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Restoring Harmony: Review

Synopsis: 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.

Restoring Harmony is a riveting, fast-paced dystopian tale complete with adventure and romance that readers will devour. 
Details: Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony, 320 pages, 3.76 stars on Goodreads
My Thoughts: This one was another dystopian, which, as I've said, I'm getting a little tired of. Or maybe more than a little. Let me say something straight off - I didn't dislike the book, but I feel it just didn't stand out very much, especially given how many other dystopians there are out right now. I read this something like three weeks ago (I know, I'm so behind on reviews), and I don't even remember very much about this.

There's nothing I can find that's wrong with the book - the plot is interesting, the characters feel real, and there are places where I very much wanted to know what happened next. I was a little disappointed, though, because the cover was so pretty (I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover) and I've heard so many great things about this. In the end, Restoring Harmony simply didn't grab me as much as I'd hoped.

One thing, actually, that bothered me was how easy everything was for Molly. I liked her - she was strong and a little feisty and definitely intriguing - but whenever something bad happened to her, she escaped about half a minute later. For instance, there was a scene when she was about to get raped, but then got rescued at the last moment. A lot of scenes like this occurred where they didn't do much for the plot nor did they affect her much, and I got the feeling that Joelle Anthony was just trying to show how dangerous the world was supposed to be without having anything really, really bad happen to Molly.

When I think of this book, the first word that comes to mind is "slow". The book itself wasn't slow-paced, but it wasn't as suspenseful as it could have been. I think I would have liked this much more if there was more tension, more of that quality that makes you sit on the edge of your seat (and slide off and fall on the floor, if you're me).

This review has been mostly negative, looking back, but I did enjoy parts of this. The romance was cute, and who doesn't like a girl who carries around a fiddle all the time? Molly is an amazing character, the kind of person I'd love to be friends with. She's kind and brave, but not all perfectly perfect like you sometimes see in YA.

(I'm going to try a new rating system, inspired by all the blogs I've seen on the hop.)

Plot - 2.5/5
Characters - 3.5/5
Writing - 3/5
Impact - 1/5
Overall - 50% = C
(Note: A "C" is similar to 3 stars, which is what I gave it on Goodreads.)


Tammy said...

Hmmmmm. I was going to buy this one but now that I've read your review I might just get it through Inter Library Loan. BTW-I don't look at your review as negative-just honest. Thanks!

Kristen said...

Aw! I loved this book and maybe its because I tried not to compare it to other dystopian novels out there. It wasn't as dangerous - although there was some edgier parts that made me nervous for what would happen next. It did get a little slow at times when she was living with her grandfather trying to convince him to come back with her to her family. I think I enjoyed the romance and the characters so much that the flaws it had never really got to me.

And I agree with Tammy - it's more honest than what I think of as negative.

Izzy said...

Well, I'm happy you two find it an honest review! I always strive not to be too negative but to instead show how I really felt about a book.

Kristen - I'm glad you liked the book! Quite a few of my friends loved it as well.

Deepali said...

Aw! I know that happens to me too - where I'm finding it hard to remember what happened in a decent book I read over a week ago.
I will probably still give this a go when I stumble across the book, though not going to rush out and buy it :)

Stopped over from the Sunday Blues meme

Izzy said...

Deepali - Thanks for visiting! :)

Alexia561 said...

Appreciated your thoughtful, honest review. Sometimes a book just doesn't grab us for whatever reason, even if it's hard to describe what you didn't care for. Great job!

Splendibird said...

I just read this book and will be posting a review later in the week. I felt much as you did - it wasn't awful but did very little for me. I thought that Molly was, while likeable, perhaps a little to good to be true and there was no point that I felt she was ever in any danger. It just didn't thrill, I suppose. I love how you've written up your thoughts and am glad that I am not the only person who found this book to be distinctly "meh".

Izzy said...

Alexia - Thank you :) It often disappoints me when a book with a promising concept turns out to be, as you said, something that doesn't grab you. At the same time, it's useful for when I get to analyze these books and try to figure out what exactly didn't work for me, and if that problem is present in my own writing.

Splendibird - I think everyone I meet either loves this book or finds it "meh". :)

danya said...

I haven't read this one yet, but it does annoy me when everything is too easy for the main character. I prefer it when the protagonist actually has to exert him/herself to get out of a sticky situation! Thanks for honestly reviewing it and pointing out what you did and didn't like :)

Candace said...

This review was very similar to another I read for this book. Your definitely not the only one left with those feelings!

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