Dancing With Molly by Lena Horowitz
To be published Simon Pulse June 2 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: I received an e-ARC copy of this book for review consideration from the publisher. This did not affect my opinion of this book or the content of this review in any way.
Until that night, when everything changed and I finally became someone.
Someone Carson might actually care about, as much as I cared about him.
But the cost of being someone is more than anyone can imagine. For every moment, there’s a price to pay. For every party. For every choice made. For every kiss.
Ultimately, living a life of PURE ECSTASY might be no different from not living at all.
You might be thinking that 68% of the way in is not a good point to DNF a book – at that point, it’s almost over. Why not push through? I still think that maybe I should have finished, but I had to stop at this point in the book. What started out as pretty okay took a huge wrong turn somewhere. And I really hate writing DNF reviews, because I believe that this book had potential.
I liked the idea of a book about drugs, especially molly because of its increased usage recently and its presence in pop media. However, this was a totally different book than I expected it to be when I started. First, it makes molly seem exciting and interesting. I think most people can agree that the desire to be seen as more popular is common in our society, especially for young teenagers. Molly, in this book, encourages our narrator to open up and start acting like the wild child. I wanted there to be more backlash and negatives, instead of a stream of positives for a few chapters. I’m pretty conflicted on this point – I know that drug users will often try and make sense of their actions by saying that it isn’t dangerous, that nothing has happened yet – but the target audience for this book was young adult, so I was hoping for something different. From just the first few times these characters take molly, they all have a great time, and except for a minor headache, there is no problems. Our narrator gets a boyfriend, starts making more friends, and attending crazy parties.
Another problem I had with the narrator was that she was EXTREMELY annoying. After multiple troubles with the drug after her friends start getting sick, she’s convinced many other people to start taking molly, and they even get suspended from school after being caught with it – she still sneaks out of her house to take more. Her decisions become more and more troubling and she can’t seem to take any of the blame or at least stop what she is doing. Even before that, she blames everything on her parents (who don’t honestly seem all that bad) or her sister. All of her ambition and drive is thrown out of the window. Plus, halfway through the book, she starts having sex with almost every character in the book. So this book can be accurately described as: sex and drugs.
The story is told from a journal perspective and is very stream-of-consciousness. It is in the past, but there are lots of interruptions and breaks in the story. She often goes on and on about HOW AMAZING LAST NIGHT WAS or exclamations about her new life and boyfriend. This can get annoying pretty quickly. Typically, I like the journal entry format because we get to know the main character more, but in this case, all it did was make me more annoyed with her.
Overall, I did not enjoy this book. It had many problems and exemplified a lifestyle that I don’t agree with, as well as an annoying main character who did not fit the story well at all. When I read young adult, I’m looking for books that make teenagers stand out as smart and intelligent people, not downgrade them to a story of drugs and sex. And while this type of lifestyle does exist, I was hoping to focus more on the negatives instead of the apparent good things about taking molly. I’m still hoping another author will take this important topic on.