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The Half-Life of Planets

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  594 Ratings  ·  110 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
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Disney-Hyperion (first published June 15th 2010)
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Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, romance
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  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
(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
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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
Apr 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ken Kugler
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Christy Sibila
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Robbins Library
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.
A romance that will satisfy any music lover's appetite. A true gem!
Emma Roberts
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Karen Kaiser
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010, ya-read
The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
Hyperion, 2010
247 pages
YA; Contemporary
4/5 stars

Source: Library

Summary: This is another book with chapters alternating perspectives, this time between Liana Planet and Hank Rollins. If you were going to sum them up with one word, you might choose "slut" and "Asperger's" respectively but that would be inaccurate because there's so much more. The book as a whole covers about one summer and traces the evolution of their relationship, thei
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hank and Liana are two different people with two different interest who happen in the women's restroom. Yes, a guy was in the women's restroom and no, nobody screamed or yelled what so ever. But then they both meet up and eventually become at the level of "friends". Liana has a painful addiction of kissing and Hank babbles about music that makes him labeled as a freak.

Though I thought he was sweet, nice, and adorable. He's one of those guys that I feel were in real life more than just in books.
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely adorable summer read. In alternating point of views, you hear a great story with awesome writing - all wrapped up in a gorgeous cover. This is one you don't want to miss!

I absolutely loved how the story was told in alternating point of views. I love hearing both characters thoughts! It was easy to get caught up in the story right away. The secondary characters, like Hank's player brother Chase, keep the story moving. I loved romance of the story. Hank and Liana are such an
Do you have a Teen who wants a story based on Real Life drama? Maybe a really smart teen who has a bit of insecurity? This is the book for them. Liana is a smart, honors type girl who spends the summer just trying to understand the definition that was left for her on the last day of school, as well as navigate her family and understand the music geek Hank, who she randomly meets.

Now why I didn't finish it. This book drags. A professional review said that it was good for those who like Nick and N
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Liana makes a pact with herself not to kiss any boys during the summer. She's kissed several boys in the past, but then run from them all. Instead, she's going to focus on herself. She wants to understand why she can't talk to boys.

Hank knows about music; he lives for music. He works at a music store and has his eye on a special guitar. Hank is also different - he has Asperger's syndrome. It's hard for him to have conversations with people because
Zara Brumana
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are about 3 pairs of young adult writers who are capable of doing good to excellent jobs of meshing their own styles together to create a cohesive and intriguing story. While I maintain that Cohn/Levithan are the top at this game, once I read The Half-Life of Planets, I was convinced that Franklin/Halpin are a very high second.

I haven't enjoyed their other combined works as much as I did this particular story and a lot of that has to do with the fact that one of the characters in this nov
Melissa Dwyer
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally rated G+ by Joanne Valco
Liana Planet, 17, an aspiring astronomer has an accidental encounter with Hank Rollins, also 17 in a hospital ladies restroom. Liana is visiting her father who is having another round of tests, which Liana doesn’t take seriously and Hank is visiting his college-aged playboy brother Chase who is recovering from an accident.

On the last day of school, before summer vacation, Liana finds a slip of paper with the word “Slut” in her locker. Liana has an addiction to
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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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