From a biological/chemical/physical standpoint, a lot of interesting things can be said about life. But these are attributes, derived from outside observations of biological organisms.*
What about the life that each of us can feel within, our most direct access to what life is? This is something that cannot be grasped, only experienced. The more one tries to grasp it with thoughts, the more the access to it is clouded, gone. Therefore, all attempts of definition are bound to fail. Nevertheless, this is exactly the place, where we need to learn about life.
* There is the book by Erwin Schrödinger from 1944 “What is Life?” and the follow-up by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan from 1995 with the same title. I have read the first one and found it quite dry for the work of a quantum physicist. I guess this would not be the case for the second one.