“I’m good at being unhappy. I’m good at accommodating my sadness.”
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 haven’t read much books that deals with multiple personality disorder. Though I’ve seen a lot of movies that deals with the subject I don’t find it common in fiction especially in YA. Yes, there are many psychological thrillers in YA genre out there but not much deals with multiple personality disorder and not as subtle as this one. Those I’ve read mostly gears from psychological to paranormal – a twist I don’t like much because it loss the realistic vibes of the story.
In this book, The Half Life of Molly Pierce, I really appreciate that the author sticks her story in the contemporary and psychological thriller side. I’m glad she didn’t push the story to other genre just to add twist or shock factor for her readers.
The first few pages actually reminds me of the suspense Japanese movie Tokyo Shōnen / Tokyo Boy. The two are not the same except for the multiple personality disorder, it give me more theories about the twist and turns of the plot. Though it doesn’t end up as darker as I expected, the journey is still as thrilling.
Molly Pierce life is a mystery, even to her. She suffers from blackouts, where part of her time is a total blank to her. One minute she in school attending class, then next thing she realize she is somewhere she can’t even recognize. She don’t know why she was there, what she did, or whom she spent her time with. She knows something is wrong but she can’t figure it out. But still she pretends that her life is normal. Until she witness a road accident where a boy she doesn’t know seems to know her very well. Eventually memories are start come back to her. Little flashbacks are filling her mind and Molly have to find out if she is ready to face them all or not.
“Now I am remembering.
And I’m not sure what I liked better.
Being in the dark or being thrust unceremoniously into the light.”
Molly’s stream of consciousness is well written. Her choppy voice is realistically aligned to her condition. Katrina Leno created Molly with a consuming voice that makes me empathize and relate with her even from the outside perspective of the reader. It so easy to feel her struggles and confusions, like I was inside her head every moment. Even during the times when her narrative are chopped and hanging creating an isolated atmosphere, I still feel her and her isolation. Her complexity echo throughout the pages of this book.
Katrina Leno’s unfolded Molly’s story in a right pace. Every hints and revelations are well executed, leaving readers enough moments to formulate theories and evaluate Molly’s situation. It’s a gripping ride getting to know Molly’s character as she try to put together the puzzle behind her blank hours.
Besides with mystery and the main character, I also like the family dynamics and friendships presented in the story. Molly’s family are supportive and very understanding. I like the fact that they didn’t push Molly to understand things that’s happening to her. They let her undergo through it at her own pace. The way they handle the situation is admiring. I can feel their frustrations, and pain even Molly doesn’t see it herself. While Molly’s friends add normality to Molly’s life, something Molly is trying hard to accomplish – to be normal.
The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a powerful, intense and emotionally heartfelt psychological thriller novel. Molly and her life story will surely stay with me for a good long while. Katrina Leno soar high with this debut novel. I’m already looking forward to her next work.
* This review is based on an advance readers copy I received courtesy of the publisher, HarperCollins International in exchange of honest opinion.