Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV's Teen Mom.

People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.

Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.

 A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?

 This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn't reciprocate her feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny--perfect for fans of Katie McGarry's novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Book Title: Arrows

Author:Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Release Date: January 26th 2016

Pages: 256

Publisher: Delacorte Press 

            I met the author of Arrows, Melissa Gorzelanczyk, last month at Liza Wiemer’s Novel Cuisine Luncheon, which many of you have already heard me rave about on Twitter.  Although I met many wonderful authors (as well as bloggers) at this event, what really stood out to me about Melissa was the originality of her book.  Arrows is high school romance meets Greek mythology meets dance school drama.  Speaking of which, I think this book is perfect for any fans of ABC Family’s show Bunheads.  I loved the intensity of the book and the fast pace of events in the storyline.  I read this book in 2 sittings and felt an instant connection with the main characters from the start.  Arrows is one of the cutest books I’ve read in a while and I’m so glad I got a chance to read Melissa in person! Then again, I might just be biased since this book is set in my home state of Wisconsin. 

            Reasons to love Arrows:
o   It incorporates Greek mythology with present day situations.
o   It deals with heavy issues, such as teen pregnancy, drinking, and family problems in a realistic light. 
o   ADORABLE Greek gods/demigods (AKA main character Aaryn)
o   STRONG female protagonist who juggles numerous things at one time in her life.
o   Small town feels and set in Wisconsin!
o   Cheating boyfriends who get what’s coming to them. 

          Although I know there are critics out there who might question the message this book is portraying and claim it’s a glorified spin on teen pregnancy, I would actually argue that Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk is better than any national campaign to prevent teen pregnancy.  It’s brutal and honest, which I think will gives young adults a pretty accurate portrayal of what being a parent at this age entails.  At the same time, Arrows is both powerful and uplifting.  Yes, Karma Clark does struggle to balance being a mom with her social life, her dancing career, and her homework, but she also has happy moments throughout it.  She loves her baby and falls in love, not once, but twice, while still managing to follow her dreams.  I don’t care what some people say, but having a baby should NOT stop someone of this age from chasing their dreams.  I know many people I went to high school with who got pregnant early on and either didn’t go to college or thought they couldn’t do what they wanted to bcause that would make them selfish and a bad parent.  I think that’s wrong.  What are you teaching your child if you let one setback stop you from pursueing the person you’re meant to be?  Arrows was not only a captivating tale of young love but is also one of those YA books that really carries a strong message.  I’ve already passed along my beloved copy of Arrows to a friend to read and I know this story will be one that I’ll be thinking about for quite some time.  If this novel is any indication of the books to come, I think it’s safe to say that I will love Melissa  Gorzelanczyk and her writing for a long time.

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