The Best and Hardest Thing
Viking Juvenile 2010
I guess you can say that from my five star rating that this was a book that was meant to be gushed over- but in all seriousness, this was not those kinds of books. Instead, it was one that had a funny, but an also sullen and solemn mood. The thing that attracted me the most to this book was its interesting format- a collection of poems that told one story and novel. The style reminded me of the book What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones, which is also written in poem form. While some might say that the poetry took away from Molly's story, I thought it not only contributed greatly but could not have been told otherwise. The novel follows Molly Biden (told in first person) who is described as saintly and is a goody-goody at school. After finally having enough of her strenuous reputation, Molly decides to break away, and successfully attracts the attention of the new boy at school, a senior of the name of Grady. While gaining Grady gains her some popularity, she also realizes she has become pregnant with Grady's child. The title indeed describes the choice Molly makes- will she go through abortion, or give birth to the baby? Through simple but deep verses, Molly describes the hardships of her pregnancies and the stressful choices she makes throughout the book, and while the plot itself is not original, the way it's told is interesting and original. The message is also a great one, and underlying the seriousness is a Molly Biden's unique humor and voice, which allows the story to take flight. A fast read, but entirely in-depth, The Best and Hardest Thing is one of the most thoughtful books I've ever read.
5 Hard to imagine a better book