Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Review: Restoring Harmony - Joelle Anthony

Heading off on her own to a big American city might have been a fun adventure for sixteen-year-old Molly McClure in the good old days before the Collapse, when nearly all the oil ran out; but in 2041, when family calamities strike all at once and Molly must leave her isolated farming island in Canada for the very first time, the world she meets is anything but fun.  Food is in short supply, crime is rampant, and once-bustling cities stand abandoned and crumbling - danger lurking around every corner.

No one is as they seem, and Molly has to make some fast, tough choices about whom to trust, especially when a dangerous crime organisation sets her in their sights.  Luckily, Molly is a determined, can-do kind of girl, and with the help of a handsome stranger, she may just make it home alive.

Visit Joelle Anthony's website for more information

After the Collapse in 2031 the world is a very different place, one with food shortages and high crime rates.  16 year old Molly has been brought up on an isolated farming island in Canada but when her family hear world that her grandmother is very ill she must venture into the world to find out what has happened & to bring her grandparents back to the island with her.  Travel is made difficult by the lack of oil and poor public transport but Molly is the only one who can make the dangerous trip to help her grandparents.  When she arrives she finds them in a desperate situation with no money for food let alone enough to pay for their trip back to Canada.  It is up to Molly to help them survive and find a way to get them all home.

Joelle Anthony has created a very realistic word in Restoring Harmony - it is so easy to picture the Collapse actually happening, possibly even in our lifetime which is quite a scary though.  The Collapse was brought on by oil shortages and had a massive effect on the economy.  Living in a country that imports a lot of food it is very easy to picture how hard life would be if travel made importing food practically impossible.  You can easily picture yourself living in Molly's world and it isn't something I would particularly look forward to.

I really liked Molly but I did find it hard to believe that someone so young and with such an isolated upbringing would cope as well as she did on the journey to find her grandparents.  I can't picture myself doing as well as she did in her situation, especially if I was as naive as she is.  Although Molly faces problems on her journey I found that the solution always seemed to come about a little too easily - I'd have liked things to be just a bit harder for her to make for a more realistic read.  Having said that I still found myself really enjoying the story.

I loved Molly's grandparents - particularly her grandfather - and the handsome young man she met (Spill) was fab.  He was that great combination of someone who always seemed to be helping her but who you could tell had his secrets & you could never be quite sure if he was trustworthy or not.  The relationships between Molly and her family were well developed & I wanted to see them make it back to Canada safely. 

Overall this was an enjoyable story that I would recommend to fans of young adult dystopian stories.  The book includes some action and a little romance but the emphasis is on the importance of family and community which I think gives an important message.  I thought this was a great debut and I'm looking forward to seeing what Joelle Anthony comes up with next.

Source: Received as part of a book tour arranged by International Book Tours, this book has already been sent on to it's next destination.

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