Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Restoring Harmony

Book Details
Author: Joelle Anthony
Genre: YA dystopia
Page Count: 320
Publishing Info: Putnam Juvenile, May 13, 2010
My Review
Why I read it: my daughter read and liked it and wanted me to read it
The Plot: The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities. Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they're financially ruined and practically starving. What should've been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn't, Molly's only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there's a handsome stranger who's willing to help.
The Characters: I really wasn't very fond of Molly, who I found to be a pretty uneven character.  She's sixteen, but there were times when she was supposedly the smartest person around.  All of the adults were looking to her to make the decisions and to lead them.  But then there were times when she was almost stupid beyond words, and what she was doing didn't even make any sense.  The secondary characters were kind of just there, I didn't care one way or the other.
The Setting: There were some things in the setting that were pretty typical of a dystopia.  We have the United States in the future that has fallen on hard economic times.  It felt bleak, but the main character never seemed to be in any true danger.  There was a mafia type group, but it was almost comical how inept they seemed to be, and how not dangerous.  So not quite as gritty as a lot of other dystopia.
A Sample of the Writing:
When the plane's engine took on a whining roar, my grip tightened on my fiddle case.  We lifted and skimmed across the waves.  All I could see through the window was a fine spray shooting out beside us.  In one swift motion, the old floatplane was airborne,  I squeezed my eyes shut.
Who Should Read This? Younger readers who want to try dystopia--tween and early teen readers.
Final Thoughts: This was a very quick read, and even though it's shelved as a YA, it definitely reads more like middle grade.  The writing and story felt very amateur.  My daughter, who is 13, really loved this one, so I think it will do well with younger readers.  I'm not sure I would read more by this author.
Grade: C
Cover Thoughts:  The cover is quite pretty.  Whoever designed it did a great job.


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