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Half Lives

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3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  409 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Present day: Icie is a typical high school teenager - until disaster strikes and her parents send her to find shelter inside a mountain near Las Vegas.

The future: Beckett lives on The Mountain - a sacred place devoted to the Great I AM. He must soon become the leader of his people. But Beckett is forced to break one of the sacred laws, and when the Great I AM does not str...more
Paperback, UK, 256 pages
Published May 2nd 2013 by Indigo (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kimberly
I cried twice, which I think means this is an automatic five star.

Full review: http://www.stackedbooks.org/2013/06/h...
Lectus
What a great summary the inside fold of hard copy has. As always, it didn't live up to it.

I didn't see the point of showing the close-to-sisterhood friendship between Icie and Lola during the first three pages if Grant ditched said best friend right away.

Oh! Wait. As always, something this traumatic would keep Icie from "getting attached." Right.

Icie... the weird names in YA keep being creative...

I hadn't gotten my liking around Icie yet when the next chapter is the POV of Beckett and friends.

B...more
Jessica
Very interesting, intriguing and satirical in my opinion. The story is told in two storylines, alternating the chapters between "present day" and "the future."

"Present day" follows the story of four teenagers that band together in a nuclear waste bunker in the mountains near Las Vegas after a terrorist attack that released a deadly virus left most people dead.

"The future" follows, again, mainly four people, but this is how civilization has ended up. We have three people from the village they cal...more
Mandy
To be quite honest, I'm not even sure what this book is supposed to be about. It failed to engage me before one of the main plot points was even introduced. On the other hand, it made me feel a lot better about DNF-ing books, because life is too short for boring books. So, uh, thanks?

So this book alternates between two narrators, one of which I've completely forgotten. The other is named Icie . Luckily, it's not a diminutive for frozen water, but it's still a pretty bad name. And even though it...more
acuriouslibrarian
This book was kind of depressing :(
Sarah
I wanted to like Half Lives more than I did. Grant's novel is told from points in time, the present day and the future. These two time periods are connected, though we aren't told how and the hints throughout the novel are weak, at best. The present day story, even when Grant loses focus, is mostly fine. I did like he way she deals with the problems of death and the choices people make in order to survive. If her loss of focus was the only problem, I probably would've enjoyed the book more. Unfo...more
Angelique Minnaar
As it has been quite a while since I last read an apocalyptic story, I was looking forward to reading “Half Lives” by Sara Grant.
Two stories told simultaneously, but set in two different eras, the reader alternates chapters from one timeline to the other. This technique allows clues to be revealed, slowly expanding the reader’s understanding of how the future evolved. Some readers may find it difficult to follow the duel stories, but I enjoyed the change in pace. This modern update on the fascin...more
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
Thank you HBG Canada for providing an ARC of Half Lives!

When my sister forwarded an email to me with the books available from HBG this summer, I almost didn't pick this book. Just buy reading the first 70% of the description, I was already in the "Oh-no-not-another-post-apocalyptic-novel-in-which-a-secret-was-discovered" mood. But praise the writing gods (and Sara Grant), this story has more to it than just that. It skips forward in generations and also tells the story of a future cult. Now, tha...more
Linsey Kinsey-Lindh
Great idea for a book. Amazing idea. Had SO much potential.

Tried really hard to like it but had to put it down after page 18. I think she was trying too hard to connect the past and the future with an annoying teenager making up her own words and catchphrases. She completely lost me when the girls in the future were called cheerleaders and the guys rockstars. Why? Just...why?

Dystopia indeed. I feel bad for those kids stuck with the idiotic protagonist's lingual eccentricities. Poor bastards.

