Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Richie's Picks: THE BEST AND HARDEST THING
on May 23, 2010
Molly Biden has always been studious and dependable. Never having known her father, she's been living with her grandmother since her mother died. When, in the wake of a revealing English class exercise about perceptions she decides that it is time to shed her goody-goody image by making herself over, she develops and carries out a plan to win over the mysterious, silent, and attractive new boy in town as if it were an AP science class project.
Unfortunately, her experiment explodes in her face when, after engaging in intercourse with him in order to win his loyalty and affection, the young man shows no further interest in their afterschool activities and then disappears from school entirely.
Three months later, still waiting for her period, Molly flunks the (pregnancy) test and reality sets in. What is she going to do?
The one thing we do know, given the cover illustration, is that she decides against having an abortion.
I really like how the author places a lot of focus on the rivalry that Molly perceives between herself and the Senior girl who is also making a move on the guy. Getting the sense of Molly's being determined to succeed at any cost is key to understanding why this AP student chooses to engage in reckless behavior ,and it is all quite realistically portrayed.
In crafting Molly's story, author Pat Brisson utilizes a great variety of poetic forms. In an innovative approach to supplementing the book in a way that she can fully explain the poetry and her process, Brisson is posting an extensive online glossary that is accessible through her author website. The glossary provides a how-and-why behind-the-scenes look at the poetry forms that she has utilized and her reasons for employing particular forms in specific situations. I am counting eighteen different forms that she has utilized in the book and has then explained in this very useful glossary.
No matter whose statistics and trends you examine, there is no question that there are still far too many adolescents who lack accurate information, who engage in sex, and who engage in unprotected sex. THE BEST AND HARDEST THING is one of those high-interest books of great value that you want to get in the hands of lots of eighth and ninth graders in the hope that some of them will later recognize and respond responsibly to the developing signs of temporary hormonal insanity in their own minds.