Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Half-Life of Planets

The Half-Life of Planets  by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin

"I am not a slut," says Lianna in the opening line of this dual-narrator novel. 

Lianna doesn't ever go farther than kissing with boys, but she has kissed a lot of boys.  Does that make her promiscuous?  She isn't sure.  To answer the question, Lianna embarks on a self-imposed scientific inquiry: to see what changes in her life when she focuses her attention on her summer research project and refrains from kissing boys.  Then, she meets Hank.

Hank has never kissed a girl, but he would really like to try it--and when he meets Lianna, who doesn't seem freaked out by his atypical interest in (and continual babble about) music, he thinks that he would like to kiss her.  Hank, however, has a very typical Asperger's Syndrome inability to read social cues, and so he isn't sure if Lianna wants to kiss him.  Intellectually, he has learned the meanings of conversation gambits and body language, but the details remain mysterious to him.

The narrator perspective bounces between Lianna and Hank, giving readers insight into both characters...and an opportunity to laugh more than once at each of the interactions between them. 

This is a fun summer book for readers who enjoy snappy conversations and rock-and-roll trivia, with lots of humor and a tear or two.  No sex, no violence; a few kisses, minimal cussing, and references to off-page masturbation.  Recommended for ages 14 to adult.

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