Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bookanista Review: Half Lives by Sara Grant

Icie's parents warn her of an imminent biological attack and urge her to find a mountain shelter that built to store nuclear waste but was never approved for that purpose. It may be her only chance for survival. Years in the future, the cult of the Great I AM, led by teenage Beckett has arisen on the mountain. They keep to themselves to avoid the terrorists that live in the nearby ruin of a city.

HALF LIVES is such a fascinating story. On a pure enjoyment level, Icie's story is the one with the high stakes, high emotions and edge-of-your-seat suspense.  But Beckett's story engages for another reason - the careful and imaginative worldbuilding.  It's a micro-culture based on today's Facebook society, and without any of the context, the cult's practices sound like rants of a crazy person.

I had the pleasure of attending a revision workshop with Sara Grant, so reading HALF LIVES was incredibly enriching for me on a craft level.  One of her revision tips was to color code each character's dialogue and revise each separately to make sure they are distinct and consistent. I was very impressed with the character development in HALF LIVES, so her process definitely paid off.

HALF LIVES is available now.  Find out more about it at the author's website.

See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore

FTC disclosure: Netgalley

What are the other Bookanistas recommending this week?

Shari Arnold gushes about HYSTERIA by Megan Miranda

Shelli Johannes-Wells raves about RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA by Kimberly McCreight

Shannon Messenger adores THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West

Tracey Neithercott is mad for EARTHBOUND by Aprilynne Pike

Kimberly Sabatini dishes about ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein

Katy Upperman can't get enough of AUDREY, WAIT! by Robin Benway


thekams said...

I LOVED this book. I ended up in tears by the end of it, and completely agree with the thoughts about characterization. It was wonderful!

Kim Aippersbach said...

Sounds like a book I might like. Kind of reminds me of City of Ember, maybe, with the "surviving the apocalypse in a cave" theme.

You have an astonishing list of dystopian books you've reviewed! I'm bookmarking your page as a reference source: thanks!