Book Review: Half Life by, Lillian Clark

Thank you to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for having me as a part of the official blog tour for Half Life by, Lillian Clark. I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but the premise of this book was too good to pass up!

Half Life
by Lillian Clark
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 9th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction


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?

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.

I’ve never watched Black Mirror before but a lot of people who are excited about this book reference that television show. Instead of Black Mirror being my draw to the book, I was very interested in the main character, Lucille. An over-achiever who feels she can’t life her best life no matter what she tries, Lucille felt like someone I wanted to investigate and learn more about. Was I going to like her? What choices was she going to make to help keep herself on top? Would I agree with or understand those choices? It is these questions, and their eventual answers that kept me turning the pages of Half Life.

I truly did not know where this book was going to go when I picked it up, which was really wonderful. There are many times when a book is enjoyable but predictable. That was not the case with Half Life. There was so much depth to the characters and their emotions! The plot weaves everyone together in an intriguing and thoughtful manner. Throw in a little romance, and Half Life is a book that I am pleased to highly recommend.

I give this book 4 Sips!

My favorite quotes from Half Life are varied. Some made me smile. Some made me think. I think the variety of quotes is representative of how fun and thoughtful this book really is.

Tell yourself a lie enough times and poof! it becomes your truth.

Overachiever. How exactly does one “over” achieve? Is there some sort of line I’m not supposed to cross? Like whoa, hold on there, little lady, you’re awfully close to appearing ambitious. You’re one quick skip shy of trying too hard. And we all know what a horror show trying hard is, right?

Guilt kittens and pity rainbows.

At some point, I tried hard. Then people expected me to try hard. Which pushed me to keep trying hard to keep up with their expectations. But when you meet people’s expectations a few times, they have this nasty habit of raising them. Like, wow, you did awesome. But the next time, ‘awesome’ isn’t special anymore, it’s normal. Then pretty soon ‘normal’ starts feeling like ‘not enough’ because it isn’t ‘awesome.’

Do you ever think about how we eat crabs but we don’t eat spiders even though crabs are basically giant spiders that live in the ocean?

Prize: Win a copy of HALF LIFE and IMMORAL CODE by Lillian Clark (US Only)

Starts: 9th June 2020
Ends:  23rd June 2020

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