Title: Half Life
Author: Lillian Clark
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook, Paperback
Release Date: June 9, 2020
An overachiever enrolls in an experimental clone study to prove that two (of her own) heads are better than one in this fast-paced, near-future adventure that’s Black Mirror meets Becky Albertalli.
There aren’t enough hours in the day for Lucille–perfectionist, overachiever–to do everything she has to do, and there certainly aren’t enough hours to hang out with friends, fall in love, get in trouble–all the teenage things she knows she should want to be doing instead of preparing for a flawless future. So when she sees an ad for Life2: Do more. Be more, she’s intrigued.
The company is looking for beta testers to enroll in an experimental clone program, and in the aftermath of a series of disappointments, Lucille is feeling reckless enough to jump in. At first, it’s perfect: her clone, Lucy, is exactly what she needed to make her life manageable and have time for a social life. But it doesn’t take long for Lucy to become more Lucy and less Lucille, and Lucille is forced to stop looking at Lucy as a reflection and start seeing her as a window–a glimpse at someone else living her own life, but better. Lucy does what she really wants to, not what she thinks she should want to, and Lucille is left wondering how much she was even a part of the perfect life she’d constructed for herself. Lucille wanted Lucy to help her relationships with everyone else, but how can she do that without first rectifying her relationship with herself?
Lucille is a perfectionist. She has perfect grades, but she wasn’t accepted into the intern program she applied to for the summer. On top of that, her parents are getting divorced and her best friend has a new best friend. When Lucille gets an email about an exciting opportunity that is just for her, she decides to take a chance. The opportunity is to have a clone made of her. After the clone is made, she will have to join Lucille in her life to prove that they are the same. However, Lucille’s parents and friends don’t know that she is having a clone made. Lucille thinks this will be a great chance to do more things in life to be more perfect, but life with her clone isn’t as easy as she predicted.
I love stories about clones. When I was in middle school, I loved the novel Cloning Miranda. More recently, I was obsessed with the TV show Orphan Black. The idea is fascinating to me, and a little scary. I’ve heard of programs where you can have your dog cloned, so cloning humans doesn’t seem too futuristic anymore.
At the beginning of the book, I found Lucille annoying. She was very self-involved and pushed everyone away. When her clone was introduced to the story, she was a great contrast to Lucille. I was so glad that I kept reading, because the story became fast paced and suspenseful.
This is a great story!
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Cloning Miranda by Carol Matas
She, Myself, and I by Emma Young
About the Author:
Lillian Clark, a graduate of the University of Wyoming, grew up riding horses, climbing trees, and going on grand imaginary adventures in the small-town West. She’s worked as a lifeguard, a camp counselor, and a Zamboni driver, but found her eternal love working as a bookseller at an independent bookstore. Now living in Teton Valley, Idaho with her husband, son, and two giant dogs, she spends her time reading almost anything and writing books for teens.
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Have you read Half Life? What did you think of it?