Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: The Half-Life of Molly Pierce

The Half Life of Molly PierceAuthor: Katrina Leno
Series: Standalone
Released: July 8th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length:256 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

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.

The Half-Life of Molly Pierce is quite an interesting read, different in some ways, painfully predictable in others. It would be a much better book with its cover stripped and its title changed into something generic. As it is, both these things are quite spoiler-ish, and we pretty much understand what’s going on from the start.

Nevertheless, the first half of the book is pretty exciting. Knowing what’s happening and knowing how it will all end are two different things, and Leno pulls us in easily with her somewhat peculiar narrative style. Molly’s voice is as strong as Molly is weak, her fatalistic attitude glaringly obvious from every single sentence. She is more than just depressed, she has more or less given up on life entirely, and only the mystery of hours and memories lost keep her going forward.

However, after a rather promising beginning, the story loses a significant portion of its charm in the second half. That’s when all the predictability really takes its toll – instead of fear and trepidation, we merely feel exasperated while waiting for Molly to catch up. At this point, even the romance becomes a bit unconventional, and it might make some readers uncomfortable, as it did me.

Leno’s writing style is unusual and quite memorable. Her sentences are short with an almost rhythmic quality, and her language is beautiful for its simplicity. There’s so much potential there, and so much to look forward to in the future. I think we can expect great things from this young author.

In the end, Leno’s writing and Molly’s fabulous voice make this a worthy read. Molly’s depression really struck a chord with me, and I felt that her thought process and the darkness that consumes her when she’s fully aware of herself were done rather brilliantly. As for the rest, it will largely depend on the reader’s preferences. Some might find the story far more enjoyable than I did, but either way, definitely give it a try.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. It's unfortunate when a book can't sustain its tempo from beginning to end. I've seen some pretty so-so reviews for this book, but I'm glad you found some good things worthy enough for a read.

  2. You always have new books to me these days. So I didn't know this one I confess but it's sad to see that with a great first part it changed after that. I really dislike when it happens. I prefer the contrary. Thanks for the review.

  3. I've been quite intrigued about this one, but not enough to move it from the wish list to the TBR pile yet, and your review has left me equally divided!
    Great review, Maja!

  4. I think most of the reviews I have read for this are about the same, it was a so so read. Kind of predictable but still okay.

    I am a little sad this wasn't better but it happens.

  5. It's too bad that this one goes downhill a touch after a really strong first half, but it sounds like there's still a lot to like about this one and a lot of potential in the author Maja! I love when I find authors I definitely want to keep track of to see how they grow and progress in their writing/storytelling:)

  6. I started a chapter of this one and then gave up because I wasn't in the right mood for reading about a girl who was depressed. I thought about coming back to it at some point, but now am not sure if I will if the second half isn't as strong as the first half.

  7. It's always disappointing when a novel winds up going downhill after you've already invested time and effort into it. I'm not sure this is currently for me, especially with the limited time I seem to have on my hands, but thanks for such an honest review, Maja. I would have disregarded this completely if it hadn't been for you and I'll be keeping my eye out for any future works by this author as voice is always an important factor to take note of.

  8. This seemed promising but I will still give it a try..unconventional romances usually work great to me, so I am intrigued. Great review, will give it a chance.

  9. It's definitely hard when you're ahead of the MC and waiting on her to catch up. Sounds interesting, though. I'm particularly curious as to how she handles her depression.

  10. I'm interested to check this out for the writing style. I hate predictability in stories, when you feel like the MC needs to hurry up and catch up. I might just wait for Leno's next book instead. Thanks for your honest lovely review!

  11. I'm not sure about reading this one, since those chopping, poetic writing styles aren't for me most of the time. >_< Predictability is also something I do not appreciate at all. We'll see, though. This still sounds interesting nonetheless. Awesome review, Maja!

  12. Yeah, I'm going to take a pass on this one. The predictability would drive me crazy and make so bored.

  13. oh no.. i hate when promising books fall into cliches… ugh.. especially for mysteries. Kinda sad. I really wanted to pick this one up but I HATE being frustrated at the main protagonist.

    great review Maja!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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