The Half Life Of Molly Pierce

The Half Life of Molly Pierce

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Luna!

Synopsis:

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

Thoughts:

I borrowed this book from Luna over at Luna’s Little Library ages ago and have only just got around to reading it. I had heard mixed reviews about it, but like always, I was willing to give it a go. What I will say is that it can be slightly confusing but it’s really good at the same time- so stick with it.

The story centres around Molly who has regular blackouts. She has huge gaps of time missing from her life. Everyone around her is being cagey and Molly doesn’t know who to turn to.I was so intrigued by this story. I wanted to know what was going on with Molly. I can’t imagine feeling like you’re missing chunks of your life.

I found the writing to be incredibly gripping but I can imagine that it might frustrate others. I personally couldn’t put the book down. I was desperate to find out what on earth was going on. I thought Katrina Leno cleverly pieced everything together. It was an interesting concept that I don’t want to spoil!

Molly is easy to like and I wanted everything to turn out well. She’s a complex character with issues and I always like to read about someone who struggles but is so determined to come out of the other side. This is so true for Molly!

If you’re looking for a book with resolution then this isn’t a book for you. There are some unanswered questions and some plot holes, but all in all I thought it was a fantastic read. I shall certainly be reading more from this author!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic, if confusing read!

Infinite Sky

Infinite Sky (Infinite Sky, #1)

How did I get it?:
I received it as my 2nd book in my Reading Year from Mr B’s Emporium.

Synopsis:

A truly beautiful book about the summer that changed one girl’s life, as her mum leaves home, travellers set up camp in the family’s field, her older brother goes off the rails, and she falls in love for the very first time. Opening with a funeral, Iris is mourning the boy in the casket – but who is it? Sam, her tearaway brother, or Trick, her tentative boyfriend? Over one long hot summer, we find out just how their three lives were turned upside-down.

Thoughts:

I was pleased when Infinite Sky turned up on my doorstep as part of my Reading Year from Mr B’s. I had given up on this book before so it certainly tempted me back in. I’m not sure why I gave up on it before as this time around I thought it was a highly enjoyable book that didn’t take me long to tear through. I thought it was highly compelling. I’m glad that they’ve changed the cover of Infinite Sky as the cover I’ve put in this post reflects the story so much more than the cover with the girl under a tree which seemed to give a cutesy vibe to it. It’s certainly not that kind of story.

Infinite Sky tells the story of Iris, a 13 year old girl who has so much going on in her life. Her mother has left her and her family. Her dad is struggling and drinking a lot. Her brother is angry. A group of travellers settle down behind their house. Iris is intrigued by their life style, but her dad is furious that they are there. Both her dad and her brother are quite prejudiced towards them. Despite their opinions, Iris makes friends with Trick, a slightly older boy. They get on so well despite their very different backgrounds. It’s not long before trouble brews between the families which leads to an awful event…

I absolutely loved the character of Iris. I think she came across as much older than her years. She hasn’t had it easy and you can see her struggle between wanting to do right and follow her father’s instructions and wanting to make friends with the travellers. The characters are so well developed, despite it being such a short read. It really has depth to it which I never anticipated.

Infinite Sky has some really heartbreaking moments, but it’s such a beautifully written story. I think many readers would enjoy it!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Infinite Sky stole my heart!

The Visitors

18466611

How did I get it?:
Bookbridgr- many thanks to them!

Synopsis:

Adeliza Golding is a deaf-blind girl, born in late Victorian England on her father’s hop farm. Unable to interact with her loving family, she exists in a world of darkness and confusion; her only communication is with the ghosts she speaks to in her head, whom she has christened the ‘Visitors’. One day she runs out into the fields and a young hop-picker, Lottie, grabs her hand and starts drawing shapes in it. Finally Liza can communicate.

Her friendship with her teacher and with Lottie’s beloved brother Caleb leads her from the hop gardens and oyster beds of Kent to the dusty veldt of South Africa and the Boer War, and ultimately to the truth about the Visitors.

