SHINE SHINE SHINE by Lydia Netzer, Book Review: Original voice

Shine Shine Shine by Lydia NetzerShine Shine Shine Synopsis

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.


Let’s cut right to the chase, Lydia Netzer’s debut novel Shine Shine Shine is one of the most unique novels I have read. Netzer set herself an extremely ambitious task with this novel. It is about universal ideals but equally about the everyday and the mundane – or about how those two extremes are in fact one and the same?

Before I launch off into space myself with this review, I will share with you one of the many gorgeous excerpts from the novels text I found myself highlighting on my Kindle.

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 the human race, who pushed one crazy little splinter of metal and a few pulsing cells up into the vast dark reaches of the universe, in the hope the splinter would hit something and stick, and that the little pulsing cells could somehow survive. This is the story of a bulge, a bud, the way the human race tried to subdivide, the bud it formed out into the universe, and what happened to that bud, and what happened to the Earth, too, the mother Earth, after the bud was burst.

Does that help? The beauty of this novel is that it keeps you on your toes. You never know what intriguing take on the world the author or her characters may come up with next.

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In her debut novel Shine Shine Shine Lydia Netzer has unveiled an engaging and original voice.

I found myself completely mesmerised by Netzer’s 5-star prose – poetic, lyrical and vivid. She understands the power of sparse prose and when to use it.

Lydia Netzer, Shine Shine Shine Book Quote

Although gloriously quirky and original, the story itself did not quite achieve my 5-star rating. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why but it has something to do with the ambitious scope of the novel – a few paths not explored as my restless mind would have liked and some of the mathematical parallels used jarring my academic sensibilities (maths geek alert). But these are extremely small criticisms of a novel I could wax lyrical about if anyone was prepared to listen.

If you are prepared to have your subconscious thought hijacked for a few weeks and a reading experience that will expand your mind and make you feel just a little better about the world we live in, then I highly recommend Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer. I eagerly await the next offering from this talented author.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing  5 / 5  —  Overall 4.5

Get your copy of Shine Shine Shine from:


Genre: Literature, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

About the Author, Lydia Netzer

Lydia Netzer was born in Detroit and educated in the Midwest. She lives in Virginia with her two home-schooled children and mathmaking husband. When she isn’t teaching, blogging, or drafting her second novel, she writes songs and plays guitar in a rock band.

* My receiving a copy of this book for free for review purposes did not influence the opinions expressed in my review.