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Shine Shine Shine

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  8,261 ratings  ·  1,488 reviews
Sunny Mann has masterminded a life for herself and her family in a quiet Virginia town. Her house and her friends are picture-perfect. Even her husband has been trained to pass for normal. But when a fender bender on an average day sends her coiffed blonde wig sailing out the window, her secret is exposed. Not only is she bald, Sunny is nothing like the Stepford wife she's ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  8,261 ratings  ·  1,488 reviews

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Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robots in Space: A Love Story

“Shine Shine Shine” deftly explores the dichotomy between fulfilling your own destiny vs. living to please others. It also explores the nature of illness. What constitutes individuality vs. the pressure of conformity and the need to be part of the group? When does uniqueness spill into mental illness?

As I read I kept trying to define the tone of this book. Quirky? Somewhat but the tone is beyond that. Whimsical? Yes it is that but not in a childlike way. Fanciful? A
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison Law
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This novel is reminiscent of one of my favorite books of all time, John Irving's World According to Garp. I fell in love with the flawed and vibrant characters of Sonny, Maxon, Emma and Bubber, whose everyday lives are tinged with heartache and whimsy. I read once that we are our most beautiful selves when we are most who we are. That is one of the big takeaways from this book for me. However, I think each person will discover something poignant and resonant in Shine Shine Shine. ...more
Dafna Lazar
Netzer has a strange clipped style which lures you into assuming it's very precise and terse, yet the more I read the more disappointing it is: it actually hardly ever hits the mark, always just a bit off till you're not really sure what she's saying. Her imagery is similarly often more weird than clear; more often than not you're not at all sure what that imagery is supposed to mean. To my mind there is enough ambiguity in the world without the author adding to it .
More importantly,I can stoma
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She felt she had been living under clouds, underwater, hearing at low volume, seeing at a distance. Without the wig, what she saw was all very awful. Yes, the whole world. There just wasn't any point in pretending that it was fine.

Probably more of a 3.5 star rating, but because of it being different than anything else I've ever read, I'm upping it to a full 4 stars. Shine, Shine, Shine is weird - so weird that I almost gave up on it at the 20% mark, but I persisted, and I'm so happy I did. It to
I wasn't sure about this in the beginning, but I ended up really enjoying this book.

Born totally hairless in Burma, Sunny spends her married life in wigs, false eyelashes, and eyebrows. Her husband, Maxon, a genius working for NASA with few natural social skills, is the only person in Sunny's life besides her mother, Emma, and son, Bubber, who know. Through a series of flashbacks, we see how Sunny lost her father, fled Burma to come to Pennsylvania, grew up, and fell in love.

Now pregnant for t
Kelly Hager
This is such a strange book. It's incredibly ambitious, one that has been well-reviewed and one that I didn't connect with at all.

I love the idea behind it, the way that everyone is trying their best to be normal, even though they all have their very obvious impediments against normalcy. Maxon and Bubber are both autistic (although Maxon wasn't diagnosed) and Sunny is bald. From the moment Sunny and Maxon decided to have a baby, Sunny begins a huge campaign for normalcy. She starts wearing a wig
Christian Kiefer
A beautiful story of love, loss, space, the mind, childhood, marriage, birth, and the American dream. A pre-utopia that ends on a beautiful note, thrusting us all at once far into the future. Is it all in the mind or is it what really happens? Lydia Netzer is too good a writer to let us know. Instead, the whole thing hovers like a constellation. Gorgeous. All of it.
Sonja Yoerg
You've probably heard by now that the main characters, Sunny, Maxon and their son, Bubber, are eccentric, in the sense of being smart and weird simultaneously. But this story is more about the normal part of eccentricity, how people with unusual backgrounds or super-charged minds are nevertheless beautifully and painfully human. Sunny, Maxon and Bubber are not larger than life; their emotions and desires are the same size as those of the rest of us.

And yet their story is a special one, made spec
Sonja Arlow
3 ½ stars

This was an odd little book, an ambitious little book and for the most part the author pulled it off.

I loved the idea behind the story. The way that everyone tries to be normal perfect even though they all have secrets they hide, but secrets that make them human, not flawed.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Sunny, the perfect suburban housewife, not a hair out of place nor a speck of dust in her house. She was not always the picture of perfection, in fact she was born as bald as a
3 stars - It was good.

So what do you get when you combine a girl that has hypotrichosis (no hair growth) in love with a boy that is a savant with Asperger's? Well, you get a very strange and original novel.

