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4.0 

The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester

By Maya MacGregor
The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester by Maya MacGregor digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

An Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction Nominee

“Look no further for your next favorite read, because The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester has it all: a gripping murder mystery that will keep you turning pages, ghosts, romance, and a treasure trove of queer characters with depth and heart. Here’s something rare—a suspenseful story that also feels like a hug.” —Sarah Glenn Marsh, author of the Reign of the Fallen series

In this queer contemporary YA mystery, a nonbinary autistic teen realizes they must not only solve a 30-year-old mystery but also face the demons lurking in their past in order to live a satisfying life.


Sam Sylvester has long collected stories of half-lived lives—of kids who died before they turned nineteen. Sam was almost one of those kids. Now, as Sam’s own nineteenth birthday approaches, their recent near-death experience haunts them. They’re certain they don’t have much time left. . . .

But Sam's life seems to be on the upswing after meeting several new friends and a potential love interest in Shep, their next-door neighbor. Yet the past keeps roaring back—in Sam’s memories and in the form of a thirty-year-old suspicious death that took place in Sam’s new home. Sam can’t resist trying to find out more about the kid who died and who now seems to guide their investigation. When Sam starts receiving threatening notes, they know they’re on the path to uncovering a murderer. But are they digging through the past or digging their own future grave?

The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester explores healing in the aftermath of trauma and the fullness of queer joy.

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24 Reviews

4.0
Thinking Face“I think my main issue is missed expectations, when I originally had the arc I made the assumption of it being about Sam learning about their past lives for whatever reason. But instead got a really interesting murder mystery, my only problem at the moment is that I found a scene super triggering #trauma and I was already in a bit of a state so this didn't really help. Sam is a really nice character though and I loved the relationship between them and their father.”
Likable charactersFast-pacedViolence
Thumbs Up“Absolutely loved this. This story kept me on the edge of my seat and I kept wanting to know what was going to happen. The representation was really well done, especially Sam’s autism and them being non-binary with the use of their pronouns (they/them) through the book.”
Believable charactersCharacters change and growDiverse charactersLikable charactersFast-pacedSuspensefulTwisty
“3.75”

About Maya MacGregor

Maya MacGregor is a writer, singer, and artist. They sing and write in Gàidhlig and in English. You can find their bilingual work on tor.com, in Steall magazine (summer 2020), and Uncanny magazine, with poetry in Poets' Republic and elsewhere. They sing with the Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association, the Alba Choir, and Fuaran. The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester, their first young adult novel, is a Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction Nominee.

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