication overall? Does he improve? Now that Sunny has gone on to stop wearing her wig will she stop trying to be the cliche perfect housewife? Will she and Maxon's relationship grow and blossom now? Do these characters grow? What happens with Les Weathers now that we see he was losing his mind a bit? Does Maxon give up his dream to colonize the moon? (I ask these but unless a sequel was written very differently I couldn't bear this again to want to find out, took too long when I have so many other things to do.) The flashbacks are insightful but also drawn out and there isn't really too much extra to gain from them other than the couple's backstory which is well put together, touching, unique.

Sometimes I liked reading this, a lot of times it felt super slow and not worth the time. Unique story for sure, too long. Interesting, original characters, too much time in their head. Great idea, I don't think it was executed as well as it could be. But from a technical stand point it was written pretty good.

eLPy ( )
  eLPy | Nov 1, 2013 |
When Sunny got pregnant, she decided it was time for them to be normal. But a few years later - pregnant again, with an autistic son called Bubber, and her husband Maxon in a rocket on the way to colonize the moon with robots - Sunny is in a minor car accident that knocks her blong wig off her head, and the charade is over.

Jarred back into her real self, Sunny regrets trying to make herself and Maxon into something they aren't, but before she can tell him, Maxon's rocket is hit by a meteor, endangering all four aboard. Earthbound, Sunny cares for Bubber, agonizes over the decision to take her mother off life support, and wishes Maxon would come home.

Shine Shine Shine starts in the present, but Sunny and Maxon's history is revealed through sections that take place in the past - Sunny's birth in Burma, her father's death, Maxon's childhood, their friendship that becomes love and then marriage. This is a truly unique book, one to mull over and discuss.


She wanted Maxon, the old Maxon, the way it used to be. And yet she knew that he had always been the old Maxon. It was she who had changed. Yet everything else she had tried to become was stupid and pointless. (179)

She thought, Ours is one of the epic loves of our generation. Possibly of all time. Who cares if no one sees it, walking by? This story is a love song. Who cares if history won't remember? (195)

If it was possible for him to fail, he should never have come in the first place, should never have left her there alone, wanting him, waiting for the way their bodies seared together like two wounds healing. (239)

This is what it means to die: You do not finish. (261)

It was Maxon's baby, and Sunny's, and anything could happen. There were no expectations that could be logically brought to bear. The baby could be born a miracle. (271)

You have come this far surrounded, and now you must continue without defense. (273)

( )
  JennyArch | Sep 16, 2013 |
Everyone is wierd, there's something wrong with everyone. So says SHINE SHINE SHINE, a good read, not a great one.

You could say that some parts are great because they're imaginative and unlike what you've read before. And dialog between characters is funny.

But all the characters and scenery (including home scenery) seem sketchy, almost comic bookish. This sketchiness seems deliberate, a device. But it doesn't work for me, not enough for me to agree with the majority of reviews that insist this book is great. ( )
  techeditor | Aug 27, 2013 |
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When fabricated aspects of their picture-perfect world are embarrassingly exposed by a car accident, Sunny Mann, a woman longing for an ideal life, and Maxon, her savant astronaut husband, struggle through blame and fear before confronting realities about their deep bond.… (more)

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Lydia Netzer is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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