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The Half-Life of Planets

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  637 ratings  ·  113 reviews

Lianna is an aspiring planetary scientist and also a kissing addict. This summer, though, she plans to spend every kiss-worthy hour in the lab, studying stars.

Hank has never been kissed. He's smart and funny and very socially awkward, because he's got Asperger's syndrome. Hank's plan for the summer is to work at a music store and save enough to buy his beloved Fender Jazz
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Disney-Hyperion
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  637 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, young-adult
Thank goodness for Michelle, the YA librarian at my local library. She ordered this book, you see, and I'm very glad she did because I completely enjoyed reading it. I laughed aloud in many places, and I cringed (oh how I cringed) at others - not so much at the horrible muddle that resulted when Hank (a teen musician with Asperger's) spilled a terrifically embarrassing secret of Liana's (a teen scientist with a bit of a reputation) in public, but definitely at other places - most of them involvi ...more
Dec 10, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A true page turner: Franklin and Halpin create perfect balance between entertainment and insight. Yes, perfect.

Liana is, surprisingly, far from the one dimensional “Smart & Pretty Girl” Mary Sue you might peg her to be. There’s more to her than brains and being a kissing addict; it takes a short while for that to become apparent, but in the end, it makes sense. It fits her just right. She’s the character you want to hate but can’t, because she recognizes her own flaws – she just doesn’t know how
A.J. Matthews
Disclaimer: I am the mother of a teenager with autism. And not the high-functioning kind-and I found this book to be near-perfection.

I really wanted to find a book that could capture the inner-voice of a teen on the spectrum, as well as present him in a non-stereotypical manner. THE HALF-LIFE OF PLANETS succeeds on both fronts. In many ways, the book is about two teens, Lianna and Hank, who meet, and really like each other. Their growing closeness throughout the book is sweet, and Lianna’s react
“The Half-Life of Planets” is a book I have mixed-feelings about. On the one hand, it is a really great portrayal of the thought processes of someone with Asperger’s and their first experiences with the opposite sex. On the other hand, it seemed quite a bit over-simplified in terms of how the neurotypical half of the relationship reacted to their own circumstances.

Hank is a boy with Asperger’s and a very complicated home situation. Lianna has quite a few things going on in her own life and has s
Oct 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
I so wanted to fall in love with this, to be charmed by a sweet,simple and touching summer love story. Half of the book delivers; Hank,a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome is funny, sincere, and sympathetic without ever crossing the line into pathetic. He's probably the best character with Apserger's I've ever read. (Not that I've read that many, but some just do it so wrong. Curious Incident, I'm talking to you...). Anyway, the only problem in Half-Life is the other Half-- Liana is such an un ...more
Sarah Rosenberger
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Liana rattles around in a big house with her mother, a school counselor who substitutes baked goods for meaningful conversations, and her father, a hypochondriac who's only home a few days a month. To fill the emotional void, she kisses boys. Lots of boys.

Hank is a guitar genius with Asperger's Syndrome. He can list dozens of songs about girls named Jenny and knows what kind of guitar was used on every hit between 1950 and 2003, but he can't figure out how to relate to people or have a normal co
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readbooks
The novel The Half-Life of Planets follows the stories of both Lianna and Hank . Lianna has kissed and dated many guys, has a pretty face, and has a major knack for science and wants to be a planetary scientist. After getting a note in her locker labeling her as a "slut," she goes into science mode and decides to conduct an experiment where she doesn't kiss anyone all summer. This sounds like an incredibly easy plan until Hank, whom she meets at the hospital, comes along. Hank is a teenage guy w ...more
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
(Digital ARC)

This is the newest book on my list of "YA favorites that should become movies."

Hank and Lianna are both extremely likeable. You root for both of them as you switch back and forth between their points of view. They're deeper than a lot of YA lit. characters and although it's a romance, they have actual lives! They have interests, families and other relationships that are not one-dimensional mentions.