I can't even begin to give you a synopsis for or describe this novel as it is about everything all at once. At times I was very engaged and saw glimmers of brilliance, but other times it felt too repetitive and in need of an aggressive editing or simply over the top with the bizarreness. A mi
What a great surprise. The first 50 pages in I really wasn't feeling this book. I was confused to why there were robots in it and why everything was in the 3rd person. 150 pages in I was hooked and didn't want to put it down. This book is a love story, a bizarre, twisted love story about how to love others but most importantly yourself. While that may sound ridiculously cheesy in execution it really wasn't.

The mechanical husband Maxom is going to the moon with robots to help prepare for human co
Rebecca Smith
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shine Shine Shine is not a book that can be easily tucked into a neat category. In fact, when my husband asked, "What's it about?", I told him that my description would fall short and also sound slightly crazy. But that is exactly what makes this book remarkable, and unforgettable.
It is a story of marriage, of motherhood, of self-image and selfishness, but also a tale of humor, family and loss. I'm not even going to bother to write the plot synopsis, other to say again that it fails mere works
Justine Gower
Apr 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I just can't go on. I'm quitting. I'm sorry, but this is a festering turd of a book. Don't get me wrong, I love to read-- I was an English major in college, so I can appreciate books I don't necessarily like. Not this one, though. I just don't understand all the glowing reviews for this novel. All of the characters are weird, so much so that I don't give a damn what happens to any of them. The plot is weird and many of the things that happen either don't make sense or aren't realistic. The writi ...more
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: most people
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Book Info: Genre: Literary Science Fiction Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received a free eBook galley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Sunny Mann has masterminded a life for herself and her family in a quiet Virginia town. Her house and her friends are picture-perfect. Even her genius husband, Maxon, has been trained to pass for normal. But when a fender bender on an average day sends her coiffed blonde wig sailing out the window, her secret is exposed. Not only is
Ashley Arthur
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. In the end, I thought it was ok, but I’m glad I borrowed a copy instead of shelling out my money for the hardback version.

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 conditi
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2012
"This is the story of an astronaut who was lost in space, and the wife he left behind. Or this is the story of a brave man who survived the wreck of the first rocket sent into space with the intent to colonize the moon... This is the story of a bulge, a bud, the way the human race tried to subdivide, the bud it formed outside the universe, and what happened to that bud, and what happened to the Earth, too, the mother Earth, after the bud was burst." page 2

And with this introduction, Lydia Netzer
Amy Rutten
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a fast reader the way other people are fast eaters: if it’s good, I read it as fast as possible. Thankfully, I found myself slowing down and savoring Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer. I not only didn’t want to finish it, I wanted to hold it in my mouth for as long as I could – every word, every sentence. And when I was finished, I felt full. Satisfied.

Shine Shine Shine is the story of a husband and wife, Maxon and Sunny, who are both notably ‘different’; Sunny because she is (and always h
Rose Ann
Won a copy from Shelf Awareness on NetGalley.

Cannot decide between 3 and 4 stars. 3.5

Such a creative and unique storyline. Different than anything else I've ever read.
I kept asking myself, as I was this romance? sci-fi? general fiction?
It was a little taste of each.

I admired Sunny's strength.
Coming out with her baldness, after the accident,
doing her best for Bubby, her son, who is autistic,
her dying mother,
being very pregnant and
having her husband's rocket have an accident while
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shine, Shine, Shine started off good... got really good... had me tweeting the author to ask if Maxom lives GREAT! Loved the whole book! The ending was a little weird for me... I wanted less of the neighbors and more of the husband. But I'm ultimately happy to have discovered Lydia Netzer (Thanks to Joshlyn Jackson)! I can't wait to see what Ms Netzer comes up with next! ...more
Melissa Crytzer Fry
I’m not sure, but I think serendipitous forces were at work as I read Lydia Netzer’s debut. It’s no secret that robots play a huge role in this novel – and it just so happened that as I was wrapping up SHINE SHINE SHINE, I also was wrapping up the last story in a freelance writing project that involved an interview with an engineer who … yes … is researching human-robot teaming.

