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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Review: Restoring Harmony

Restoring Harmony (ARC) by Joelle Anthony
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: May 13th 2010
Pages: 320
Age Level: 13+

The year is 2041, and Molly McClure was only six when the Collapse of ’31 happened, ending life as the world’s population knew it. When she is forced to leave the comfort of her small B.C. island to travel down to Oregon, Molly discovers how hard the Collapse has been on the rest of the world. What starts out as a quick trip to the U.S. to convince her grandfather to return to Canada and be the island’s doctor, becomes a rescue mission. How much will she have to compromise to succeed in getting back home?

Restoring Harmony is the remarkable, thought-provoking debut novel from talented, upcoming YA author Joelle Anthony.

This was one of those rare books where I basically enjoyed all of the characters. I positively adored Molly, who was so believable and authentic. I found it so easy to relate to her character, as we had so much in common. I fully believe that if I were to be reincarnated, I'd come back as Molly. She was stubborn, brave, resourceful and I feel her love of playing the fiddle was the perfect addition to both her character and the overall story. I really liked Spill's character as well and thought the relationship between him and Molly was very realistic and perfectly paced. I even liked Randall who was more on the bad guy side.

One thing I loved about Restoring Harmony, unlike in most futuristic/dystopian books I'm familiar with, was how instead of technology advancing it actually declined. Most people have had to resort back to using trains, bicycles, and wagons for means of transportation. The reasons behind The Collapse were so believable that it was almost scary because I couldn't help thinking how easy it would be for something like this to actually happen, and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Another aspect I loved about this book was that even though there was some romance, it wasn't a dominant element in the overall story. The fact that this book focused more on family and friendship just made it stand out even more against the countless YA books out there. Though not exactly filled with lots of action, Restoring Harmony was still fast-paced and had both adventure and suspense. Honestly I'm still not exactly sure what it was about this book that made it so hard for me to put it down, even in the less eventful scenes. Maybe a combination of everything already mentioned or maybe just because Anthony knew what she was doing when she wrote this awesome book.

The ending was great and everything seemed to tie up quite nicely but still leaving things open just enough that if Anthony wanted to write a sequel, she could. Personally I'd love to read a prequel telling of Brianna's, Molly's mom, time just before and after the Collapse or maybe another teen's. This would give me more insight into how things changed and another great book to read by Anthony. Kind of kill two birds with one stone.

In the end, Restoring Harmony was an original, engaging read that I absolutely loved. What can I say, so far this has been a great year in books for me. This is a book I would recommend to both teens and adults, especially those fans of dystopian literature.

Characters: A
Writing: B+
Plot: A-
Ending: B
Enjoyment/Likability: A-
Recommendable: A
Cover: A+

Overall: A-


prophecygirl said...

I'm really looking forward to this one. A decline in technology sounds like something different!

Donna Gambale said...

I haven't heard of this one, but your review makes me want to read it! Thanks!

Unknown said...

OHH I LOVE the look of this one - I cant wait to pick it up, thanks for the awesome review!

Eleni said...

Great review! I look forward to reading this one..

Aubrey said...

Wow I haven't even heard of this one! Thanks so much for the review!

You have a blog award waiting for you at

Dani. said...

Great review, I was already dying to read this one but your book makes me want to even more so! :]

Joelle Charbonneau said...

Can't wait for Joelle's book to come out. It sounds fabulous! Thanks for featuring her book this week.

Sandy said...

A decline in technology is so ironic for a dystopian novel, me thinks! Loved the review. Now I'm regretting passing up the chance to read the book. Will just have to wait until May then!

cleemckenzie said...

I love finding a futuristic book that deals with the core issues of family and friends. Thanks for the review.

Joelle said...

Hi BP & All,
Thanks for the great review and everyone's nice comments. And for anyone interested in a sneak peak, there's going to be a new ARC tour set up over at Harmony's. I'll post a link on my own website once it's up and running. Hopefully in the next week or two.

Anonymous said...

this book sounds interesting. I like that the book has a good ending to wrap things up.

Laurie T said...

A nice and thorough review. I liked how you mentioned the book dealt more with family and friends than romance (a nice change of pace from the other books).

Justine said...

I'll have to check this one out for sure. I love dystopian books. They're so mysterious for me...Makes me wonder. Thanks for your review :)

Nikki @ Bookizzle said...

I'm really intrigued! I've heard of this book before but never really had a chance to read a review. Sounds like something I definitely need to check out. Thanks for sharing!

Test said...

Great review! I've been debating over whether or not I should read this when it's released because some of the negative reviews I've seen for this one. Though you're review has officially sold me on this one; it sounds amazing and like something I would enjoy.

Jenny N. said...

This book sounds like one I would enjoy very much. I'm interested to read about the Collapse of '31 and what it means for the characters in the book.

Jessy said...

I've seen this around and I really want to read it. The only thing is I think I might be a little scared to think that this kind of thing can really happen.

Kim said...

I haven't read a dystopian in a while and this one sounds amazing different!! O_O

Jessica B said...

It will be cool to see a dystopian novel where technology declines. (Although I have to admit I love the hoverboards in Uglies.) I can't wait for this book!

Lenore Appelhans said...

It's so important to really enjoy spending time with the characters!

Bookish in a Box said...

This sounds good. I've been looking for good futuristic dystopian novels. Great review!

Bleuette said...

i don't read much SC-Fic but this one sounds good!:)

WhatBriReads said...

I haven't heard of this one before today, but I definitely want to read it now! Great review. :)

Mandy said...

Thanks for the review! I'm super totally excited for this one, and your review just made me more excited :D

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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