Thoughts:

I have had my eye on The Visitors for a while now. The cover is so simple, but there was something about it, that made me want to read it! I’m glad that I got my hands on a copy, as I thought The Visitors was an incredibly accomplished début that I can imagine many historical fiction fans devouring. The Visitors does fit into many genres though including romance, a slight mystery and a slice of paranormal.

The Visitors centres around Adeliza who emerges into adulthood at the end of the Victorian era. Adeliza is deaf-blind and she’s trying to find her way in a world that she feels incredibly isolated from. It is through the help of a friend that her world begins to open up.  The characters within this story are intriguing and easy to like.

I thought this was a stunning read. It was incredibly atmospheric. If you’re not a fan of paranormal reads, I wouldn’t let that put you off. It is the paranormal edge that creates the atmosphere- it’s never anything scary. I found it to be one of the most gripping elements of the story.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

An incredibly accomplished, atmospheric début!

Falling Into Place

18163646

How did I get it?:
Received from Harper 360 in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

Thoughts:

I had heard so much about Falling Into Place,  so I was incredibly excited to get my hands on a copy.  The synopsis describes this book as haunting and I completely agree. I thought it was thought provoking and incredibly well written.

Falling Into Place is the story of Liz Emerson who has decided that the world would be better without her. It jumps around in time before Liz makes the decision to run her car off the road and in present time when Liz’s friends are hoping that she’ll pull through. I have to admit, this story is quite heavy going because of its subject matter. However, the writing is just so beautiful that it’s not a chore to get past these deep issues embedded in the story. I’m certainly excited to see where Amy Zhang takes her writing next!

I’ve mentioned countless times on this blog that I’m not always the biggest fan of books that jump around in time. Sometimes they just make the story feel jolted, but for me, Amy Zhang cleverly made this narrative work. Falling Into Place is narrated by an incredibly mysterious narrator. It makes you wonder who is telling you the story.

I wouldn’t say that this story is particularly fast paced, but at the same time I couldn’t put it down. The chapters were short, so it was easy to devour. I think it’s the characters in Falling Into Place which make the story so intriguing. They’re developed so well, even those characters which aren’t necessarily easy to like.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Falling Into Place is a deep, intriguing read about the consequences of our actions. Highly recommended if you like unusual narrations!

The Secret Hum Of A Daisy

18668051

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have always been their own family, traveling from place to place like gypsies. But Grace wants to finally have a home all their own. Just when she thinks she’s found it her mother says it’s time to move again. Grace summons the courage to tell her mother how she really feels and will always regret that her last words to her were angry ones.

After her mother’s sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she’s never met. She can’t imagine her mother would want her to stay with this stranger. Then Grace finds clues in a mysterious treasure hunt, just like the ones her mother used to send her on. Maybe it is her mother, showing her the way to her true home.

Lyrical, poignant and fresh, The Secret Hum of a Daisy is a beautifully told middle grade tale with a great deal of heart.

Thoughts:

I’ve been wanting to read this book since I heard about it at the end of last year. I’ve seen it reviewed very positively, so I decided to come off my list of books to read and bump The Secret Hum of A Daisy to the top of my pile. I’m glad that I did as it’s a very touching debut novel from an author that I hope we get to read a lot more from in the future! I found The Secret Hum of A Daisy incredibly easy to get into and I really invested in the characters right from the get go.

The Secret Hum of A Daisy starts off at Grace’s mum’s funeral. Grace has been sent to live with her estranged Grandmother. She’s suffering from guilt as she had an argument with her mum the night her She wants to get away from her as she believes her mother never would have wanted her to live with the Grandmother. Grace begins to find clues that she believes are messages from her mother who is trying to show her the way home.

