I give up on writing summaries. Have a Goodreads one:
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.
I don't know if it's because I read debuts with an extreme amount of doubt, or if the first chapters of debut are just generally weak, but I've had a hard time getting into all three of the debuts I've read so far this year (Guardian of the Dead, Restoring Harmony, and I'm a little ways into Birthmarked). I didn't get into Restoring Harmony until about page 100. I was turned off by the plot, I was frustrated with the MC, and I was depressed by her grandparents' situation.
But all of these worries went away around page 100. I decided the plot was much more engaging when I wasn't filled with hopelessness about it. I realized that Molly was rather endearing, I liked her optimism, and just because she was naive didn't mean she was stupid; she's very clever and resourceful, in fact. I also realized that her grandparents' situation is VERY similar to my own grandparents, and I was just dragging my own angst into it. YAY for books teaching you about yourself!
I'm sorry if this review is a bit rambling, but I just wanted to present my initial problems with the book, and how I overcame them. After I overcame them, it was a VERY enjoyable book!
Like I implied, I really enjoyed Molly's resourcefulness. She wasn't going to let anything get her down, not her semi-homeless, penniless situation, or the Portland mafia, or her grouchy neighbor (who, of course, turns out not to be quite so grouchy).
I enjoyed all of the characters, even the unpleasant ones: Spill and Molly were of course my favorites, but I really liked one of the secondary mafia guys as well, and her grandparents, and her family in BC, and Aunt Lili. Oh, Aunt Lili, you clever lady.
The plot wasn't epic or particularly clever, but it was paced well and I DID care about it because I cared about the characters.
I LOVED THE SETTING. I was born in Gresham and lived there for several years so realizing that the book was set in Gresham and Portland made me so happy! The MAX made me happy! Seeing Portland in the future made me happy! Even though it's a rather melancholy future-it was still very interesting AND very realistic.
Recommended to: dystopian lovers, contemporary YA romance lovers (even though it's set in the future, I think you'd like it), and anyone who likes fun-and-not-too-dark mafia stories.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.