Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
The Glass Arrow
by Kristen Simmons

Genres: Adventure, Dystopia, Young Adult
Publication date: February 10th, 2015
by Tor Teen

Format: Hardcover

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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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

With all the praise that I kept hearing for this book, I was prepared to be amazed yet there was some part of me that expected this book to be just like any other dystopia I’ve ever read. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it because I chose to and this book turned out to be one of the best dystopias I’ve ever read. It’s richly developed but more importantly, it’s realistic. It’s not about some girl who is going to completely change the world and make people realize that everything is not okay within the world. It’s about a young girl who is trying to escape her fate.

Aya is not a perfect female lead but what makes her work is just her plain old determination to get out of the garden and to go back to the mountains. She never loses hope yet there are times when, even to her, things don’t look bright. She tries everything and isn’t squeamish about her options. She doesn’t always make the best decisions but at the same time, given her situation, you cannot really blame her! Aya is a fantastic female lead and a joy to read about. She is one of the reasons why this story shines.

One of the other reasons this story shines is because of a certain someone that I do not want to name because reasons. You may have come across many reviews that said that this book doesn’t really have a romance and those reviews would be right and what I’d like to add onto that is that there is a romance, however slight, but it is not the life of the book. It’s so well done though and deserves a mention for that very reason! I don’t even know what to tell you about it without turning this review into an incoherent mess. The love interest is so so so swoon worthy. He is so sweeet and so understanding. He understands when Aya needs her space and respects that. He is compassionate and while he also makes some bad decisions, I can forgive him with ease them because he is, otherwise, a perfect love interest. 

This story also comes equipped with a fantastic cast of secondary characters. Not all start off as likeable and all undergo development over the course of the book. They all play an important role in the book and none of them are just mere plot devices. They are all well rounded characters and all around awesome.

The reason why this book managed to score 5 stars though was because of the premise. This is a fantastically developed book. The world building may not be completely original but the author gives the story her own feel and manages to make it stand out. One of the things within the book that really stood out to me was that there were actually people protesting the happenings of this world. Can you believe it? Can you believe that out all of the people in this world, a 16 year old is not the first one to realize that there is something wrong with selling girls like they are goats? Isn’t there something so beautiful about it? I like knowing that the responsibility of an entire world does not fall on the shoulders of a mere 16 year old. There are people there who are fighting for change and maybe someday, things will change but that is not the purpose of the story.

There is something about reading a book that isn’t about a young girl changing the entire world but rather a young girl trying to escape the fate that was pushed open her. It’s realistic and at the same time, it prioritizes something that we can all get behind as readers, a young girl’s journey to freedom. Aya is trying to escape from “The Garden”, a place where girls are auctioned off like they are goats. 

If you, like me, aren’t so enthusiastic about dystopias any more, I’d still say to give this one a chance. It’s so refreshing and brings a much needed change within this genre.  The book also happens to be a stand alone so that is another thing it has going for it!

This is a gorgeously written book that I would recommend to everyone. It’s fantastically paced and features some amazing characters and a fantastic world and really, do you need more reasons to read this book?!?! GET ON IT.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
World-building
Romance
Overall: 4.4
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    I did not know this was a Dystopian! I am so glad I read your review and found this out. Unlike a lot of other readers I am not yet tired of this genre, I still love the good ones that aren’t just a rehashing of other popular ones, like THG and Divergent. I am also all for sweet and understanding love interests. Thanks for the teview. :)
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  2. says

    The reason I canceled my preorder was due to the fact that I found out this was more dystopian than I was anticipating! I guess I’ll have to take another look at it some other time :P I’m really glad to hear most about the romance, since with dystopians that seems to take over the entire plot. And I do love fantastic secondary characters…
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  3. says

    It’s not about some girl who is going to completely change the world and make people realize that everything is not okay within the world. It’s about a young girl who is trying to escape her fate. <—- YES to this! I loved the book so much because of this, so much more realistic.
    I loved the romance in this one! I didn't even like dystopias when they were 'in' so I'm surprised I liked this one so much :)
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  4. says

    I wasn’t in love with this one – I found myself kind of wanting it to progress quicker than it did – but it was a very well written book that deserves all the praise. I did like the realism aspect, too, and how it wasn’t about a girl that was speshul and on the quest to fix life. I also liked that the romance was kept on the DL. Many books are ruined by mediocre romances that TAKE OVER EVERYTHING!!

