Thursday, July 03, 2014

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

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I received this book for free from HarperTeen 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, Psychological Thriller, YA
Source: HarperTeen
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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.

I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t even read the blurb for The Half Life of Molly Pierce, I was sold simply by the name and the cover. Even though the novel features a premise that I have read/watched many times before, it was an intriguing, fast-paced read that kept me entertained until the last page.

We meet Molly Pierce as she wakes up in her car with no recollection of how she got to where she is. Her last memory is from that morning when she was in school, where she was supposed to be all day. As she is driving back to school she notices a boy following her on his motorcycle and that he is driving quite recklessly. He gets hit in the middle of an intersection while running a red to keep up with her and as Molly gets out to help him she realizes that this boy knows her name. After he dies her memories start coming back to her and she comes to find that she knew the boy on the motorcycle and his brother very well and tries piecing the missing parts of her memory back together. Right off the bat I knew exactly what was wrong with Molly. One of my all time favourite TV shows is about the same mental disorder that she has so I was excited to see where this novel would take that premise, I was hoping somewhere completely fresh and new. In the end, I can’t say that I was as pleased as I would have liked to be, it just felt like the same old when it came to things I have been presented with on the disorder previously but the pacing and writing managed to still keep the novel exciting.

I was surprised when I got to the middle of the novel and found that I was enjoying the writing. It’s written as a stream of consciousness so it’s really all over the place and it did annoy me at first. I came to like it because it added a very genuine feeling to the way that we are told the story. I felt like Molly didn’t keep anything back, which was great for a novel like this. I liked watching her connect all of the dots to find out what was going on. What’s interesting is that everyone around her (her family, her therapist, her friends and even the brothers that she comes to find she somehow knows) know exactly what is wrong with her but are letting her figure it all out on her own. I felt as if I was just someone else who knew what was going on and that I guess made up for the lack of mystery I was left with while reading.

Molly herself is someone that I started to feel for very early on in the novel. I think this is due to the writing and the fact that it made me feel as if I was right there inside her head with her. She’s not a very happy person, she’s someone who struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. Pair that with her feeling like she has absolutely no control over her life when it comes to these lost chunks of time and she became someone that I felt really bad for. What was a relief was that she did have a really strong support system around her when it came to her family and friends. Luka and Erie didn’t seem like the best of friends at times, they got quite frustrated with her ignoring them during her blackouts and even when she came back from them but I understood their frustrations. Her brother and sister are also very present in her life, I did finish off wishing that we got a clearer picture of her home-life though. I felt like, for having a child dealing with such big issues, her parents were not as present in her life as they would have been in real life. But, I see how this could have been a double edged sword for the novel, giving us the details that we want while at the same time slowing down the pace.

In the end, this was a very fast-paced novel that kept me present in the story the whole way through. I wanted more in the way of knowing why Molly came to be the way that she is and I also wanted to know more about her home-life but I think that for what the novel was it was a good read. Featuring some very well placed flashbacks we follow our MC as she figures out exactly what is wrong with her and see her uncover a part of herself that she never knew existed.


3.5 Hot Espressos

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

  1. Amanda @ Book Badger

    I haven’t heard too much about this book lately, but this is a good reaction and I’m glad you liked it Jenni, it does seem like the kind of book you’d like, so that’s great. Wonderful review, like always 🙂

  2. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    Awesome review. The writing style sounds great. It seems like it’s really easy to connect with her because of how it’s written. I am behind on reading, but I plan on getting to this one soon.

  3. Carrie

    Oh this does sound really good and I love that cover! Fantastic review. It makes me want to read it. (Gotta say the blurb doesn’t.)

  4. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I feel like this plot line with not remembering your past is so over done in YA now, which is why I pretty much avoided this book in the first place, but your review makes it sound like it’s a good one that I probably should give a shot.
    I like that the MC has a strong support system. That in itself sets this book apart. So many of these amnesia books have characters whose families are not even there.
    Great review, Jenni.

  5. Layla-Rose

    I’ve actually been looking for a story with this kind of premise recently, so this review really helped me out, it sounds like a great read!

  6. Christianna

    This one sounds really interesting. I don’t know if I would be able to relate to Molly on any level, but I’m very curious about this one now. Thanks for piquing my interest with this review!

  7. Soma Rostam

    Hey, Jenni!
    I read this a while ago but I have not published my review, yet
    I liked this book a lot, and our thoughts about it are quite similar
    great review
    Your reader,

  8. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    Jenni – We had sch similar feelings on this! I agree with your review completely. 🙂 Molly was such an admirable protagonist, and she was so easy to sympathize for and connect to. The writing was absolutely gorgeous! I too was skeptical at first because it’s really rare for stream of consciousness – like narratives to work for me, but this one definitely did! 😀

    I think we both felt the downfall of this was it’s predictability in the ending and how we both were able to figure it out before it was revealed due to previous knowledge on the topic.

    Thanks for sharing Jenni, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3 Glad you enjoyed this as much as I did! 😀

  9. Pili

    I’m glad to hear that despite some of your early misgivings about the narration style you got to enjoy the book!
    I’m quite curious about this one, but still a bit on the fence!
    Thanks for a great review!