Monday, February 9, 2015

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

The Glass Arrow
by Kristen Simmons
Read: February 3 - 7, 2015
Published: February 10, 2015 by Tor Teen
Source: Gift from Danielle @ Love at First Page (THANK YOU!!)
Category: YA, fantasy/dystopian, women's rights, swoon
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Description: The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.

I did not expect to like The Glass Arrow as much as I did. But you know what, it was really good! I was not a fan of this author's previous Article 5 - or rather I could not connect to the heroine Ember at all. But one of my favorite parts of this story is Aya. This fierce girl who guards her body in a world where women are bought and sold as breeders, who will do everything in her power to protect her family, and who never stops fighting to get back to them once she's captured. I was able to get inside of her head and understand what drove her, when I never never felt that with Ember. 

Aya's journey though this story is harrowing. She has grown up free in the mountains, surrounded and loved by a small group of women and children. But she's also lived in constant fear of being captured by Trackers. These men take the girls they find to the city to be sold in hopes that they will bear boys to rule the society. It is a nasty cycle that Aya becomes thrown into against her will, when she too is captured. Aya is renamed Clover and taken to the Garden where she is groomed for sale. Desperate to escape, Aya does everything she can to sabotage the auctions she is forced to attend. But she is worried her luck won't last forever.  

The Glass Arrow reads as a mix between fantasy and dystopian. It's unclear the size of this world or if it was once a recognizable place on our planet. But the thing is, for Aya, whose life is always in the moment, as she's constantly trying to survive or escape, those details aren't the most important. Because of that, they became less important to me as well. But, it is essential to note that this entire society developed to its current state because two men fell in love with one women. Clearly love triangles are the root of all evil. But I knew that already. 

The story structure of this book actually resembles the basic structure of Article 5, but this world is so much more compelling - and frightening. What I loved about this book is that it made me think a lot about women's rights and status in society throughout history. And it is terrifyingly relevant to today, because there are places in the world - and even in America - where what happens to Aya is a reality. Where women are the property of their husbands, fathers or masters. This would be an especially great book for a discussion. 

Although I think more story could come in this world, as far as I know, The Glass Arrow is a standalone, and the more I think about that, the more I'm thrilled about it. First, everything is becoming a series, which has begun to exhaust me. But also, I appreciate that this story focuses on Aya's own struggles and how one girl understands and survives in this society, without turning into the classic dystopian story with revolutions and social upheavals. Of course I want to see change happen, but those plots have become all the same and rather predictable. And really, how many teen girls have changed the entire world by themselves? Not that we should discourage the effort, but sometimes, it's okay to have different goals. 

Of course I can't end this post without talking about the love interest, Kiran. This book has the most beautiful and realistic slow burn romance. Aya has always grown up thinking that men are evil and that trusting any of them is the same as being owned by them. It was lovely watching her start to figure out what it means to have a healthy relationship built on respect, where both parties support each other. Kiran was perfect for Aya. He knew exactly when to push (Aya could be quite stubborn and singular focused) and when to back off and let Aya do what she needed. I'm still swooning over him!  It was rewarding to see Aya realize that she could maintain her convictions, but also learn that she doesn't have to do everything by herself always. 

Once your read The Glass Arrow, you definitely don't want to miss Kiran's letter to Aya that's part of Supernatural Snark and Bewitched Bookworms' Big Love Letter Event. See it HERE

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone (as far as I know)


  1. Aw, yay :D Amazing review Lauren. <3 I'm so glad you ended up loving this book so much. I had a few small issues with it, but I also adored it so much. <3 Kiran was adorable :D And yess. The romance was pretty amazing. So glad you loved it. <3 Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie :D

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Carina! This book took me by surprise in a really wonderful way! Kiran was so amazing.

  2. cant wait to try this one out too, L:)

  3. I'm excited that you liked this. Like Heather, I think I will try it out :)

  4. I've already read the love letter so OF COURSE I'm going to read this because SWOON! ;) So glad you enjoyed this, though, Lauren, since I wasn't a fan of ARTICLE 5 but really loved the premises of this one, not to mention the fact that it's a stand-alone. Fantastic review, dear--really excited to pick this one up and discover a lot of the themes you mentioned, particularly about women's roles. :)

  5. This book definitely sounds interesting. Thanks for your honest review.

  6. Ok, you've made me even more excited for this book! I actually loved Article 5 so this was a must read for me. And I'm already swooning over your description of Kiran!

    I agree with you, by the way. All of these series are exhausting. I figured out I'm in the middle of about 70-75 series right now. How crazy is that? ~Pam

  7. YAY!!!!! I'm so glad you loved this Lauren!!! You know I'm a huge sucker for a slow burn romance, so I everything between Aya and Kiran just made me happy:) SO GOOD:) And thank you for the love letter shout-out! <3

  8. I'm so glad you loved this, Lauren! It was such a great book. I loved the world building and of course the characters. Your paragraph about Kiran is perfect! I'm glad this is a standalone too. We need more of those.
    Lovely review!

  9. Ohh, I'm so glad you liked this too. It is FIERCE! LOVE!

  10. Wonderful review, Lauren! It makes me so happy that you loved the book this much! I was nervous since Caged in Winter didn't work out; *whew*
    I completely agree with everything - first and foremost, that comment about the love triangle is perfect. You are the best. Aya is such a fantastic character, and I liked her personality so much better than Ember's. And Kiran of course is amazing.
    I'm happy this is a standalone too! I'm tired of everything becoming a series.

  11. Right?!?! Love triangles are so obviously the root of all evil and should just not exist. That would solve so many of our problems!

    Also, I totally agree. One of the reasons I am getting tired of all the dystopia out there is because it seems so implausible that one girl could change the faith of an entire world!

    I am reading this sometime this week and hopefully, I'll end up loving it just as much as all of you guys did! :)

    Lovely review, hon!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato


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