Emily Franklin and Brenda Halpin blend their voices in THE HALF LIFE OF PLANETS (Disney/Hyperion 2010). Meet Liana, a teen who finds a slip of paper with a single word (slut) in her locker. Meet Hank, a teen with Asperger's Syndrome. They meet in the women's restroom at the hospital. Why each is there (and why Hank is in the wrong restroom) tells a little something about the issues and difficulties each wrestles with. However, how these two connect again and again, developing a new relationship is at the heart of this novel. The story is told in alternating first person narratives; this constant back and forth keeps the story fresh and moving ever forward. Liana and Hank each carry some weight from their pasts; they each find something they need in the other. Romance, music, social awkwardness, and much more are part of a story with good humor reminiscent of Joan Bauer (gentle humor, not mean). Characters are well drawn, especially Liana and Hank. What really works here is the dynamic between them and the way they communicate, haltingly and then with increasing honesty. <396>
Great day with my YA class in Victoria though it rained all day long and is still raining now. How bad can a day be when I get to talk about books, censorship, social networks, and AR? I head back to Houston tomorrow. I am listening to FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK for the return trip. Will not finish it, but hope to make a nice dent. One more class off campus next weekend and it will all be online after that. Looking forward to class in my jammies.
And next week I get to start putting books in my new bookcases!!!!