Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Book Description:

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by HarperTeen

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.

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source: Harper Collins (Thanks!!)

My Thoughts:

Getting into Molly's head was definitely interesting. Clipped line of thought, gaping holes in between consciousness, hazy memory, and specks of recalls kept me thoroughly engrossed and intrigued. Molly as a whole was complex. There were buried secrets in her being that were slowly being unraveled with each flashback. The flashbacks fit into the "gaping holes of Molly's mental calendar."

The narration and the way the author presented the story so effective, in conveying the emotional and mental state of Molly. The interrupted line of thought, Molly's hesitant, indecisive way of thinking and the doubt that always lingered in her mind nailed it. The writing style was raw, evocative and deeply poetic. I could feel wave after wave of emotions. Molly's reflections on life, loss, pain, time, and memory were colorful and to an extent life-changing. These are eye-openers to reality. I really enjoyed reading about her thoughts.

There were minor characters that seemed so integral to the story, for me. The love interest, Sayer, just stood out for me. He exuded a strong sense of mystery. Although he was genuine, kind and thoughtful; really, just a perfect gentleman, he has a way of acting that made me know he had secrets up his sleeve. Nevertheless, I adored him.

In the process of unraveling her own past and history, Molly was undoing herself and rebuilding her life with block after block of memory and analysis. The journey with Molly was a roller coaster ride. I felt confused, intrigued, horrified, nervous, sad, hopeless, hopeful, grateful, overjoyed, hypnotized, tired and exhausted. But in the end, it was all worth it. Although some questions were left unanswered, some questions sprung to life at the end, in my mind, I was satisfied with Molly's discovery.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a a raw and evocative psychological novel that will keep readers flipping through the pages until the end. I remember how I got goosebumps while flipping through various suspenseful scenes. It's scary how I got scared when I know that it was a contemporary (and that no one was gonna die or was dying in the book but still...) In truth, I felt that the book was engrossing and hypnotic - not only with its words and the beautiful writing, but also with the twists and turns that the author spun and the charming double romance. I strongly recommend this to readers who enjoy books with a contemporary feel and psychological reads.


Rating:


4 Cupids = Strong book love.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!


Monday, July 07, 2014

Out and About: Stephanie Perkins in Manila + Giveaway: Signed Anna and the French Kiss!


Out and about is a feature here on Fragments of Life for events, book launches and movie adaptations.

For the fifth Out and about, I’ll talk about meeting the lively and lovely Stephanie Perkins, the author of the bestselling books Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and of course, the upcoming Isla and the Happily Ever After!

The Basics:

Who:

Photo Credit to the enthusiastic admin of Stephanie Perkins PH, Kayla from the Bookish Owl!

The author is: Stephanie Perkins!
The Organizer is: National BookStore.

What books:


When: July 6, 2014, two in the afternoon

Where: National Book Store, Glorietta 1

How aka details:

Photo credit to Kate from the Bookaholic Blurbs!

Throughout the event, I got to meet Stephanie Perkins and get to know her more as a writer and as a person. I learned the following:
  • According to Stephanie, you can write a book that feels realistically in a foreign country and never leave your home if you know how to read a book well and pull the correct information out of it. She was really lucky that she had the finances to fly to Paris and research for Anna.
  • While in Paris, she read every book she could find and just try to get that full cultural immersion via books.
  • Stephanie Perkins was a librarian. (And librarians are very, very good at research.) *winks*
  • Out of all the male characters, Crickett was the one that was most similar to Stephanie's husband, Jarrod. In addition to this, she wrote a little bit of Jarrod into all the male main characters. He is her inspiration, which is just so sweet and touching. She met her husband when she was 17 and she is currently living her happily ever after with him.
  • She has an upcoming book in 2015, currently found on her website as "Untitled Horror Novel." It is a contemporary horror - based on real life horror and not in supernatural/paranormal-influenced ones. Her inspiration for writing horror stories is Stephen King. Our lovely author actually really likes horror.
  • Anna and the French Kiss was a product of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It took Stephanie seven years to finish the book.
  • When it comes to writing, she writes quite slowly. If we would put together Anna, Lola and Isla, Stephanie would write 10 pages per day on an average. (Which is just fine as I have started her book and found it very well-written!)
  • Series vs companion books. Anna, Lola and Isla are considered not as companion books but as installments of a series. The reason behind this was that Stephanie adores her lovelies, aka characters - whether minor or important ones, so much. So she writes stories for all of them and they are not forgotten. She wants to focus on each one of them and explore their stories. Also, in every book, there is a plot, a conflict. She doesn't want the same character to keep suffering until the final book. Hence, the switch of focus to the other characters. (I feel that she wants all of her characters to have a happily ever after.

Me, Stephanie Perkins and signed books!



Because Kai's selfie-snapping skill is improving, I just had to post this. :)

Giveaway Alert: I got an extra copy of Anna and the French Kiss, for a lucky reader who wasn't able to go to the signing yesterday. So you guys know the drill. :) If you have questions/comments/reactions, please do leave them below! Thanks for sticking until the end of the post. :)

"You are one lucky reader." The prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NBS team continues to amaze me with their utter awesomeness! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the surprise ARC of Isla and the Happily Ever After! Thanks to National Book Store for the amazing event!