Hank's autism is ever present but not in a "let's make a cute book about autism" way.
Maybe it's impossible for me to be unbiased in my enjoyment of this work, but so far my favorite thing I've read for this year's MetroLibrarian Reads Challenge. Liana is a kissing-addicted, aspiring planetary scientist trying to get over a problem with lead singers. Hank is trying to pretend he was named from Hank Williams not Henry Rollins, working in a guitar store to save up for a Jazzmaster, and knee deep in mixes and music miscellany. Both are trying to lead lives not just defined by one wo ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Hank, the kid with Asperger's, is a great character, nicely done. Liana, not so much. The big unspoken problem with this book is that - frankly - the authors are using "kissing" as a metaphor for, uh, something a little stronger. Think about it. The girl gets called a slut for kissing a few guys. Come on! She wouldn't get called a slut, and even if somebody called her that, she would know better than to half-believe it as she does in this novel. The publisher is owned by Disney, so maybe the aut ...more
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 21st-century, ya
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! The Half-Life of Planets was such a cute wonderful book. Just what I needed at the end of summer. Perfect! I loved the characters and the story and everything! It was a happy story with sad bits at just the right times. When I read it I was pulled into the story and read more than I planned to, which is totally ok. It was perfect the whole way through, not too long it didn't have any useless parts or boring bits. At the end the story was wrapped up perfectly(though Lian ...more
Ken Kugler
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this book was a lot of fun. What is not to like, you got rock music, a teen girl who loves kissing boys but has decided to take a sabbatical, a teen boy who has Asperger's syndrome. I tell you that the discovery process of the girl (Liana) and boy (Hank) of what they both need and how they both cope is a hoot.
Summer romances may not always last but I found myself wanting a happy ending to this book. Liana is screwed up and has to find out why, while Hank has to learn how to naviga
I really enjoyed spending time with this pair of mixed-up crazy kids. The dual narrative worked extremely well because their different voices came through clearly. I liked that Liana was the science geek - great to see girls being depicted this way, but I also enjoyed all of Hank's music references, and there were a few of them!

Humour, heart-break and happiness. The best combination in a contemporary YA novel.
Kat Drennan-Scace
Aug 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a really sweet contemporary romcom told in two points of view - Lianna who wants to study planets and Hank who is obsessed with music and also has Aspergers. They develop a friendship which blossoms into more and it's just so sweet and genuine. Definitely recommended for contemp romance fans. ...more
Christy Sibila
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
A sweet romance between a teenage girl looking for connection, and a boy with Asperger's. I loved the alternating narration between the two, especially when they are reflecting on the same event. Fun, sweet, romantic, and thoughtful. ...more
Robbins Library
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great story about a girl trying to overcome her reputation, and her romance with a boy with Asperger's syndrome. The characters were real and likeable - this is a refreshing break from all the vampires and zombies that permeate young adult fiction recently. ...more
A romance that will satisfy any music lover's appetite. A true gem! ...more
Ok, so I have not been winning lately with my book picks.

I bought this book at a used book sale ages ago. I loved the idea of showing representation with a main character on the Autism Spectrum. And I certainly wasn't going to turn down a book about music.

But the execution was...ok, like the whole book was melodramatic to an extreme.

When we first are introduced to Liana, she's just found a note in her locker that labels her as a "slut." So that keeps coming up over and over and over and over in
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I would just like to point out that the people on the cover are nothing like descriptions in the book...

Lianna is smart, aspiring to be a planetary scientist. She has one problem, she likes kissing boys. So after someone left a note in her locker she decides to spend the whole summer doing nothing but lab work for extra credit. Only, she meets Hank.

Hank has never had a girlfriend. Hank has never been kissed. Hank has Asperger's syndrome. His summer plan is to work at his job at the music store t
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Liana kisses a lot of guys, and the note left in her locker right before summer break is evidence enough that someone thinks she kisses too many of them. The only way to fix that is to take a vow of renewed lip virginity and hope that no one distracts her from her self-imposed hermithood studying astrophysics.

