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The Best and Hardest Thing
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The Best and Hardest Thing

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  446 ratings  ·  67 reviews
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 h ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 13th 2010 by Viking Juvenile
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  446 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Gabrielle Prendergast
Jun 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: verse-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book because it sounded really interesting...a book written in poetry. I've never been one for poetry, except for the typical teenage-girl-pining-away-in-misery in high school, so I really wouldn't know good poetry if it bopped me in the face. (Dr. Seuss excluded, of course.) So really, I don't know if the poems were any good. But the whole idea was really cool and something different to read.

The book is about Molly, a good girl, who gets upset to find all her classmates think o
Richie Partington
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
22 February 2010 Richie's Picks: THE BEST AND HARDEST THING by Pat Brisson,Viking, May 2010, 240p., ISBN: 978-0-670-01166-7

"It's been three weeks since you've been looking for your friend
The one you let hit it and never called you again"
-- Lauryn Hill "Doo Wop (That Thing)"

"Carnal Knowledge But No Other

I don't know his middle name,
his birthday,
where he was born.

I don't know his favorite cereal,
his favorite sport,
his favorite flavor of ice cream.

I don't know why he moved here,
who he lives wi
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of poetry and realistic fiction
Shelves: poetry

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, w
It is my belief that writing books in verse is a terribly tricky things. Authors like Ellen Hopkins and Sonya Sones make it look easy. It isn't until you read a terribly horrible book written in verse, such as The Best and Hardest Thing, that you realize not every author has such skill.

It is clear Pat Brisson is no poet. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've read better poetry in my Brit Lit class last year. (The girl next to me wrote an intro paragraph to a paper and asked me to look at it. She asked
Eliza Kein
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
i loved this book and did not think that i would.
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-class
It was good. It’s written entirely in verse so that makes it an easy read. That’s one of the reasons I chose the book actually. I never read a modern book in verse so wanted to try it. The other reason was the premise. It’s something real teens are dealing with. The voice is good even with a cliche premise. I would recommend this book to those who are in rough places in life or those who enjoy to critic poetry. It is a very cliche book with a fairly predictable ending but it isn’t very long so d ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
A quick read, simple poetry, and a relatable character which makes all teenage girls consider that it really could happen to them.

However, at times it felt unnecessarily long and some of the verses were so simplistic they weren't as enjoyable to read. Molly's 'transformation' to get the guy seems pathetic and stupid - but encapsulated her teenager-y-ness. It doesn't mean it made her anymore likeable, however.

Stereotypical in nature, but an okay book in my opinion. It won't go about changing you
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Short, quick read, dug from the bottom of my to-read pile. The poetry wasn't that great, but there were hints of something better. I understand why it was in verse, but I think it could have been a better story if it were in full sentence and paragraphs. A companion novel about the friend would also be interesting.

May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Mainly picked this up as it's written in verse and was something different from what I normally read. It was a quick read, as I expected.
Jeymi Castaneda
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The main character is Molly Biden. A teenage girl that's smart, likes studying and she is known as a "saint." A good little girl. Only talks to one girl has no friends, because she doesn't like having a group of friends. Another important character is Grady Dillon. The boy Molly changes for, into being a "saint" into a "bad girl." He's very attractive and a lot of girls try to get at him. A third important character is Molly's Grandma & her best friend Barbara they both are nice to her and alwa ...more
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Molly Biden at fifteen is a saint. At least that's what everyone calls her. She always follows the rules, does what she is told and is in general a good girl. Molly decides that she wants to kick her saintly image and decides to try on a more rebellious side. She starts to flirt with the (extremely attractive) new guy. When one thing leads to another Molly at sixteen winds up pregnant and facing a very difficult decision.

Hooray for novels in verse, they really are just fantastic. This novel was
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, 2011, verse, issue-books
Molly Biden, sick of being seen as "saintly," decides to go after bad-boy Grady Dillon. With the help of her best friend she undergoes a makeover to become the sort of girl a boy like him could be interested in and for the first time in her life she isn't the quiet, studious good girl everyone expects her to be: she's bad. But when she ends up pregnant, she realizes that her new personality and affections for a boy she really doesn't know very well has gone too far and she finds herself having t ...more
Ashley (Bookaholics Anonymous)
More reviews at Bookaholics Anonymous

This book was an easy read just because of the way it was written. (Versus form) Even though it was written this way it still packed a bit of a punch. If I had to go through what Molly went through at age 15 I don't know what I would have done. I don't know if I could have made those decisions. At 15 I wasn't thinking about whether or not to keep a baby, or any of the other things she thought (actually) The book shows just how much peer pressure one person ca
Amanda (Good Choice Reading)
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
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I can't begin to tell you how impressed I am with authors that can write novels using poems. I also have a deep interest in teen pregnancy, so of course I was excited to read this book.

It was....good, but a little disappointing. A little more than half the book was just about her trying to reinvent herself in order to impress a guy. It was the guy that was the father of the child she carried. In a story of teen pregnancy, it's good to mention the father somewhere, but this book spent way to lon
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Best and Hardest Thing wasn't what I expected it to be.
First of all, I had been waiting to be able to buy it for a while and doing so, I forgot it was poetry. And then, I finally bought it and I was kind of disappointed because I could have gone on with my life without absolutely having to read it. (I'm such a sucker when it comes to spending money, ugh.)

