Review | The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

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.

2.5 cupcakes

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a book that very much depends on readers piecing together the story surrounding Molly’s blackouts at the same time that Molly, herself, does. Having learned about the disorder that the story depicts in my psychology classes, it didn’t take long for me to figure out what was going on; as a result, the pacing felt rather slow, and the predictability detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Furthermore, the ending lacked the psychological depth that I was expecting; Molly’s disorder was brushed off as something that just happened, although the emotional depth that resulted from it was quite a welcome addition.

The saving grace of The Half Life of Molly Pierce is the way in which it was told. Stream of consciousness is a narration style that I fell in love with after reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and it was just as effectively employed here. This intimate look into Molly’s thoughts allows readers to further sympathize with her character, and added a sense of urgency to the mystery. Molly’s voice was incredibly engaging due to the fact that she is an unreliable narrator, and that her drive to figure out what is wrong with her seems at odds with her diminishing will to keep on living.

Overall, The Half Life of Molly Pierce wasn’t quite what I had hoped for. The writing was beautiful and compelling, but it couldn’t make up for the lack of psychological depth and suspense that this story was lacking.

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