Mayb...more
Noor Haj-Ali
It looked like the writer was trying to be serious but the book is a big joke..
I reached page 96 and stopped.. the writing is so poor, I could at least stand it in "present" but the future parts were so stupid, it felt like reading a children's book , he went up the mountain.. he came down the mountain, Becket enjoyed walking .
the title must be "Becket and Friends"
and the names are stupid, and the idea is stupid, the characters are stupid, the plot is stupid... this is a stupid book...
And the "...more
P.M.
Facebook! Twitter! Rock Star! Cheerleader! A Tristan! And the teen anthem - WHATEVER! All of these words have meaning for us but what will someone think of these words 100 years or more in the future? Isis Murray is a typical teen who is spirited out of her home and sent to find a secret bunker in a Nevada mountain hours in advance of a terrorist bio-attack of the US. Along the way, she finds Marissa and Tate who accompany her to the bunker. She also finds Chaske who has his own secrets. Life in...more
Becca
This book was amazing in so many ways. I've never read a book like this before. It was magical.
The book starts off with a girl that has a perfect life in Washington, DC. Her Mum works for the federal government and her Dad works as a nuclear physicist. One day, her Mum and Dad tell her to return home ASAP and tell her that a plague has started. They will breach national security by allowing Isis to go to a different state to avoid the sickness. They give Isis a bag full of supplies and $10,000...more
Savannah
This book... well if you didn't already know from the description, it's about a 16 year old girl, Icie, who finds out that there is a deadly virus infecting the united states and she must go to an underground bunker (unused radioactive storage area) to survive. On her way there she meets Marissa, Tate, and Chaike.

anywho, i found this book hard to read at first because it is two books in one. One from the present, and one in the future after this virus. The story about Icie is written in first p...more
Jung Hon
This book is a hard book to review. At first, I got confused with Beckett's culture and the terms they used such as 'Whatever'. Icie's half of the story was very nicely played out though. I liked the idea of escaping to a bunker. As for Beckett's half, it was certainly not as great, but definitely not that bad to the extent that I want to put down the book.
As the story progresses, Icie's part becomes more boring once she's saved. Sure, there are people going crazy in the bunker and a relationshi...more
Charlien
I’d watched enough horror movies to know that, no matter how big the cast, only one person survives to the credits and lives to fight the sequel.

Wow. This completely caught me off guard. This was something I've never expected. The writing was fun. Though every now and then when reading "Whatever" I still laugh, I somehow got used to it. It shows the way we were brought up have a large influence in how we see things.

I absolutely loved the characters. Icie, Marissa, Chaske and Tate. And I love...more
Jenny Lynn
2.5 Stars

I had high hopes for this book but it left me feeling kinda meh in the end. The characters weren't horrible though sometimes they were a little underdeveloped, especially for such a long book. And while I liked the way the two stories intersected and all the little clues as to how the past affected the future, I got bored with both story lines about halfway through. I think this book just suffered from too much book. It wasn't badly written but it certainly could've been tighter and hav...more
Ellen
Not my favorite. I didn't particularly like the two time lines & multiple POVs - it felt really deliberate how the author dropped hints and bread crumbs for the reader to follow in order to connect the two time lines. I also really didn't like details in the story such as the vernacular used by characters in one of the time lines. It felt like there was a lot of nothing going on in this one in regards to action or even character development. There is an attempt at developing two characters -...more
Cait
Originally posted at Escape Through the Pages with the same rating.


Where to start with HALF LIVES by Sara Grant. I can honestly tell you I had very little idea what to expect from this book, but I was hopeful, and it surpassed any expectation I could, or did, have. I was stunned and crying by the end of the book, and amazed at how Sara Grant managed to blend together two completely separate yet intricately linked story lines.

Icie narrates a good half of the book, telling her story of how she is...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: This was a post apocalyptic story set in present day and the future, that felt all too real. Unfortunately, I found it really hard to connect with any of the characters and I had a hard time finishing it.

Opening Sentence: If you’d asked me that day whether I could lie, cheat, steal, and kill, I would have said ab-so-lutely not.

The Review:

Icie is your average 17 year old girl. She hangs out with her best friend and the worst thing to happen...more
Ian
3.5 stars
The book tells two stories unfolding in parallel, alternating more or less every chapter. In the first, a young girl of our time finds shelter in an unused atomic bunker while the world around her ends. In the second, a leader from the future must face the presence of outsiders and discover the secret of the mountain they inhabit. The stories are obviously interlinked, and the how and why is revealed only gradually.

