Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Half-Life of Planets

The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
Hyperion, 2010
247 pages
YA; Contemporary
4/5 stars

Source: Library

Summary: This is another book with chapters alternating perspectives, this time between Liana Planet and Hank Rollins.  If you were going to sum them up with one word, you might choose "slut" and "Asperger's" respectively but that would be inaccurate because there's so much more. The book as a whole covers about one summer and traces the evolution of their relationship, their ups and their downs.

Thoughts: As I said, the chapters of this book alternate between the two characters, a technique I've seen a lot lately and which I like.  The problem is that usually I prefer one character to the other.  In this case it's Hank.  I loved his music trivia and his voice-he uses proper English with no slang and is a polite young man.  He is often baffled by the way people act but he wants to be part of the dating scene and to get closer to Liana.

Now I don't exactly know why as Liana was kind of annoying and boring.  I liked that she was interested in science and her family dynamic-her father is a hypochondriac workaholic and her mother is an uptight baker psychologist.  That stood out in the sea of stupid girl YA paranormal romances.  She's mostly okay but she spends an awful lot of time worrying about the note she received saying "slut."  Her chapters dragged on as I waited for the return to Hank's voice.

Overall: Cute story but I strongly preferred one voice to the other and that dragged the rating down.

Cover: It's okay-I picked it after seeing that it was written by two authors and completely ignored the cover.


  1. I also like narratives with two voices and I have the same problem: I don't like one of the narrators. But if that character is well written, I can take it. This book definitely sounds interesting.

  2. I don't know if it's just the quality of the book cover image, but at first I was certain this book is several decades old... The summary makes it sound like a rather familiar story, spiced up with rather used characters (Hank sounds familiar, but Liana, curiously enough, sounds a little different than the usual). It seems like it may be a pleasant book, but I don't think it's for me.


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