    “Can you believe that out all of the people in this world, a 16 year old is not the first one to realize that there is something wrong” such a good point! People in dystopias are all about living in denial except for the MC wtf is that about? >.<

    Great review, honeybuns! I feel like the black sheep with my 3-star with this one lolz! *runs away*

    *Baaaaaaaaah baaaaah*
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  6. says

    Okay Rashika you’ve convinced me to get a copy of this book straight away, I don’t read that many dystopia books lately, but I do like my dytopias to offer something different from all the books out there and this one sounds like it does. Also you big tease you sort of mention the love interest, but then hold back completely! I need details girl! Lovely review as always!
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  7. Laila BC says

    well Rashika, thank you so much for this insightful review…it was good to know something positive about this book. coz the other one that i’ve read wasn’t into it…also sighting there were no arrows whatsoever in this book at all ahahahaha! but i am glad to read another perspective about this book. maybe just maybe i will give this one a chance :)

  8. says

    I’ve been seeing a lot of positive reviews of this one around, which makes me excited because I wasn’t a fan of ARTICLE 5 but this seems right up my alley. I love nothing more than a sweet and swoony romance, not to mention a fantastic female protagonist. It’s been so long since I read a dystopian novel, though, so I’m glad this is one of the better ones you’ve come across. Can’t wait to pick this one up! Gorgeous review, dear! :)
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  9. says

    OMG THE REALISM, I CAN’T EVEN?! It’s amazing that what authors tend to forget and sometimes the reader doesn’t even realise is that all you need to make a book realistic is to insert some realism into it. The protesters are so insignificant when you think about a dystopian but if something like that happened in our world they would definitely be there. Hands down.

    I really like the sound of all the characters, main and secondary. I like that Aya makes bad choices but learns from them and that she doesn’t seem to have the weight of the world on her shoulders and only her shoulders. We need more of these kind of books on shelves these days!

    Wonderful, wonderful review Rashika. Thanks for bringing this book onto my radar! xx
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  10. says

    Your last few words really hit home Rashika, especially as someone who is worn out on subpar dystopias as well! So glad to hear that the characterisation here was brilliant, as was the world building. There IS something beautiful about a young girl who wants to change everything, and I love the sound of it (reminds me of one of my favourite books, Fire Country by David Estes). Wonderful review lovely!
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  11. says

    WOW. Ace review, Rashika. I really enjoyed Article 5, book 1 in the series this author first wrote, but I never ended up reading the rest of the books and haven’t read even the full synopsis for this, thus far… I very much liked your review- very through and well thought out- and I’m glad that this was such a good and surprising read for you! I’m glad it’s a dystopian that really stands out. Xx
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  12. says

    You had me at one of the best dystopians you’ve ever read. I can’t resist a dystopian, even half assed ones. But this sounds absolutely incredible. The Garden sounds like a meat yard, now I HAVE to know what happens. I tried her Article 5 series and although I enjoyed it, it was really predictable. Sounds like she’s moved onto bigger and better things since then. Gosh, you spuds are costing me a small fortune with your lovely reviews. Just brilliant poppet <3
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  13. says

    This is actually one of those books I read and managed to enjoy myself an awful lot. I liked the main character and how she was fiery and independent. I liked the storyline, but I did find the beginning of the book to be a bit slow paced, which was my only issue! Aside from that I was happy with it :)
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