I wanted to read Half Life the moment Sara Faring (The Tenth Girl) shared about this in her stories. If you don't know yet, I'm mildly obsessed with Black Mirror, and the moment this book was described as such, I was fully in.
I requested an ARC through NetGalley and got accepted, so this review is happening partially thanks to them.
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?
Half Life begins with a very reflective scene: the end of school--the end of what defines Lucille's whole world as an overachiever. Realizing that her best friend might not be her best friend anymore and that life at home is falling apart, definitely sets the mood for some bad decisions.
Personally, I think the book was paced just right, we had a pretty realistic timeline and scenes that moved the plot forward without wasting our time.
I really loved the vibes in Half Life, it felt very contemporary, it definitely had the Black Mirror vibes I was looking for it was like a long episode made just for teenagers), and at some point, it even gave me Parent Trap vibes. There is a romance in the book, the kind that makes you feel butterflies because it is just so cute, and that is another thing I loved about this book.
We follow Lucille as she navigates through the consequences of her decisions, finding what are her priorities and also the weight of her secret. We also eventually get to see Lucy's perspective, full of Lucille's memories and feelings for the same guy. It gets a little awkward sometimes. Then, there is Life2, ambitious, imposing, and hiding a past of their own.
Would clones be considered humans? I think that's the main question in this fun, adventurous book you won't regret reading.
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Here is all the info for Half Life:
Reading Challenge No.: 27/45
Publication Date: June 9, 2020
Length: ~ 304 pages
Series or Standalone? #Standalone
"Truth is a funny thing."
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