Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review: The Best and Hardest Thing, by Pat Brisson

The Best and Hardest Thing, by Pat Brisson

Published: May 13, 2010

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Pages: 240

Overall Rating:

Fifteen-year-old Molly Biden has always been studious, dependable, some might even say saintly. And she’s sick of herself. So when she spots mysterious bad boy Grady Dillon, she devises a plan to make herself over into someone new, someone who will attract Grady’s attention. She succeeds—but a little too well. When Molly discovers she’s pregnant, she’s forced to make the hardest choice of her life. 

This addictively readable portrayal of Molly’s struggle to accept her pregnancy and the fact that her life will never be the same is told entirely in poetry, from sonnets to haiku.

I'm certain anyone who actually reads the title, would be able to figure out what decision Molly makes in the end. However, just in case, I won't say what she decides.

Pat Brisson does a wonderful job of hooking you in, straight from the beginning. The very first poem walks you through the event that led Molly to the changes she decides to make. I had trouble putting it down after that point.

One thing that I found annoying was, the change seemed too quick, and worked a little too well. I realize less is more with verse novels, but for whatever reason, I just couldn't shake the feeling that it was a bit far-fetched.

Nevertheless, young girls are duped into these flings for their first time, and up pregnant quite often in our society. Though, I wouldn't really say Molly was "duped". She was naive and had no idea what she was getting herself into, but she intentionally got herself into that mess.

Molly learns a whole lot from that mistake. She handles the situation quite maturely, and I found myself applauding her (only in my head, of course). It's almost as if there was an off-switch on her immaturity, and those double pink lines flipped it.

As I was reading it, I had initially intended to rate it four stars. That was until I got to the end, when Molly makes her final decision, and I actually came to tears. As she describes the baby, and the empty feeling in her stomach immediately after giving birth, I actually felt something. I enjoy poetry, always have, but I've never actually been moved by it, and this time I was. I think that's five star worthy, don't you?

Writing Style


  1. At the beginning you say you won't give the ending away, but you did....unless she goes with adoption. Anyways..............I think this is on my list. And I'm almost done with The Summer of Skinny Dipping. I tell's like pulling teeth!

  2. Nope didn't give the ending away. I was referring to when she gives birth, the empty feeling you have right afterwards is excruciating. You feel like something's been taken from you, and I guess in a sense, it has. From your body anyways.

    I guess I gave away the fact that she goes through with the pregnancy, but I don't think that's giving anything away, given the cover, lol.


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