It may sound like a depressing read, but it’s not. It has sad elements of course, but it’s mainly very touching and is about healing and family. It becomes very hopeful as both characters heal. I was rooting for them from the start, wanting life to become easier for them and for Grace to accept her Grandmother as family. They really had to grow together and it was lovely to see that throughout the story.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A beautiful book about grief and growth. Aimed at middle grade, but suitable for beyond!

Fifteen Bones

18774745

How did I get it?:
Received from author in exchange for a honest review.

Synopsis:

Jake is not a bad person – he used to be the class joker, the comedian. He used to have ‘potential’. But now he’s been expelled from five schools and only Cattle Rise, a tough inner-city school, will take him. All he has to do is survive these first few weeks because otherwise he’s heading to the Detention Centre. But survival means keeping his head down, and that’s not something Jake’s very good at. What nobody knows is that Jake is drowning in grief – a grief that makes him angry and violent and unafraid. Then one night he hears screams in the night from the girl next door. Could it be that Robin’s trapped in a fate worse than his? Perhaps, in helping her, he can help himself. But, as he’s drawn into Robin’s world, Jake realizes that he’s about to discover what real danger is.

Thoughts:

I had heard about this book before it was recommended to me by Jim over at Yayayeah. I thought that the synopsis sounded incredibly intriguing. The author was kind enough to send me a copy of Fifteen Bones so I could read and review it. I’m pleased I finally got around to picking it up. It’s definitely an interesting debut and quite unique compared to any other debut I’ve read so far this year.

Fifteen Bones centres around Jake who we find out is having an incredibly tough time. He’s been expelled from many schools and only a tough school will take him in. If he doesn’t behave himself then he will be sent to a detention centre. Jake’s not good at keeping out of trouble. It just seems to find him. Jake has a secret though. He’s behaving in this way because he is struggling with grief. Jake’s life begins to be dangerous when he meets Robin, the girl next door.

I have to be honest, it took me a while to get into Fifteen Bones but after a while it started to click and I began to really appreciate it. It’s definitely a book that gets better as it goes on. Fifteen Bones is a raw look at life for teenagers in the world of gang culture. It’s fascinating, but scary at the same time. I think that the author has really captured the characters beautifully. I didn’t necessarily love the characters, but I could appreciate that they were well written and intriguing. I can imagine that this book would be incredibly relatable to male teenagers, but it is definitely a book that can be enjoyed by both sexes and from Young Adult upwards.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A very authentic story about modern day teenagers and gang culture! It was a slow burner for me, but I appreciated the story as it progressed!

Love and Other Unknown Variables

20757521

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Entangled Publishing!

Synopsis:

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover the solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswerable problems. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy pawing at her until she learns he’s a student at Brighton, where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. And in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.

By the time he learns Charlotte is ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull on Charlie is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on, or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second).

Thoughts:

I requested this book a while ago because I was intrigued by the synopsis. It didn’t take me long to dive into the story and get completely taken in by the characters. Love and Other Unknown Variables does deal with some serious issues. It’s not the light read that you might expect if you judge it on its cover alone.

Love and Other Unknown Variables centres around Charlie Hanson who absolutely loves Maths and Science. He’s convinced of his future and his goals in life, but his life begins to change when he meets Charlotte. Charlie starts to fall for Charlotte, but he’s not aware of the secret sadness she hadn’t told him about. Charlie doesn’t understand the pull Charlotte has on him, but he has to make a decision about which way he’s going to be drawn to.

I love reading books from a male point of view. I thought Charlie was an incredibly endearing character. I worried at first that I wouldn’t connect with him as Maths and Science aren’t favourites of mine. I did connect with him though and loved learning about his family, friends, Charlotte and his teacher (Charlotte’s sister) through his eyes.

There were moments that I found myself smiling through, yet there were moments that moved me. I like that the author has used humour to lift the story a little. It is a dark read, so I did often want a lighter moment to relieve me a little!

The writing is easy to read and I’m certainly intrigued to see where Shannon Lee Alexander goes next.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

An endearing story about first love and friendship!