Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Half Lives” as Want to Read:
Half Lives
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Half Lives

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  564 Ratings  ·  93 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
Paperback, UK, 256 pages
Published May 2nd 2013 by Indigo (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Half Lives, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Half Lives

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 23, 2013 Mandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2014 Lectus rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
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.

Linsey Kinsey-Lindh
Apr 11, 2014 Linsey Kinsey-Lindh rated it did not like it
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.

Noor Haj-Ali
Aug 07, 2014 Noor Haj-Ali rated it did not like it
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 "
I cried twice, which I think means this is an automatic five star.

Full review:
This book was kind of depressing :(
Angelique Minnaar
Jun 10, 2013 Angelique Minnaar rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jan 23, 2014 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
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
Mar 18, 2016 Amy rated it it was ok
Goodreads says this book has 256 pages. My copy has 383. Hmmm.

I finally finished this book. The chapters about the survivors were fairly good until the end. The rest were awful and the ending was abrupt and meaningless. I'm glad it, like the rest of the world in the story, is over.
Dark Faerie Tales
Jul 18, 2013 Dark Faerie Tales rated it it was ok
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
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’
Katie  (Books and Katie)
The weight of the gun settled in my palm. I pointed it at the thing that stood between me and the ever-after.
I choose me.
I pulled the trigger.



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 happen
May 12, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
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
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
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 ...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
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
Sep 09, 2013 Sophie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-teenage-books
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
Molly Looby
May 11, 2015 Molly Looby rated it really liked it
Icie is a typical teenager, until disaster strikes and she must escape to a top-secret military bunker - her only hope of survival.

Hundreds of years later, Beckett leads a community that worships the Great I AM. But Beckett and his beliefs are under attack.

Icie and Beckett must fight to survive - separated by time; connected by a dangerous secret both must protect.

My Review

The first things that struck me when reading Half Lives was the excellent first person narrative voice. Of course I'm a
By the power of Victoria's Secret... Quoted from somewhere in this book.


Okay, okay. Let me just say this. The book isn't completely shit (yes, I have stopped starring the swear words), but at the same time, it's still kind of shit.

The connection between Icie and Beckett, although somewhat cool, wasn't really executed well. In fact, the way Beckett's people were speaking (beasties, crupid, you name it), the "Just Sayings" at the beginning of those chapters, and so on, i
Katie Dobson
Jan 04, 2016 Katie Dobson rated it it was ok
Personally I have never really been a person to read sci-fi books. I just seemed to never have explored in that category, in my own opinion I prefer fiction books with some romance and comedy. Half life by Sarah Grant had only one of those. Overall Half life made me feel frustration and confusion. It was a good book except I just don't think it was my type. I believe that you would enjoy this book if you are interested in the whole future generation and toxic chemical idea.
First thing I found th
May 29, 2013 Ian rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, post-apocalyptic
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
Cindy Hudson
Sep 12, 2013 Cindy Hudson rated it really liked it
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
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
Jul 25, 2015 Emma rated it did not like it
This book truly confused me. It also made me feel very depressed and sad.

large.gif (490×228)

I got maybe half-way through in a day because I was only interested in the present day POV. The future POV with Beckett honestly confused and disinterested me. I basically skipped those chapters just because I couldn't handle the boredom. It also somehow seemed as if the writing worsened in those chapters.

Anyways, halfway through, I just couldn't handle the boredom anymore and I almost just put it down. But I was still in
Sep 23, 2013 Jasmine rated it really liked it
After getting through all of those POVs and double timelines, I actually fell for this book. Everything went together so nicely and the conclusion was beyond what I imagined. I really liked how this book had that apocalyptic story mixed in with the pre-apocalyptic story. It was just amazing.

Isis was such a sweet character. She wasn't all that brave, but when things needed to get done, she did what she needed to do. I felt so bad that she got seperated from her parents before anything actually ha
Mar 16, 2015 Katherine rated it did not like it
This review contains spoilers.

I really didn't like this book. At first I felt like it should have just been Icie's story because Beckett had no real substance to it. I feel like Beckett's side of the story was trying to be funny be using all the modern day slang in a religious way. This just didn't make sense as the story being told was not a funny one.

(view spoiler)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Coda (Coda, #1)
  • Aquifer
  • Neptune's Tears
  • The Dollhouse Asylum
  • The Disappeared (The Disappeared #1)
  • Revolution 19 (Revolution 19, #1)
  • Starglass (Starglass, #1)
  • Orleans
  • Icons (Icons, #1)
  • Arclight (Arclight, #1)
  • Gated (Gated, #1)
  • When We Wake (When We Wake, #1)
  • Soul Storm (Soul, #3)
  • Replica (Replica, #1)
  • Solstice
  • Wasteland (Wasteland, #1)
  • The Night Itself (The Name of the Blade, #1)
  • The End Games
Sara writes and edits fiction for children and teens. Her new series Chasing Danger is an action-adventure series for tweens. Dark Parties, her first young adult novel, won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Award for Europe. As a freelance editor of series fiction, she has worked on twelve different series and edited nearly 100 books. She has given writing ...more
More about Sara Grant...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“If you survive, you've got to live with the guilt, and that's more difficult than looking someone in the eye and pulling the trigger. Trust me. I've done both.” 1 likes
More quotes…