Truth is a funny thing. It's fluid, relative. A self-fulfilling prophecy. What you want, what you need, what you believe, what people believed before you: welcome to your truths.

Thank you, Random House Children's and the Fantastic Flying Book Club, for providing me with a copy for review. This does not impact my opinion of the book in any way.

Clark's Half Life follows the story of Lucille Harper: a high school sophomore, student perfectionist, and overachiever. While her efforts prove her success and outstanding academic performance in high school, she finds herself in a difficult situation with both family and friends. Thus, after seeing an advertisement from Life Squared, she agrees to participate in an experimental clone study that will provide her with a duplicate of herself: one who could perform her duties well and make her life more manageable. However, in doing so, contention arises when Lucille realizes that her life was no longer hers to live.

Of all the young adult novels I have read, I found Half Life to be original and creative as its own. Seldom do I find science-fictional novels that explore the realm of science and impossibility against a contemporary backdrop, specifically in the life of a struggling high school student. The author's take on science fiction was done in an intriguing manner, capturing my interest more so by the idea of a human duplicate.

In this book, Clark relates her protagonist, Lucille, with young readers by offering a fresh perspective into relationships, ethics, and perfectionism. I loved reading about Lucille and her struggles with her relationships. Somehow, I found that this has subtly resonated with me when I was in high school, and I can ascertain that Half Life can likewise relate with many young readers.

Although the writing style could be better, this book was nonetheless enjoyable and fun to read. From the moment Lucille's clone was introduced, I was entertained as the book picked up on the suspense of what will happen next, having me reeling with anticipation. A human duplicate of a struggling high school student made me question how the protagonist can regain her control back after her clone decides to live her life a different way. How contentious would it be to be two different people at once, yet be known as a singular individual by everyone around you? What would happen if someone figured out that she wasn't who they thought she was all along?

Everything about this book and its sequence of events are as intriguing as its science-fictional aspects. A quick read and a breeze to go through, Half Life sufficiently captures the question of ethics and moral principles surrounding the process of cloning, while introducing to its readers the struggles of teenhood.

★★★★

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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Half Life

6/16/20


Truth is a funny thing. It's fluid, relative. A self-fulfilling prophecy. What you want, what you need, what you believe, what people believed before you: welcome to your truths.

Thank you, Random House Children's and the Fantastic Flying Book Club, for providing me with a copy for review. This does not impact my opinion of the book in any way.

Clark's Half Life follows the story of Lucille Harper: a high school sophomore, student perfectionist, and overachiever. While her efforts prove her success and outstanding academic performance in high school, she finds herself in a difficult situation with both family and friends. Thus, after seeing an advertisement from Life Squared, she agrees to participate in an experimental clone study that will provide her with a duplicate of herself: one who could perform her duties well and make her life more manageable. However, in doing so, contention arises when Lucille realizes that her life was no longer hers to live.

Of all the young adult novels I have read, I found Half Life to be original and creative as its own. Seldom do I find science-fictional novels that explore the realm of science and impossibility against a contemporary backdrop, specifically in the life of a struggling high school student. The author's take on science fiction was done in an intriguing manner, capturing my interest more so by the idea of a human duplicate.

In this book, Clark relates her protagonist, Lucille, with young readers by offering a fresh perspective into relationships, ethics, and perfectionism. I loved reading about Lucille and her struggles with her relationships. Somehow, I found that this has subtly resonated with me when I was in high school, and I can ascertain that Half Life can likewise relate with many young readers.

Although the writing style could be better, this book was nonetheless enjoyable and fun to read. From the moment Lucille's clone was introduced, I was entertained as the book picked up on the suspense of what will happen next, having me reeling with anticipation. A human duplicate of a struggling high school student made me question how the protagonist can regain her control back after her clone decides to live her life a different way. How contentious would it be to be two different people at once, yet be known as a singular individual by everyone around you? What would happen if someone figured out that she wasn't who they thought she was all along?

Everything about this book and its sequence of events are as intriguing as its science-fictional aspects. A quick read and a breeze to go through, Half Life sufficiently captures the question of ethics and moral principles surrounding the process of cloning, while introducing to its readers the struggles of teenhood.

