Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

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I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina LenoThe Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno
Published by HarperTeen on July 8th 2014
Genres: Mystery, YA
Source: HarperCollins
Buy on Amazon

You take it for granted. Waking up. Going to school, talking to your friends. Watching a show on television or reading a book or going out to lunch.

You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes.

You live and you remember.

Me, I live and I forget.

But now—now I am remembering.

For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a suspenseful, evocative psychological mystery about uncovering the secrets of our pasts, facing the unknowns of our futures, and accepting our whole selves.

From the get-go this was a very intriguing read. We’ve got a girl who’s experiencing regular black outs where she finds herself at a completely different place with no recollection of the hours she’s just lost. What’s even weirder is how no one around her seem to comment on these disappearances. This is absolutely my kind of read. I love books that play with your mind and baffles you with bizarre, inexplicable happenings. The one thing with books like these though, is that it all comes down to the ending. This is where the book lost its flair for me. I was hoping for a deeper meaning, or at least a point to it all.

I was instantly compelled by Molly’s voice and character. Not only is she mysterious with her missing chunks of time, but she’s also easy to like. Her drive to get answers makes the story flow very well and the pacing steady. I also quickly found myself feeling sympathetic towards her situation. She feels as if she has lost control of her own life, and with no one to confide to, no one to understand what she’s going through, this has to be incredibly lonely. This is made even worse when she realizes that people around her know what’s happening, but are unable or unwilling to tell her for some strange reason. She’s given a voice that communicates this helplessness very well. The book starts with a bang when we experience a deadly accident that opens a door into the mystery that is her life. It’s this event that puts a crack into whatever’s happening to Molly, and she starts to have visions or memories of her black-outs. This gives us the story in bits and pieces until we, along with Molly, figure out what has been happening to her. While we unravel the events that led to this accident, we slowly begin to understand why she feel as if the death of this stranger is much greater than it initially felt.

Having watched a few shows and read a few books dealing with a similar situation it was not hard for me to guess what was happening to Molly, but the point was not to keep us in the dark for a shocking ending so this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. The reason I couldn’t love this one more was the lack of depth that it ended up having in the end. I expected a deeper reason for what was going on with her. Something that would have given a meaning to it all and made it memorable. “It just is” feels like a cop out, a missed opportunity. It could have been this great psychological look into mental illness but instead we’re left with nothing but a brush off. It gave the whole story less meaning after all was said and done.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce gives us an engaging mystery that keeps your mind busy and your eyes wide, it also has a unique romance story that glimpses at the hardships faced by couples dealing with mental illness, but it’s missing the few layers of depth that would have given this story the significance it needed.


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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13 Responses to “Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno”

  1. Kyra

    I’ve been seeing this around lately, it looks really good but I’m not sure if I’ll read it as psychological/mystery books often freak me out haha! It does sound very interesting though 🙂

    Great review, as always! <3

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I feel like books with amnesia plots are EVERYWHERE these days and very few have actually managed to impress me. It sounds like you were invested in the book, but the lack of depth prevented you from giving it a higher rating. It does sound really interesting though, so I might eventually pick it up one of these days.
    Great review, Giselle!

  3. Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    I like a good amnesia read! Sounds like it has some potential to be a good one too. The ending has me a little worried not being give a real reason why she had the amnesia. But I will have to keep this one in mind. Great review.

  4. Christianna

    I’m really curious about this one. I like books that keep you guessing till the end, but it’s a bummer that the payoff didn’t work for you as much as you wanted it to. Great review!

  5. Danielle

    I’ve been wavering on this one and I think your review has put me over the “read it” edge. I’ll forgive a lot for a great voice and character. Thanks for the review!

  6. Jessica @ Strung Out On Books

    I adore psychological thrillers. Psychology has always been a interesting subject for me, and the class I took last year ended up being the best class I’ve ever taken. This sounds like a book I would love, except for the ending. Kinda a bummed about that. I still might give it a chance, just for the fact that it starts out pretty good. Great review! 🙂

  7. Lorna

    I like a good mystery but I have never read a YA one-not sure if it would grab me like an adult one does. Now if it was paranormal it would be different story! Great review!

  8. Pili

    It’s too bad to hear that the ending wasn’t as satisfying as you would have wanted Giselle, but at least the book was engaging and entertaining to read, and your review has made me quite curious about it!
    Great review as always!