Katrina Leno is the author of Everything All at Once, The Lost & Found, The Half Life of Molly Pierce, and Summer of Salt. In real life, she lives in Los Angeles. But in her head, she lives on an imaginary island off the coast of New England where it sometimes rains a lot. Visit her online at www.katrinaleno.com.
The Half Life of Molly Pierce 4.2 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Molly suffers from blackouts; periods of time where she has absolutely no recollection of where she has been, or what she has been doing.
When a motorcycle accident leads to a boy dying in her arms, Molly doesn’t understand when he tells her that he knows her – she’s never met him before in her life.
Slowly memories start coming back to her though, and Molly realises that there is a lot about herself that even she doesn’t know.
Why does Molly suffer from blackouts? And how did the boy on the motorcycle know her?
This was a really interesting book about a girl dealing with a mental health problem, when she doesn’t even realise that that is what she has.
Molly was a really interesting character. I liked how parts of her life were a mystery to her, as well as the reader, and I felt really sorry for her and what she was going through. I totally got why she was so scared and confused, and I also understood why it was so weird for her when she realised that everybody else knew what was wrong except her.
The storyline in this was really good, and I liked the way Molly’s illness was a real mystery. I was really shocked by the accident at the beginning of the book, and even though this was the trigger that caused Molly to begin realising what was happening to her, it was really sad.
It’s quite difficult to talk about this without dropping spoilers, so I won’t say much more, but this book was a real page-turner. The mystery over what was happening to Molly, and why everybody knew what it was while she didn’t was done well.
I thought the ending was okay, although it was a very difficult situation to resolve really, but things turned out fairly well. I did find the end of the book to be less gripping than the beginning, but I did enjoy this on the whole.
Overall; an interesting tale about a girl with a mental illness.
7 out of 10.
More than 1 year ago
Seventeen-year-old Molly has been suffering blackouts, waking up hours later unable to remember what happened to her in that span of time. After witnessing a tragic accident during which a dying stranger seems to know her, however, memories of those blackout periods start coming back to her. The story follows her as she pieces them together on a quest for answers that results in a journey of self-discovery.
Molly is a great, well-written character that I could connect with. Molly starts as a confused, sad, lonely character who doesn't have reason to live. I could really feel Molly’s hopelessness, confusion, and drive to find out what is happening to her. Over time, as she learns more about herself, she gradually changes into a more confident individual who sees a reason to stay alive.
The side characters, from her family to her best friends and her therapist, play distinct, and equally important roles in her life, providing her a strong support system. I could feel the family’s frustration, empathize with them, and understand their pain. All of her family members help Molly in every way they can. Molly is fortunate to have all of these people in her life.
I didn't know anything about Molly's condition before reading the book. What's really cool about it is how the author doesn't name it, but from the way the story is written you can figure it out by yourself. I appreciate how it gave me an opportunity to learn more about how mental illness influences an individual and those close to him or her.
The Half Life of Molly Pierce is an original and breathtakingly mind-boggling psychological thriller. The book focuses mainly on Molly's thoughts and feelings as she discovers huge parts of her life that she isn’t aware of. The race to uncover Molly's truth will keep readers turning pages. I highly recommend reading this book! It's truly an engaging and mind-boggling page turner.
Review by Alice
More than 1 year ago
I didn't really "enjoy" reading this book. At least, not in the same sense as when I read most other great books. There's not much to actually enjoy--it was unique and thought-provoking and so sad. It was a very good novel that dealt with depression and small steps towards happiness in a much different way than I've seen before. This is about a girl that finds happiness, a girl who discovers her other half and becomes whole for the first time in her entire life.
The thing that made made this story truly stand out was its writing. It was fascinating and caught Molly's thoughts well as she uncovered more and more about herself. Sometimes, the sentences were a string of thoughts, building and building on top of one another. Other times, the sentences were short--only a couple words--and left paragraph and paragraph taking up only one line each. One, or even both, usually happened when she was upset, overwhelmed, or confused. The writing really helped me sense the emotions she was feeling. I loved that.
There didn't seem to be a concrete story, plot wise. The book focused mainly on Molly's thoughts and feelings as she discovered huge parts of her life that she wasn't aware of.
Overall, I really liked this The Half-Life of Molly Pierce. It's one that I may read again one day just so I can look deeper into it than I did this time. I haven't read a book quite like this one before, which is another reason why I enjoyed it. It was so different, but I can't really explain why without spoiling the biggest developments that occur. This book is not for everyone, but it's worth at least looking into. It has the ability to deeply affect its readers.
*I received a copy of this book for review purposes. This has not affected my opinion of the book in any way.
More than 1 year ago
I came across The Half Life of Molly Pierce last year and since then, it's been my most anticipated book of 2014. Books about mental disorders intrigue me like nothing else does and since the cover promised a hypnotic, moving story, the slowly unraveling mystery in the chapters, fully delivered. Bizarre to the point of being inexplicable, The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a beautiful, beautiful debut that must not be missed out on.
The opening chapters set up a very strange atmosphere and from the get-go, I was pulled into the fragmented life of Molly. Having been in a constant state of depression of one sort or another, it's not easy for Molly to have a firm grasp on her life. Still, she tries. She tries to pretend that everything is normal despite waking up in strange places at stranger times. But when her mind begins to unravel after a puzzling incident, Alex won't say much and her friends don't pressure her into anything more than she doesn't want to do or say and her siblings just look at her strangely and her parents just let her be, Molly is unsure if she wants it to.
Molly is a complex character and it's not her mental disorder alone that makes her so. Her personality and her stream of consciousness are so engrossing and intricate that when it was all over, I wanted more. Her struggle is so concrete and she is so authentic and helpless. I felt deeply connected to her because, after everything is said and done, her humanness spoke to me through the pages.
Molly might not understand what's happening to her but having the support of her best friends, Luka and Erie, steadies her and for that alone, I could've hugged Katrina Leno. She created a friendship so real with lighter moments full of love and sarcasm and laughter and moments where everything is understood in a glance.
The secondary characters are so well done and their complexity is so enthralling that I wanted to be in everyone's mind. Every flaw of every character is plain to see and refreshing to read about. In this book, no one is perfect, just real. Clancy is such a clammed up but blunt character that I just didn't know what to make of him and Hazel's sharpness is so awe-inspiring. Lyle and Sayer are outstanding characters who make everything even more complex for Molly and Alex is so admirable.
The combination of stream of consciousness and laugh out loud moments work together to create an atmosphere that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. I finished The Half Life of Molly Pierce in less than a day because I wanted to go deep into the story and surface only when I was left staring at the last page in wonder. The Half Life of Molly Pierce is visceral, original, and breathtakingly beautiful page-turner of a book that I entirely fell in love with.
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