I must admit that I found Beckett's story somewhat dull, if well execute...more
Kirsty (overflowing library)
This is an interesting title and really quite a thinker. I've literally just finished it but I think it might take a while for me to get my brain around it.

I must admit I got about two thirds the way through this book and I started to lose interest. I didn't find myself connecting with the characters especially those in the story set in the future and while I could see the odd link I didn't really see why the second narrative was needed. Quite honestly I got to the point where I was almost read...more
Lisa L
After reading the first few chapters I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. It was oddly paced. The first few chapters were fun, and the reader got to know the protagonist, Icie. Then there was a bit of a lull, then it picked back up again.

I am glad I decided to finish. The dual narration added excitement in moments that weren't as intriguing. I particularily liked how two stories were unfolding throughout the book. It was neat to see the past and present intertwined in one story. As we l...more
Cindy Hudson
In the before time the worst thing Icie had to worry about was her ex-boyfriend posting their breakup on Facebook. But when her parents put her on a plane with $10,000, a backpack of survival gear, the key to a bunker in a mountain outside of Las Vegas, and a promise to join her as soon as they can, everything changes. As top government officials her parents had advance word of an impending virus with the potential to spread rapidly and kill effectively.

So Icie went into seclusion with three oth...more
Chapter by Chapter
Half Lives by Sara Grant Half Livesby author Sarah Grant was one of those reads that sounded interesting and like it would keep you wondering until the very end. A novel that tells two sides to the end of the world, one taking place during and the other taking place long after? Count me right in! By the time I started readingHalf Livesand finished the first chapter I found myself going “whoa that was seriously awesome” and absolutelyhadto keep on reading.
Half Livesis two stories. The first being...more
Lindsay
Seventeen-year-old Icie's parents have given her $10,000 in cash, a map of a top-secret bunker, and instructions to get there by any means necessary. They have news of an imminent viral attack and know that the bunker is Icie's only hope for survival. Along with three other teens, she lives locked away for months, not knowing what's happening in the outside world or who has survived. And are they safe in the bunker after all? Generations in the future, a mysterious cult worships the very mountai...more
Andrea (Cozy Up With A Good Read)
This review and others can be found on Cozy Up With A Good Read

I was definitely intrigued with this book when I first picked it up, the idea of surviving a viral attack on the country by hiding out in an underground bunker really peaked my interest. This is one of those books that is about surviving however you can and doing anything possible to stay alive. I love survival books because they feel so real, though I was a little disappointed at how this book ultimately played out.

This book is told...more
Sophie
Amazing book. I only wish someone had warned me to get a box of tissues before reading it. Sob...

Half Lives tells two stories. The first is of Icie, a teenage girl forced to survive in extreme conditions after the world as we know it comes to an end. Terrorists have released a deadly virus onto the unsuspecting American population, kick-starting World War III, and Icie only just escapes when her parents send her off to an abandoned nuclear bunker in Las Vegas. Along the way she acquires three ot...more
Lisa
I got this book as an ARC and to be honest, I had no expectations of it, as I didn’t even know the genre when I applied for it. It’s a book set in two different timelines, one contemporary and the second one is told from several points of view at some indeterminate time.

In the first timeline, Icie (“Isis”) is a normal American teenage girl going home from school with her would-be funky friend Lola to hang out at “Bucks”, when she receives an urgent text from her Dad instructing her to come home...more
Georgia (The Bibliomaniac Book Blog)
Goodreads synopsis: Present day: Icie is a typical high school teenager – until disaster strikes and her parents send her to find shelter inside a mountain near Las Vegas.
The future: Beckett lives on The Mountain – a sacred place devoted to the Great I AM. He must soon become the leader of his people. But Beckett is forced to break one of the sacred laws, and when the Great I AM does not strike him down, Beckett finds himself starting to question his beliefs.
As Beckett investigates The Mountain’...more
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She loves everything about books – writing, editing and reading them. She has a brain full of story ideas and a bookcase overflowing with books. She also adores visiting schools, libraries and bookshops and sharing her passion for stories. As a senior commissioning editor for Working Partners, a London-based company creating series fiction for children, Sara worked on twelve different series and e...more
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