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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony - Review

Restoring Harmony
Joelle Anthony
Putnam/Penguin
May 2010
320 pgs. ARC
4 copies

My Thoughts
Molly's immediate family lives in future Canada while her grandparents, who she doesn't know, live in future Seattle,USA. Molly is chosen to travel to the US to bring the grandparents back because the family has cause to believe that something has happened to Grandma and Grandpa is suffering all alone.

My favorite sub-genre of fantasy is dystopian. I love future messed up worlds that hold onto a small hope for redemption and that's what Restoring Harmony is. Molly has to travel through a downtown Portland that's been left ravished from the Great Collapse. She carries her "fiddle" with her and she's hoping she makes it to the GPs in one piece. She meets an older woman and they swap stories and sympathies but when it comes time to hightail it to her final destination, Molly has the to leave the lady to her chances, but not before exchanging their digits. Along the way she meets a guy who saves her from getting robbed, or worse, arrested. She makes it to the grandparents to find GF is fine and GM is alive but sickly. They are extremely poor and soon to lose their house. Molly makes a deal with the neighbor to work his garden in exchange for food. A relationship forms as Molly finds out how her rich GF went from prominent, wealthy doctor to starving recluse. She also starts taking care of the two kids next door since their guardian seems to leave them alone all the time. And that guy who saved her? Well, Spill keeps coming back to check on her and he and Molly become fast friends. But Spill is hiding something. How is he able to get all the things Molly's GPs need to survive?

This was good solid reading. Most of the novel took place in Portland with Molly at her GPs but you read a lot about her family in Canada and learned about her mom growing up. My major beef with Spill was his age. Molly is only 16 but Spill is almost 21! That was distasteful to me, especially since I have a 14 year old. Thinking about her dating a 19 year old, out of high school, secretive sort made me want to murder someone. Spill's age is necessary for some plot specifics but Molly could have been older. Maybe a senior in high school would have been more palatable. Still, it's a minor point, so I give this one 4 copies.  It's been 1 1/2 mos since I first read it but much of the story is still there.  That's worth buying.

ARC provided by Around the World Tours.

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