★★★★

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.


giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway




The last time I saw the sky tinged this pink was on a warm day at university, on a drive back home with my books near my feet. It felt like a blessing to see it like this early this month, after more than two months of this strange routine. Even so, May was a period of growth: I started writing again in a journal as part of meditation practice and, in the process of doing so, I rediscovered my Catholic faith. My day starts at 6 a.m., in which I proceed with having morning exercises, family meals, calls with friends, and leisure time for reading books and watching new films.

I think about how May could have been better, but as it comes by like a breeze, it dissipates. It passes off as memory. For me, I can always look back at it as a constant reminder of what was, what should be, and what ought to be better.




This month, I had difficulty reading and only managed to complete two books, namely Courtney Summers' Sadie and Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Minds. Although I enjoyed both books, I found both underwhelming, failing somehow to capture my complete interest.

Between the two books I read in May, I enjoyed Bracken's novel more despite its close resemblance to the plot of many well-known dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games trilogy and Divergent. Set against a chilling context, her novel follows a dystopian setting in which young survivors of a rampant disease are held in government-owned rehabilitation camps due to their supernatural abilities that render them "dangerous" and "threatening." The author's writing was beautiful and easy to read through, though the plot of the story itself was long and heavy to digest. I look forward to continuing the series soon.

This June, I hope to expand my reading by going through local and Asian literature, young adult books discussing social issues, and adult literature set in different contexts.




Through this ongoing break from online requirements, I found time to discover great music through Spotify. My friends and I had a DJ session through JQBX, and I fostered a deeper appreciation for indie pop music and original Pilipino music (OPM, or music of the Philippines).

Some of my new favorites include: Lisztomania by Phoenix, Honey by One Click Straight, Sanity by Lola Amour, Home & A Song About Space by Reese Lansangan, Wait by Over October, and Golden by Cory Wong & Cody Fry. I love and support local and indie music.

Beyond discovering new songs, I have also been doing more exercises and simple meditation every few days. I participated in the 21-Day Meditation Experience by Chopra Center Meditation that a close friend hosted online, which has helped me reframe my mindset, think more positively, accept my vulnerabilities, and, more importantly, rediscover my Catholic faith. Unfortunately, I failed to be consistent with daily meditation, but I am happy that, through this activity, I have somehow found a way to be closer now to God despite years of questioning my faith. Now every day before bed, I find peace and hope through quiet prayer, seeing that it helps me draw strength amidst these trying times.

Despite the near 50°C weather in Manila, I will always remember May as the month of growth and rediscovery. As summer ends and typhoon season gradually nears, I hope that June brings to many people new blessings, miracles, and change long sought after.

A Breeze of May 2020

6/3/20



The last time I saw the sky tinged this pink was on a warm day at university, on a drive back home with my books near my feet. It felt like a blessing to see it like this early this month, after more than two months of this strange routine. Even so, May was a period of growth: I started writing again in a journal as part of meditation practice and, in the process of doing so, I rediscovered my Catholic faith. My day starts at 6 a.m., in which I proceed with having morning exercises, family meals, calls with friends, and leisure time for reading books and watching new films.

I think about how May could have been better, but as it comes by like a breeze, it dissipates. It passes off as memory. For me, I can always look back at it as a constant reminder of what was, what should be, and what ought to be better.




This month, I had difficulty reading and only managed to complete two books, namely Courtney Summers' Sadie and Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Minds. Although I enjoyed both books, I found both underwhelming, failing somehow to capture my complete interest.

Between the two books I read in May, I enjoyed Bracken's novel more despite its close resemblance to the plot of many well-known dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games trilogy and Divergent. Set against a chilling context, her novel follows a dystopian setting in which young survivors of a rampant disease are held in government-owned rehabilitation camps due to their supernatural abilities that render them "dangerous" and "threatening." The author's writing was beautiful and easy to read through, though the plot of the story itself was long and heavy to digest. I look forward to continuing the series soon.

This June, I hope to expand my reading by going through local and Asian literature, young adult books discussing social issues, and adult literature set in different contexts.




Through this ongoing break from online requirements, I found time to discover great music through Spotify. My friends and I had a DJ session through JQBX, and I fostered a deeper appreciation for indie pop music and original Pilipino music (OPM, or music of the Philippines).

