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Extended Audio Sample Shine Shine Shine: A Novel Audiobook, by Lydia Netzer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 53.63 out of 5 3.63 (19 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lydia Netzer Narrator: Joshilyn Jackson Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781427221407
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"Netzer deftly illuminates the bonds that transcend shortcomings and tragedy. Characterized by finely textured emotions and dramatic storytelling, Netzer’s world will draw readers happily into its orbit." —Publisher's Weekly _x000D_ _x000D_ 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._x000D_ _x000D_ 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?_x000D_ _x000D_ Sunny wishes Maxon would turn the rocket around and come straight-the-hell home._x000D_ _x000D_ 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.…_x000D_ _x000D_ 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Netzer’s storytelling method is as poetic as her language. She slowly assembles a multitude of pinpoint insights that converge to form a glimmering constellation…A stellar, thought-provoking debut.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Entirely winning…A refreshingly weird story about the exuberant weirdness of familial love.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “The novel traces Maxon and Sunny’s relationship from their childhoods in Burma and Appalachia to outer space, revealing the futility of chasing an ideal of what’s normal…Shine Shine Shine breaks free of the gravitational pull of traditional romantic clichés.”

    Washington Post

  • “Lydia Netzer’s luminous debut novel concerns what lies beneath society’s pretty surfaces—Sunny’s congenital hairlessness, her husband’s remoteness, their son’s autism. What makes it unexpectedly moving is how skillfully Netzer then peels back those layers, finding heartbreaking depth even in characters who lack ordinary social skills.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Netzer has penned a modern take on alienation, building a family, making connections—creating memorable characters and an odd, idiosyncratic, but highly believable narrative along the way.”

    Toronto Star

  • “[Sunny and Maxon’s] peculiarities form an endearing story in Shine Shine Shine, Norfolk resident Lydia Netzer’s first—and amazingly inventive—novel…Netzer’s munificence of spirit lights her story with compassion…Shine Shine Shine transcends not only geography, whether in Burma, Pennsylvania, Norfolk, or outer space, but also the science and the struggles, the weirdness and the woe; it aims straight for the heart and the humanity that unites us all. Netzer, whose imagination knows no limits, infuses her debut with love—and reminds us that normalcy can be vastly overrated.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “This is a novel about the strangeness of being human. Lydia Netzer says she wrote it when she was pregnant with her first child and feeling ‘paralyzed with fear that I was too weird, too self-absorbed, too unskilled to have a child, and that whatever baby had the bad luck to be born of my uterus would be permanently scarred by my failings.’ Hopefully, she feels better now. Or at least, a lot less alone in her imagined weirdness. After meeting Sunny and Maxon, I know I do.”

    Independent (London)

  • “I can’t say enough good things about Shine Shine Shine, and it’s almost impossible to put the book down once you crack it open. Well-paced, well-plotted, and told with a fresh, lyrical, and bold narrative style, Netzer’s debut novel is compelling, smart, strange, and enjoyable. It shines as brightly as Sunny’s bald head and the luminous stars Maxon sees in space.”

    Bookreporter

  • “Not only entertaining, but nuanced and wise…Blending wit and imagination with an oddly mesmerizing, matter-of-fact cadence, Netzer’s debut is a delightfully unique love story and a resounding paean to individuality.”

    People

  • “Netzer deftly illuminates the bonds that transcend shortcomings and tragedy. Characterized by finely textured emotions and dramatic storytelling, Netzer’s world will draw readers happily into its orbit.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Netzer has beautifully crafted an original story with a cast of characters who make up an unconventional but strangely believable family…This story will shine, shine, shine for all adult readers.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books, 2012
  • A Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book, July 2012
  • Selected for the August 2012 Indie Next List
  • A 2012 Publishers Weekly Best Book
  • A 2012 Library Journal Best Book
  • A People Pick of the Week
  • A 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 2/19/2014

    " Delightfully quirky. Love the portrayals of autism and Aspergers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 2/18/2014

    " Really weird book....but I ended up loving it. Talk about looking at things from a completely different point of view. From a main character who is bald, with an autistic child, to her husband who is a genius and appears to have Asperger's Syndrome....I was constantly forced to see the connections between the humanity in each of us and the lack of humanity in things. Very cool. Reminded me of a guy from work. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 2/10/2014

    " Delightful story, written with depth, purpose, and creativity. The characters were unique but relate-able. Took me awhile to get into the story but couldn't put it down during the 2nd half. Dealt with love and death and living without normalcy. Recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christen | 2/8/2014

    " After reading the first chapter or two of this odd quirky book I. wasn't sure if I was going to like it. But I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcella | 1/30/2014

    " Enjoyable and thoughtful book by a Virginia homeschool mom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Wilt | 1/28/2014

    " If you are like me, you tend to raise an eyebrow when every review of a book mentions code words like "offbeat" or "quirky". In this case, I'm glad I chose to ignore my inner snobby reader person and just pick it up and read it. The offbeat characters are offbeat only on the surface. Deeper down, they are real and finely drawn. Poignant story. Lovely. Read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Davis Mantai | 1/19/2014

    " What a different kind of story. Loved the quirky characters. Loved the science. Her writing is lovely and funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anita | 12/31/2013

    " In a word ... beautiful! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth O'grady | 12/15/2013

    " Really enjoyed this unusual book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mayleen | 12/9/2013

    " I was pleasantly surprised. Had some substance. I didn't think all the oddities would work. Being born bald in burma. Father murdered. Mother dying. Husand on the Moon. Pregnant. Saved by creepy Les. Oh, autistic son. WOW. She tied it all together nicely. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 11/5/2013

    " This was interesting. I don't think I've read anything like it before. None of the characters were very likable, but the plot kept you reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy Masters | 9/9/2013

    " Such a sweet book. I enjoyed every moment. Rare is there such a book that is modern and fun and makes you think, but not in a sad way. After reading The Age of Miracles, this book works well with a hopefulness needed today. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheyenne | 7/11/2013

    " This is a very peculiar story. The characters were...awkward and I couldn't really relate to them and the decisions they made. There were a lot of flashbacks that messed up the flow and made the story choppy. At times, I really had to wonder if the character was dreaming or not. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Colleen Vlach | 5/17/2013

    " Very quirky, and I like quirky, but this was a little too much for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vicki L. | 4/8/2013

    " Stopped reading it after a while. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana Kostas | 3/14/2013

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Unlike any other book I've read.... fascinating, unique characters. Played upon the facades that people keep when trying to fit in, the challenges of motherhood, space travel, family secrets and on and on.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth Vanderhart | 12/17/2012

    " Seemed odd at first but ultimately that oddness became its charm. Quirky, unusual characters--reminded me of Anne Tyler, John Irving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noel Fernandez | 9/24/2012

    " This was a great book. Very internal and really made me think about the ways I try to "fit in." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jus Christian | 9/2/2012

    " "You can't kill yourself just by willing yourself dead. Eventually you pass out and start breathing again." "

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About the Author
LYDIA NETZER lives in Virginia with her husband and two redheaded children. She is the author of How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky and Shine Shine Shine, a NYT Notable Book and a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize.
About the Narrator

Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Backseat Saints, Gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming,and A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and short-listed for the Townsend Prize. Jackson won the SIBA Book Award for Fiction in 2005, and, as a former actor, was nominated for an Audie Award and received a Listen Up Award from Publishers Weekly. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband and their two children.