Author: Katrina Leno (Twitter)
Publish Date: July 8, 2014
Genre: YA, Mystery
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.
There's something about a good psychological mystery that keeps you thinking about the book long after you've closed the last page. And, in all honesty, coming by such novels in the young adult realm is quite the chance occurrence, so when I heard about The Half Life of Molly Pierce, I was decidedly intrigued. Author, Katrina Leno, gives us a character and a scenario that we've seen on the big screen before, but I've never seen accomplished well in novels. Giving us a fragmented past, a broken present and an uncertain future, we're asked to get onboard and follow the thrill ride that is Molly's life. I can honestly say it's hard not to comply.
Molly was possibly one of the most refreshing protagonists I've had the pleasure of following in a long time. The Half Life of Molly Pierce offers us a sort of stream of consciousness type of storyline, and it gives a delicious, if confusing, look into her life, her mind and her thoughts. Everything about Molly is so asymmetrical. Nothing seems to fit into the mold that is her life, and yet she has a strong will and a temperament about her that makes us want to solve the mystery with her. Perhaps the strongest element of her character, however, is her sense of self. Even though everything seemed to be consistently unraveling around her, or working against her, she knew that she had a mission, and she never lost sight of that, which was refreshing.
Perhaps the biggest strength of the novel, however, is Ms. Leno's ability to truly capture the heart of this mystery and what makes it so very psychological. From the start, I'd known that The Half Life of Molly Pierce was being loosely touted as the younger literary version of Memento, and that intrigued me. Being able to unravel a mystery about a layered character that may or may not be all there at all times is infuriatingly intriguing and puzzling. And, to be honest, I as worried that Ms. Leno would dumb it down for the younger viewers. I was pleased to be able to read between the lines and really understand how complex Molly was as a character. It's really quite remarkable to read a psychological mystery that is layered enough to keep me interested until the end.
If I could point out one flaw in the novel it was simply that I guessed the mystery in the end - possibly because I knew the concept of Memento. All that said though, I was really impressed by the depth that Ms. Leno managed to convey through The Half Life of Molly Pierce, as well as the characters she created, because they all shone in their own way. I give this novel a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy psychological mysteries and thrillers.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.