The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo
Published by HarperTeen on September 18, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Young Adult
Length: 320 pages Source: Amazon
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Book Depository • IndieBound
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.
Full disclosure: when my preorder of The Deepest Roots arrived, I didn’t even remember ordering it. I had to jump on Goodreads in order to refresh my memory of what it was. I can’t remember ever doing this for a book before, and the fact that I had forgotten I ordered it didn’t sit well for me. If it was already forgettable, reading it would probably be a chore.
I am a fool, loves. An absolute fool. The Deepest Roots is one of my favorite reads this year. Here’s why.
The characters are wonderful. As a white woman, I see myself represented in YA a lot. As a kid who grew up dirt poor and eating peanut butter for lunch and getting clothes from the older kids at church, I rarely see myself represented. Your socioeconomic status plays a lot into life experience, and I bonded with Rome immediately. She’s prideful and works hard and is grateful and scared and honest even when she knows it’s going to hurt her. Rome is one of the most genuine characters I’ve ever met. I love her.
But Rome isn’t the only good character. I liked them all. Lux, on the edge of fear and desperation, but at the same time so completely in love with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Perfect Mercy, who struggles to hold up her facade while crumbling under expectation. Jett, Stella, Red, even Mercy’s mom and the vile Garrett were perfectly written. The characters here jump off the page, and for me, that ties a book close to my heart.
Cottonwood Hollow is a typical small town with a history and a curse. This is a pretty common trope in magical realism – small towns and curses, I mean. I like this trope. You see it in books like The Wicked Deep and beloved films like Hocus Pocus. It’s good, but on its base level, it won’t surprise you. For me, the twist was when the plot wasn’t what we were led to believe. Sure, it was in there, but The Deepest Roots is more a story about friendship. It has one of the most complex and endearing female friendships I’ve seen, in a genre that is slowly breaking away from catty girlfriends and talking behind each others back. Loved it.
I fell into this world every time I opened the book, but the worldbuilding is subtle. You smell the grease at Red’s Auto and taste the bubbles from Rome’s Dr. Pepper without really thinking about it. A lot about Miranda Asebedo’s writing style is subtle, but I personally loved it. She’s just the right amount of description, dialogue, and introspection. I added her next book, A Constellation of Roses, to my TBR when I was 20 pages into The Deepest Roots. Her writing enchanted me, and I can’t wait to see what she has next.
If The Deepest Roots isn’t already on your TBR, please consider adding it. It’s going to be one of those books I champion, because it is a quick read and a lovely story with a bit of ghosts and treasure hunting and really amazing friendships. I haven’t seen it around the blogosphere yet, and I’d like to! It’s a wonderful story from a wonderful new writer and deserves some love.
The Deepest Roots stays on my shelf.
I have a small stack of books that I’m giving to my brother when I see him for Thanksgiving, and there is no way he’s getting this one from me. He’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. I can see The Deepest Roots as a book I’ll be itching to revisit next year, and again and again. It’s earned itself a permanent home on my shelves.