The Deepest Roots

320p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Sept. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062747075.
Gr 9 Up—All girls born in Cottonwood Hollow, KS, are affected by the curse of Emmeline Remington—whose husband left her for another woman—and are endowed with a special talent. Rome's mother moved to town at 17, unwed and pregnant. Now Rome is 17, and they can barely afford to live in their dilapidated trailer. Her Fixer ability is useful at home and in her part-time job as an auto mechanic, but it can't help pay the rent. Mercy is an Enough, which means she can produce just the right amount of anything—food, money, gas, etc.—to live comfortably. Lux is a Siren who can attract any man, but she's only interested in women. After a tornado hits, the girls find Emmeline's diary, which hints of a treasure. If they can get it, then Rome will be able to keep a roof over her family's head, and Lux and her mom can finally afford to leave her abusive stepfather. But secrets among the girls strain their comradery, and a corrupt landlord is also after the treasure. Asebedo's main characters are engaging with believable motivations. Secondary romantic plots involving Rome and a rich boy at school, Lux and her girlfriend, and Rome's mother and employer round out the cast and add depth.
VERDICT An enjoyable general purchase for fans of magical realism, mystery, and stories of friendship.

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