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 little but the action feels grounded in reality, at least emotional honesty. In the end I have to conclude there is no exact word that will precisely define “Shine”; it’s too unique. Netzer writes in a genre all her own. There are times that the book threatens to spill syrup but she always skirts that stickiness. There isn’t a misstep anywhere. She’s not hitting you over the head with beliefs, she’s exploring with you as an equal. She affirms that everyone has something that makes them feel odd, sets them apart. Some of these traits are superficial, some more profound. We can either change are differences if possible or we can embrace them and attempt to use them to our advantage. Netzer’s characters grow into themselves. Their love and regard for one another strengthens. Almost best of all nothing feels inevitable in “Shine”. The reader is always left guessing where we’re heading. Netzer’s is one of the freshest voices of 2012 in my opinion. We’re not robots. Uniqueness is grand. I want to stay on her spaceship.