Review: “The Deepest Roots” by Miranda Asebedo

37677999Title: The Deepest Roots
Author: Miranda Asebedo
Publisher: HarperTeen/HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss.

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Contemporary with a sprinkling of magic, debut author Miranda Asebedo show just how powerful friendship can be in her heartwarming first novel The Deepest Roots.

Cottonwood Hollow, Kansas, is a strange place. For the past century, every girl has been born with a special talent, like the ability to Fix any object, Heal any wound, or Find what is missing.

Best friends Rome, Lux, and Mercy all have similar talents, but to them, their abilities often feel like a curse. Rome may be able to Fix anything she touches, but that won’t help her mom pay rent or make it any easier to confide in Lux and Mercy about what’s going on at home. And Rome isn’t the only one. Lux has been hiding bigger, more dangerous secrets.

As Rome struggles to keep her friendships close, she discovers the truth about life in Cottonwood Hollow—that friends are stronger than curses, that trust is worth the risk, and sometimes, what you’ve been looking for has been under your feet the whole time.

TW: Domestic abuse, sexual assault, and disgusting, abusive language from grown men made to young girls and women alike

Sometimes a book just makes you realize just how good you got it.

The Deepest Roots is one of those rare stories.

The story follow best friends Rome, Lux and Mercy. The three have been friends since their early years. They are blood sisters bound together by their strange talents and their love for one another. They have made a pact to not keep anything from each other, but that promise is broken as the girls keep their struggles to themselves – out of pride for Rome who doesn’t want her friends to pity her as she faces a possible eviction from the small trailer she shares with her single mother; out of shame and fear for Lux who endures living with her abusive stepfather. When a mysterious diary which leads to an equally mysterious treasure land in the girls hands, Rome and Lux see an opportunity to shake off and solve their problems. Little do they know that the true treasure already lie in their feet, waiting for them to take a closer look.

I picked this book up wanting – craving – a story that features strong female friendships, and The Deepest Roots more than measured up to my expectations. This story tugged at my heartstrings, even the ones I’ve thought have long gone numb and made me spill a few tears.

From page one up to that touching end, this novel remained loyal to its focus – the power of friendship. Rome, Lux and Mercy are all fiercely loyal and protective of one another. The strength and depth of their friendship is shown all throughout the story, and I just can’t help but think about my own best friend while I read this book. The three girls would do anything for one another – Mercy using her talent of being an Enough to extend Rome and her mom’s food supply; Lux still lending Rome her make-up bag and fancy top even though the two of them had a fight; Rome putting bleach in Lux’s stepfather’s gas tank when she found out that the creep hits her friend. The friendship the three girls share is simply the best part of this story.

The plot was simple but easy to follow and enjoyable. The writing and pace flowed well. Those elements of the book are great and all, but where Miranda Asebedo really excelled at (and the reason why I gave this novel a whopping five stars) was in creating her characters. She brought to life this cast of characters who stand out, who felt real to me. Rome, Lux and Mercy were relatable in their struggles and how they try to lift themselves out of their current situations. Even the secondary characters like Rome’s mom, Red and Jett will leave an impression to readers.

There is a feminist message woven through this story that I hope will open up discussions. It’s a sweet bonus to an already great book.

I’ve always thought that there’s a lack of books with strong, healthy female friendship. The Deepest Roots fills in a bit of the void, and for that alone I will be recommending this to anyone who’ll care to listen.

🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂

About the Author:

Miranda AsebedoMIRANDA ASEBEDO was born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient, her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal.

Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda’s not writing or reading, she’s most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.

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