Lola Wallace's Reviews > Half Life

Half Life by Shelley Jackson
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Jan 15, 09

bookshelves: contemporary-lit, scifi-fantasy-speculative, bookclub
Read in March, 2008, read count: 2

This book was a lot of fun, but like a lot of sci-fi-esque novels that use a wacky trope to explore pertinent Social Issues (which is almost all sci-fi-esque novels), it fell short for me. I loved the idea of the Atonement (the US bombing itself to atone for dropping the big ones on Japan) and the way conjoined twins could function as a symbol of all kinds of minority identities). I'm into exploring the whole otherness=monstrosity thing, and she did a lot of funny stuff with it on the surface, but it just didn't gel for me. Plus the characters and plot also felt spotty and half-realized. I loved Nora's first-person narrative voice, and the "scrapbook" sections. I felt Jackson reaching--this is an incredibly ambitious novel, and that's hard to pull off. I enjoyed Half Life, but I wanted to love it.
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