Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Aya has spent her whole life with her small family in the wilderness, hiding from Trackers that would bring them to the city to be sold at auction. But they are only able to hide for so long before the Trackers find them. Aya is captured and brought to the Garden--a facility in the city that prepares young girls to be sold at the auction. Aya tries to escape and return to her family, but the Garden’s security is too strong. However, she does befriend a Driver she calls Kiran, who tries to help her. Despite their best efforts, Aya is sold to the mayor of the city. Her hope of escape dwindles, until Kiran appears and sneaks her out of the city. Aya and Kiran return to her mountain home only to discover her family has been taken to the city as well. They plan a daring rescue, but Aya quickly realizes she must sacrifice everything if her family is going to be truly safe.
The Glass Arrow is a compelling story about determination, love, and sacrifice. When the rest of the world demeans women and reduces them to property, Aya holds onto her own self worth. Aya never gives into despair, despite the horrible situations she’s forced into. It’s refreshing and inspiring to have a main character who refuses to give up. Her relationship with Kiran is also very believable. It is clear by the end of the story that both Kiran and Aya have romantic feelings for each other, but those feelings are founded in how much they trust each other. Neither character ever expresses feelings of love, only trust. The premise and plot of the story, however, felt very cliche and predictable. The last third of the book was very repetitive with Aya and Kiran having to reenter the city, as well as several near-death scares. Overall it is a worthwhile read, but doesn’t have as much of an effect as the author may have hoped.
*Contains moderate violence and sexual content.