Anyway, I won't say I didn't like it at all because that would not be true. The Best and Hardest Thing is more about life lessons than just
Amber Johnson
May 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Molly Biden is described by her classmates as “saintly” and “nice” and she wants to change that. With the help of her best friend, she makes drastic adjustments to her appearance and gains the attention of the token hottie and bad boy of the school. When things get out of hand and her ambitions go a little far, she finds herself pregnant and having to make the decision of a lifetime.

Author Pat Brisson tells this timeless tale through the use of poetic form, which does limit the character develop
Emily Benoit
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Concept/Ideas: 4/5
Storyline/Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Mixed feelings about this one. Yet another book on teenage pregnancy, but with a twist. The author decided to write this novel through verse, which I thought was fresh.

The characters were pretty shallow though, and not a lot of detail was put into them. I felt like it definitely wouldn't have been impossible (seeing how Ellen Hopkins can pack a whole lot of feeling and character development in her nove
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed
This book is written in verse from the point of view of fifteen year old Molly. She hates being considered a goody two shoes so she starts dressing differently and attracts the attention of the school bad boy Grady. When she finds out she is pregnant she struggles with the decisions she has to make. Does she want to keep the baby?

Molly is a frustrating teenager, her grandmother is not shy about telling Molly to be careful and even provides her with contraceptives. She tried so hard to attract G
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Fifteen-year-old Molly, an honor student, decides to become more popular by getting a boyfriend, but acts without thinking things through and gets pregnant after her first sexual encounter. Brisson portrays Molly's naive view of love and her rude awakening afterward, her denial of her pregnancy, and, finally acceptance. She also portrays how various people around Molly react to her. Why do kids avoid a classmate who becomes pregnant? I saw it happen when I was in school. I guess seeing a pregnan ...more
Anna Motteler
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was very... Different. I guess that's how I want to describe it. Obviously this book is aimed towards teenagers and I guess it's sort of a "warning" as to what happens if you have unprotected sex and end up being pregnant at such a young age. I mean honestly, when I was growing up, everyone was always talking about sex sex sex and girls were always trying to get the guys attention by dressing provocatively and whatnot. I feel like in this time period, it's just going to happen whether we li ...more
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Molly is a good girl - a smart honors student who is labeled "saintly" by her classmates. She decides to rebel against this perception and ends up pregnant. The book is written in a series of poems. I really liked that the poems were all different. (Brisson has a glossary of the different types of poems she used on her website, which was a really interesting read.) I really liked Molly - it was interesting to see how she channeled the determination previously reserved for being good and getting ...more
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 2011
I loved this book. Simple, well written, to the point. But even though I felt it was to the point, the emotions that were conveyed, amazing. I liked how the story was told through poetry. Each poem told a different tale to make up the story of this lost girl looking for love.

Besides the writting style, I loved the emotions of the book. I think that this is a very relatble concept to want to be seen as someone different and to be loved. And a lot of times we go and do things that we don't want j
Lisa Gibson
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book was wonderful and touching. Molly decides she's tired of being known as only the good girl. She sets out to change all that. And boy, does she ever! This book has humor, sadness and even hopefulness thrown in. One of the things I really loved is that it's not all free verse. When a different form of poetry is used, it's listed. I particularly loved the poem Molly wrote to her virginity.
Once upon a time, I used to write a great deal of poetry and wouldn't mind getting back to some of i
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's rare that a book features a protagonist that I want to shake some sense into, while keeping it entirely realistic that she would think and act that way. The whole time Molly is chasing Grady, I'm wondering why, what she sees in this boy who is so obviously no good (the only person surprised by what becomes of Grady is Molly) while at the same time knowing that it doesn't matter. It was so real that I ended up feeling sorry for her throughout her pregnancy. Which yes, went by rather quicker ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a YF book. It is a quick read, took me about 2 hours. It is written in poetry, in different styles, of different lengths. I loved the poetry. I am a fan of poetry and it really added a raw emotional aspect to this story. As you can already tell from the cover, this story is about a young girl who got pregnant. It is written from her point of view as she tells what she is feeling about the whole situation from sitting next to the hot boy at lunch to wrestling with her choices of abortion, ...more
Kiarra Pierce
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read in less than a week. The format was really cool how it was written in different poem lengths and how the personal thoughts of the main character were portrayed as if we were hearing them. The book had a sad ending, because she gave the baby up for adoption, but that was the whole point of the story. I was hoping that after the babies dad was put in jail that she would choose to keep the baby and raise it with the help of her " Gram". But at only 15, Molly had to ...more
May 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the sixth of the 15 "Florida Teens Read" books for next school year that I've read, and it is my favorite so far. It is the story of a high school sophomore who seeks to shed her "good girl" image and ends up with much more than she'd planned on, becoming pregnant by a new boy in town who ends up in jail on drug charges. Told in verse, the story follows the course of her pregnancy and the many choices and challenges she faces. This is a very quick read, I finished it in an afternoon, and ...more
Cindy Torres
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I give THE BEST AND HARDEST THING a 4.5 because i enjoyed the ending but if i was Molly i would personally would have picked a different choice.

I really enjoyed the writing style of this book, short but to the point but very easy to put your self in Molly's shoes.
At times the book was hard to read due to the hardship the character was inflicted with but also give an innocent girly vibe which catches my attention.

Even For the short length of the book i believe it is a real eye opener for many
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I have been writing picture books and easy-to-read chapter books for the last twenty years. My first YA, The Best and Hardest Thing, a novel in verse, will be coming out in May 2010.

I am a former elementary school teacher, school librarian and reference librarian in a public library. I now write full-time and do author visits to schools.

My husband and I have four grown sons. We live in Phillipsbu

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