Hank knows more about songs released pre-2003 than almost anyone you'll ever meet, and plans to work a lot this summer so he can get that Fender he's been eyeing off since forever. He also
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn’t anticipate enjoying this book as much as I did, but it really was a wonderful story. It has one of the truest voices I think I’ve ever seen in a story about/narrated by teenagers. Right from the beginning I loved Hank and Liana; even when the conflicts were caused by them being dumb kids I understood where they were coming from. Too often stories about youth written with the benefit of hindsight seem to forget what it was like. But these experiences felt real. There is (dare I say) a po ...more
Carro Herdegen
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kiss-the-book
Language - PG-13 (68 swears, 3 "f'"), Sexual Content - PG-13; Violence - PG
Liana has kissed a lot of boys, but this summer she is determined to not kiss any. However, Liana becomes conflicted when she gets to know Hank. Hank is different and she really wants to kiss him, but what about her pact? Will she let one boy change that?
I started out liking this book and I enjoyed reading it. It has a lot of interesting facts about astronomy and music trivia, but the story itself isn't as good as I wante
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another awesome read that I am positive I never would have found if it weren't for Book Battle! The point of view goes back and forth between Liana who has recently been branded as the school slut and Hank a musician with Asperger's Syndrome. I love both as main characters and how they interact with each other. There are some really good heartfelt moments along with some really funny ones! The ending could have been expanded a little more I feel but that just because I enjoyed the characters and ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i read this book to fulfil the goal read a book about astronomy. it's a boy meets girl story and falls in love. i liked this book espiscally because it had a character with ausburgers snydrome. although neither me or my family have this syndrome, we do have a lot of the same characteristics. i have a very difficult if not impossible time reading the subtle cues of conversation. i also like the happy ever after ending :) ...more
Emma Roberts
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is different than all the other books I've ever read. This book "The Half Life of Planets" follows Lianna and Hank. Lianna and Hank are both teenagers from very different universes. Lianna is obsessed with astronomy, while Hank is obsessed with music. They met in the Girls Bathroom in a hospital. Lianna's dad was in the hospital because he thought there was something wrong with his heart. Hank was at the hospital because his brother is in the hospital for an injury from playing lacross ...more
Pop Bop
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Let's Touch All of the Bases

I admired and enjoyed this book, despite some early misgivings. It embraces a few fairly common current tendencies in YA fiction, and by making them explicit makes them fresh again.

Really, how many YA books have you read in which - 1) the teen boy is extremely and exquisitely awkward and self-conscious, but in an endearing and charming way; 2) the teen girl is a mild wild child yearning to settle down; and 3) obscure and popular musical references are used to prop up
Mar 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I was originally drawn to The Half-Life of Planets because of Hank. I had never read a novel that centered on a character with autism (asperger's syndrome) and I was interested in seeing how that original contribution to this novel would play out. Hank turned out to be one of my favourites, if not my absolute favourite aspect of this novel. He was just the sweetest person imaginable and I adored every facet of his character and how he was represented. From his infinite knowledge on anything affi ...more
This was a good book, but the first descriptive word that pops into my mind is adorable. It had emotion and depth, not all of it positive, but it was just plain fluffy. At least, that's how I perceived it.

If I really think about it, the plot itself is nothing special. Girl and guy meet. Girl and guy get to know each other. Tension and/or drama, for various reasons. Girl and guy end up together. Yay. Break out the confetti.

What really appealed to me were the characters. They were the entire found
E. Anderson
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
When I read THE HALF-LIFE OF PLANETS by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin, I found the characters absolutely irresistible. It’s a novel in two voices — Liana, a girl who really likes to kiss boys and is trying to quit or at least not kiss any new boys this summer, and Hank, who is cripplingly obsessed with music and the polar opposite of his gets-all-the-girls brother. When girl meets boy in — of all places — the women’s restroom, Liana is struck by Hank’s cool demeanor and quirky style. Hank is ...more
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Growing up, Emily Franklin wanted to be “a singing, tap-dancing doctor who writes books.”

Having learned early on that she has little to no dancing ability, she left the tap world behind, studied at Oxford University, and received an undergraduate degree concentrating in writing and neuroscience from Sarah Lawrence College. Though she gave serious thought to a career in medicine, eventually that ca

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