Some of my new favorites include: Lisztomania by Phoenix, Honey by One Click Straight, Sanity by Lola Amour, Home & A Song About Space by Reese Lansangan, Wait by Over October, and Golden by Cory Wong & Cody Fry. I love and support local and indie music.

Beyond discovering new songs, I have also been doing more exercises and simple meditation every few days. I participated in the 21-Day Meditation Experience by Chopra Center Meditation that a close friend hosted online, which has helped me reframe my mindset, think more positively, accept my vulnerabilities, and, more importantly, rediscover my Catholic faith. Unfortunately, I failed to be consistent with daily meditation, but I am happy that, through this activity, I have somehow found a way to be closer now to God despite years of questioning my faith. Now every day before bed, I find peace and hope through quiet prayer, seeing that it helps me draw strength amidst these trying times.

Despite the near 50°C weather in Manila, I will always remember May as the month of growth and rediscovery. As summer ends and typhoon season gradually nears, I hope that June brings to many people new blessings, miracles, and change long sought after.

I remember being young and in love with fiction. Book after book, I devoured through copies of Markus Zusak, Ruta Sepetys, and Cornelia Funke, each one capturing my heart in a manner like no other. I stood by Meggie Folchart as she read book characters into life, as her father Mortimer gave life to even more, and I wept alongside Harry Potter as another well-loved friend dissipated into dust. 

Now, many years later, with eyes that search for more, I have fallen in love with nonfiction. 

My interest in memoirs has expanded over time. Maybe I love the way it speaks to me, or how it offers me with a new perception of life as I get older each day. Nonfiction has opened my eyes to more drastic realities and has told me things I needed to hear. As I near my 20's, I see my life differently, take my obligations with utmost priority, and learn the ropes of this so-called "adulting." And more than ever, I need such books to guide me.

5 Reasons Why I Love Nonfiction


1. There is inspiration in reading about actual events and lives. Some of my most favorite memoirs is Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie and Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air. Both books have changed my perspective on adversity and have taught me to embrace life as if every day is your last.

2. I find guidance. Every nonfictional book that I read has a piece of the author's wisdom and knowledge, and I feel empowered by this. I feel that I can direct my life to something more.

3. There is always something new to learn. Books written by authors beyond my nationality offer me a fresh take of what life is like outside of my culture. Such was the case for Michelle Obama's Becoming. In her memoir, I understood better how politics and governance can influence your life and, in turn, how your life can change the course of the future.

4. Reading nonfiction allows me to see what people think and believe, and this challenges me to understand others and be more open to foreign cultures.

5. Nonfiction books educate. Learning does not stop.

Do you read nonfiction?

Why I Love Nonfiction

5/16/20

,

I remember being young and in love with fiction. Book after book, I devoured through copies of Markus Zusak, Ruta Sepetys, and Cornelia Funke, each one capturing my heart in a manner like no other. I stood by Meggie Folchart as she read book characters into life, as her father Mortimer gave life to even more, and I wept alongside Harry Potter as another well-loved friend dissipated into dust. 

Now, many years later, with eyes that search for more, I have fallen in love with nonfiction. 

My interest in memoirs has expanded over time. Maybe I love the way it speaks to me, or how it offers me with a new perception of life as I get older each day. Nonfiction has opened my eyes to more drastic realities and has told me things I needed to hear. As I near my 20's, I see my life differently, take my obligations with utmost priority, and learn the ropes of this so-called "adulting." And more than ever, I need such books to guide me.

5 Reasons Why I Love Nonfiction


1. There is inspiration in reading about actual events and lives. Some of my most favorite memoirs is Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie and Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air. Both books have changed my perspective on adversity and have taught me to embrace life as if every day is your last.

2. I find guidance. Every nonfictional book that I read has a piece of the author's wisdom and knowledge, and I feel empowered by this. I feel that I can direct my life to something more.

3. There is always something new to learn. Books written by authors beyond my nationality offer me a fresh take of what life is like outside of my culture. Such was the case for Michelle Obama's Becoming. In her memoir, I understood better how politics and governance can influence your life and, in turn, how your life can change the course of the future.

4. Reading nonfiction allows me to see what people think and believe, and this challenges me to understand others and be more open to foreign cultures.

5. Nonfiction books educate. Learning does not stop.

Do you read nonfiction?

jillian etc.