Review: How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer + Giveaway!

Book Reviews, Other Bookish Posts

4.5 Stars

How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer is one of the most quirky, wonderful books I’ve read. The magical realism story mixes beautiful writing with fun-loving characters who you’ll definitely root for. Also, science! Never thought I’d find science that interesting, but Lydia Netzer makes it so.

Imagine being planned, created, then bred for another person. George and Irene were created for one another, but their story goes a little awry along the way and you’ll just be hoping and wishing they work out. The scene where George sees Irene for “the first time” made me smile and giggle SO HARD! Those two had that effect on me a lot in this book.

Their mothers were a different story though. They caused my heart several twinges of pain throughout the story. It was heartbreaking, but I loved being able to see how this plan was hatched. The glimpses into their past gave the story a solid foundation and even made me wonder if a lot of the things they did could be real.

Also!! This book made me feel like I was watching a Woody Allen movie in my head. It reminded me of Mighty Aphrodite, with all the Greek gods appearing everywhere. :)

I can already tell this book will make an appearance on my End of Year post, and I can guarantee I’ll be recommending it A LOT! I think people who like Sarah Addison Allen’s books should definitely try Lydia Netzer. I can’t wait for you guys to experience this little gem!

Book Info

How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer
Published by St. Martin’s
Pub Date: July 1st 2014
Pages: 352
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: AdultRomance
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Lydia Netzer, the award-winning author of Shine Shine Shine, weaves a mind-bending, heart-shattering love story that asks, “Can true love exist if it’s been planned from birth?”

Like a jewel shimmering in a Midwest skyline, the Toledo Institute of Astronomy is the nation’s premier center of astronomical discovery and a beacon of scientific learning for astronomers far and wide. Here, dreamy cosmologist George Dermont mines the stars to prove the existence of God. Here, Irene Sparks, an unsentimental scientist, creates black holes in captivity.

George and Irene are on a collision course with love, destiny and fate. They have everything in common: both are ambitious, both passionate about science, both lonely and yearning for connection. The air seems to hum when they’re together. But George and Irene’s attraction was not written in the stars. In fact their mothers, friends since childhood, raised them separately to become each other’s soulmates.

When that long-secret plan triggers unintended consequences, the two astronomers must discover the truth about their destinies, and unravel the mystery of what Toledo holds for them—together or, perhaps, apart.

Lydia Netzer combines a gift for character and big-hearted storytelling, with a sure hand for science and a vision of a city transformed by its unique celestial position, exploring the conflicts of fate and determinism, and asking how much of life is under our control and what is pre-ordained in the heavens.


Want to see what the knitted black holes look like?? Check out THIS POST on Lydia’s blog that includes a video! They’re ADORABLE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out these videos of Lydia Netzer discussing How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky!


Audiobook Sample!

I know some of my friends do love their audiobooks, so if it will help you pick this up sooner, do it on audio!





About Lydia Netzer

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’s 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, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2014.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

8 Responses to “Review: How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer + Giveaway!”

  1. Avatar

    Chelsea B.

    Oh my goodness! This is the first I’m hearing of this book, but your review has me so excited to read it! It sounds so quirky and original– my two favorite things in a book. *Squeeee!*

  2. Avatar


    I saw you and Jen/Pop Reader talking about this book the other day, and I have to read a book where SCIENCE IS INTERESTING. AND MOTHERS. Also I never saw Mighty Aphrodite. Should I do this?

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