Happy Friday and welcome to my stop on the Half Life blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to discover what Lillian would do if she spent the day with Lucille and Lucy! Read on to find out more about the book and author, plus follow the rest of the tour and enter to win a print copy of Half Life!
Half Life by Lillian Clark
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on June 9, 2020
Genres: YA, Science Fiction
An overachiever enrolls in an experimental clone study to prove that two (of her own) heads are better than one in this fast-paced, near-future adventure that's Black Mirror meets Becky Albertalli.
There aren't enough hours in the day for Lucille--perfectionist, overachiever--to do everything she has to do, and there certainly aren't enough hours to hang out with friends, fall in love, get in trouble--all the teenage things she knows she should want to be doing instead of preparing for a flawless future. So when she sees an ad for Life2: Do more. Be more, she's intrigued.
The company is looking for beta testers to enroll in an experimental clone program, and in the aftermath of a series of disappointments, Lucille is feeling reckless enough to jump in. At first, it's perfect: her clone, Lucy, is exactly what she needed to make her life manageable and have time for a social life. But it doesn't take long for Lucy to become more Lucy and less Lucille, and Lucille is forced to stop looking at Lucy as a reflection and start seeing her as a window--a glimpse at someone else living her own life, but better. Lucy does what she really wants to, not what she thinks she should want to, and Lucille is left wondering how much she was even a part of the perfect life she'd constructed for herself. Lucille wanted Lucy to help her relationships with everyone else, but how can she do that without first rectifying her relationship with herself?
If you could trade lives with any YA character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
Oh my gosh, I LOVE this question. But it’s tough! I think I’d definitely want to be someone with cool powers, haha. Maybe Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone? But after the ending, during the happily ever after part. I’d also like to take a spin as Camille from Enchantee by Gita Trelease (but with indoor plumbing, please). I’d also love to spend some time in the Warcross world, tour Ravka, and check out Lyra’s London.
What would you do if you spent the day with Lucille and Lucy? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Hmm… This is fun! I think Lucy would want to go tour some art galleries, probably down in Denver. Or get a tattoo, haha. I feel like she’ll have a lot of very cool tattoos in the future. Lucille would probably want to go for a hike and a picnic, preferably with View Spoiler » « Hide Spoiler tagging along. And Lucille and Lucy both would like to go clothes shopping, stopping for smoothies or coffee on the way.
If Lucille and Lucy were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
Let’s see! From my own book (Immoral Code), Lucy and Reese would be fast friends. Reese would embrace that weirdness immediately, and I feel like they’d make some incredible art together. Lucille would get along fabulously with Kammani from Kelly Coon’s Gravemaidens duology, forget that they’re living a few thousand years apart.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Okay, this is taking some mental exercise, for sure! I learned so much cool stuff while I was doing research for this book. Or, at least, stuff that I find cool. One such thing is probably how scientists first successfully cloned adult cells. Younger people might not remember, but Dolly the sheep was a worldwide phenomenon when she was born, being the first living animal to be cloned using adult rather than embryonic cells. I read a book about that advancement, the media circus around it, and the history of cloning that led to it (Clone by Gina Kolata). Basically, science is amazing. And I love learning about the history of how we got to where we are and where we hope to go.
What inspired you to write this story?
This book started as a tiny throwaway nugget of an idea typed into a note on my phone and pitched to my agent as a “YA retelling of Multiplicity” (which is a 1990s comedy about a guy who’s spread to thin at work and home and ends up being cloned a few times), but the longer I worked on it, the less that concept worked. It became much more about a young woman’s struggle to feel like she’s measuring up to some arguably unmeetable concept of success. From there, it grew into a book that’s about everything from the subjectivity of truth and the oxymoronic expectations society places especially on young women to the commodification of the female body. Plus some flirting and friendship drama and a healthy dose of jokes, of course.