cover image Restoring Harmony

Restoring Harmony

Joelle Anthony, Author Putnam 17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-25281-5

Adeptly combining adventure and romance, Anthony’s debut is a tense and often charming tale that never lets its use of the oh-so-trendy dystopian future trope overwhelm some great characters. Molly, a 16-year-old fiddler who lives with her family on a small Canadian island, sets out for Portland, Ore., to see to the health of her grandparents. Various environmental and economic calamities have made communication and travel difficult, and Molly learns many of the harsh realities as she travels south. Once she reaches her grandparents, lacking the money to return home, she puts her gardening skills to use to help her neighbors and meets a handsome boy who goes by the name of Spill. Her troubles are compounded when she learns of the local criminal organization, and her mother’s pregnancy makes getting back to Canada more urgent. Anthony occasionally misfires—some of Molly’s naïveté toward the outside world is overdone, and the complex rules the criminals follow are silly and contrived—but for the most part, the focus is on Molly’s toughness and ability to handle and overcome problems. Ages 12–up. (May)