ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
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.
‘And people without muscle can’t stand. They can only sink into the pavement. They can only collapse and lie helpless on the grass.’
‘The people we love get under our skin and crawl through our veins and fine their way into our heart. They choke up our blood flow and mess up our breathing and tangle themselves through our bodies like wire. Like razors, like fire.
We remember them even when we don’t remember them.
We try and forget, but it’s pointless.
Even amnesia. Even comas and brain damage and traumatic shock.
Whatever makes us not remember, we still remember.
Our minds flounder like fish but our bodies…
Our bodies remember.’