Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

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Rating: 3 / 5

Sunny and her husband Maxon met when she was six and he was seven.  They both come from different backgrounds that have made it easy to relate to one another but more difficult to relate to other people.  Now living in Virginia, this couple seems to have it all.  Maxon is a wealthy Nobel prize-winning scientist who has just gone to space in an attempt to colonize the moon and Sunny is the perfect Stepford wife.  A fender bender in her neighborhood, however, exposes their facade.

Shine Shine Shine is a curious and unique novel about the bonds of an unlikely friendship.  Maxon is a genius, but his intellect and potential are hidden beneath his social awkwardness and his father’s alcoholic tendencies.  Sunny and her mother befriend Maxon, and Sunny takes on the responsibility of helping Maxon navigate the world socially. Sunny, on the other hand, has had trouble fitting in because she faced tragedy at an early age with her father’s death, and also because she was born completely hairless. Their relationship has been rocky lately, but when an asteroid hits the rocket Maxon is on and the shuttle loses all communication, Sunny must re-evaluate their relationship, and all the major decisions she has made in her life leading up to this point.

Both Sunny and Maxon are different and eccentric in their on way, and while that interesting and creative, the narrator’s clipped style and voice made the whole novel strange; the story as a whole ended up feeling too odd and awkward. Although everyone has their secrets, it seemed like in Shine Shine Shine, everybody’s past was overly bizarre to the point that it came off a bit unbelievable.  While the themes of Shine Shine Shine are noteworthy, but the delivery was lacking.  I can’t rave about Shine Shine Shine, but am still interested in what Netzer comes up with next.

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