Which leads me to one of the most outstanding things about this book: the mathematical metaphors. Netzer convinces the
Sunny is your typical suburban housewife: perfect home, perfect neighbors, toddler Bubber with a new baby girl on the way... But the cracks in that "perfect" world Sunny has constructed for herself quickly make themselves apparent in Shine Shine Shine, from Bubber's autism (and Sunny's internal struggle with whether his medicine and treatments are actually helping him) to Maxon, Sunny's brilliant but incredibly odd husband, to Sunny's own secrets that she's so desperate to hide from all of her f ...more
Mindy McGinnis
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SHINE SHINE SHINE is the kind of love story that can get under the skin of even an ultra-cynic like myself.

Sunny is the ultimate suburban housewife, well-coifed, drives a mini-van, consoles her friends, leads neighborhood craft shows, and always makes sure that her autistic son is wearing his helmet and gets his medicine on time. Her genius husband Maxon makes the $18,000 dollar rug in the dining room a possibility, even if his job is destined to take him out of their sphere - literally.

Diane S ☔
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most original novels I have read in a very long time and with the amount that I read that is really saying something. Strange but brilliant, this novel and Sunny just grabbed me and didn't let go. Trying to be perfect and fit in is her goal when she becomes a mother for the first time, her son Bubber is autistic, and her family is so very different. Loved all the angles, the writing and the details of the backgrounds that formed each of these characters. They are all so very f ...more
Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
I am not sure what to make of this novel. While the author has some interesting ideas and the story is quite unique, I found it to be a tad odd (in the unique way) and there was also a lot of unnecessary rambling and unnecessary descriptions (a bit too much in some cases) which made me drop my rating of this novel. The uniqueness of it is what kept me drawn to finishing the entire book. Written in 3rd person, it's the story of Sunny, a bald woman who is married to Maxon, a robotical type man (ev ...more
Julie Kibler
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I received an early review copy of SHINE SHINE SHINE from NetGalley, though I've since purchased the book. Weeks after turning the last page, I'm still thinking about the characters and situations in this remarkable debut from Lydia Netzer. I wondered how I would eventually feel about Sunny and Maxon as they began telling their stories in their oddly detached voices, but by the end of the book, I found myself genuinely emotional and desperate to know whether they would be okay, as individuals an ...more
Quirky. Funky fantastical. Don't read Shine, Shine, Shine if you are looking for a cozy, predictable woman's novel, with recognizable characters and lives you can literally identify with or you will be confused, irritated and disappointed. This novel is a love story about the essence of connection. The story is a kind of modern fairy tale, with its odd main characters Sunny and Maxon emerging from complicated childhoods into unique adults. Their love story has the intensity of a Brönte novel, th ...more
Melissa Rochelle
What a GREAT READ! The characters are unique, the writing is fantastic, and the story is beautiful. I laughed, I cried, I related (I mean, we all have those moments where we just want to FIT IN!). I loved the structure of the story, the author kept it moving forward, but also went back to fill in the gaps. Not only that, I would wonder about a piece of Maxon and Sunny's story and the next segment would answer the question beautifully. I just loved it!

And for some reason, I keep thinking of The T
Jolina Petersheim
Shine Shine Shine is one of the most unique novels I have ever read. It touches upon marital love, parental death, maternal insufficiencies, and uses each theme to unveil the intricacies of the suburban landscape. I look forward to reading more of Netzer's work. ...more
So you know when you read a book, and that book feels like the it was written just for you… Yeah that just happened! It wasn't so much that the characters reflected my life. No, more like the book was tailored, fashioned just for me. Now I miss the characters so much. I miss Sunny. ...more
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Lydia Netzer lives in Virginia with her two children and husband.

Her first novel, Shine Shine Shine, was published by St. Martin's Press. It was an IndieNext Pick, a SIBA Okra Pick, a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, Amazon's Spotlight Book in Best Books of July 2012, a People's Pick in People Magazine, and a NYT Notable Book.

Her new novel, How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky, was publish

Articles featuring this book

With her astronaut husband stranded in space, suburban mom Sunny Mann hides her baldness under a wig and her family's quirks from the neighbors in...
21 likes · 25 comments
“There are three things that robots cannot do," wrote Maxon. Then beneath that on the page he wrote three dots, indented. Beside the first dot he wrote "Show preference without reason (LOVE)" and then "Doubt rational decisions (REGRET)" and finally "Trust data from a previously unreliable source (FORGIVE).” 18 likes
“When you are sitting on a three-legged stool and you've kicked out all three legs, but you're still sitting upright, must you assume that you're so good, you levitate? Or must you assume that you were sitting on the ground all along?” 8 likes
More quotes…