Tuesday, July 8, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* 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 one of the more bizarre stories that I have chosen to read this year. It surrounds a soon to be Eighteen-year old girl who experiences depression, melancholy, suicidal thoughts, and memory loss, but has no clue as to what is happening to her until she starts trying to piece the puzzle together. What's worse is that those around her, her family, and friends, seem to understand when Molly disappears and why, and to just roll with the flow, and not make major issues out of her situation. 

Molly is a character that you can immediately grab hold of and try to understand her struggles, and when you finally do understand what is happening to her, you find yourself wondering how you would treat your best friend, or family member were they to experience the same issue. She is also a classic example of why more stories about mental health issues are necessary if we are ever going treat those left behind by societies ignorance, and intolerance of those who may be different from ourselves.

Molly isn't a character that we know a whole about. We know that before her "issue" she was once at the top of her class; then, it all came crashing down, and people no longer expected all that much from her. From her sister, to her brother, they realized that their big sister was "different" yet, they did not go out of their way to make things even more brutal, or scarier for Molly. I absolutely loved this about the story. Normally, siblings can be the worst kind of awful when they know one of them is having issues.

One can never disregard a person who has melancholy or experiences depression. Depression is a major killer right next to Cancer. If left untreated, it can tear you apart at the seems, and make you fall into a deep, dark hole that takes years of therapy & treatment to dig yourself out of. With Molly's particular disorder, it is hard not to rush to judgment and force massive drugs upon the patient without understanding first how she got to this point. For Molly, I was happy that she knew that the drugs would make her high, and low, and chose to discover what was happening to her no matter how hard the truth was to face. I also appreciated that Alex, the mental health provider, didn't force the issue, but gave Molly enough space to make her own choices, and learn the truth about her situation.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce has been favorably compared to Memento and Identity which should tell you a whole lot of Katrina Leno's ability to write an entertaining psychological thriller. I try not to guess what the ending will reveal to me, but in this case, I have to say that I pretty much guessed at what was happening, and why. I will say that I hope readers give this a chance. It is a fairly quick read at 256 pages. 

**I received this copy via Edelweiss / Harper Teen. No monies were transferred. My review is mine, and mine alone. Receiving a free copy does not change my opinion of this book.**

Author - Katrina Leno
Title - The Half Life of Molly Pierce
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: July 8, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Social Issues
Format: E-Book 256 pages


  1. I do have a copy of this and plan to read it soon. It definitely sounds like a book that you have to be in the mood for. Books with sad subjects like depression and other mental illnesses are often tough for me to read. I'm glad you enjoyed this!

    1. Thanks Lisa! Yeah, I agree with you about the subject matter, and how hard it is to read at times, especially when you've lost so much to the same disease.