When I first heard about this book, I fell in love with both the cover and the synopsis, and it instantly because one of my most anticipated reads of 2016. Usually when I’m incredibly excited about a book, I end up not enjoying it as much as I had hoped. That really isn’t the case with Arrows, though. No, Arrows deserves way more than five stars. It’s one of the most original, entertaining stories that I have ever read (and I’ve read more books than I can count), and it is the type of book that makes you forget about everything else while you’re reading. It truly is an engaging reading experience that you won’t soon forget!
“Everything had changed so fast. One pregnancy test confirmed. One scholarship lost. Me, a ballerina, tripping through life.”
Meet Karma. Karma was going along through high school, enjoying her life. She had a boyfriend who she cared for, an amazing ballet scholarship on the horizon, which would take her to her dream school, a prestigious performing arts school in New York. However, all that is put on hold and in danger of being gone forever, after one night at a homecoming dance with said boyfriend, Danny.
Aaryn, son of Eros, is taking his final exam so that he can officially become a cupid. His mentor and proctor, Phoebe, has accompanied him to his final test – using a pair of matching arrows in order to make a couple fall in love. As Phoebe shoots her arrows at a couple outside the homecoming dance, and makes a perfect match, Aaryn has a problem…he used one of the arrows on the girl, and then realized that the arrow does not have a match – thus leading that girl to be hopelessly in love with the boy she is with, but he doesn’t feel the same way. Terrified of being sent to Blackout and being forced to lose his immortality forever, Phoebe tries to help cover for Aaryn’s mistake, but it is discovered anyway. One year later, his father gives him another chance to fix the mess he made – become human, go to Earth, and make sure the girl’s boyfriend proposes within 90 days.
One year from the night at the homecoming dance that changed Karma’s life forever, she is busy taking care of her and Danny’s daughter, Nell, going to school, doing homework, and still dancing, hoping to win a scholarship so she can still pursue her dreams. With her mother and her little sister, Leah, Karma struggles to do everything she needs to do to take care of her daughter and plan her future. Her boyfriend, Danny, doesn’t help out with Nell very much, nor does he spend time with Karma. He had already cheated on her once after she got pregnant, and Karma is always worried that he will do it again. When Aaryn turns up at the school looking for a position as an assistant coach on the football team Danny plays on, Karma is intrigued by this stranger, and starts to get to know him better. Aaryn tries to spend time with Danny in order to convince him to treat Karma better, and hey, maybe even marry her. But Danny’s true colors come to light, and Aaryn knows Karma deserves better.
Arrows is told from the alternating viewpoints of both Karma and Aaryn, and both characters are so wonderfully done that you can’t help absolutely loving them. The entire story is just beautifully written. It does remind me a little bit of 16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom (I don’t watch it anymore, I don’t even know if it’s still on, but I used to love that show), but this actually has some depth to it.
I felt bad for Karma – she didn’t deserve the way that Danny treated her. Because of Aaryn’s arrow, she was hopelessly in love with him, and he treated her like she was nothing. Danny was the kind of guy you couldn’t help but hate – out late partying and sneaking around with other girls, while Karma takes care of their daughter, makes him cookies, buys him gifts, and just loves him unconditionally. It was really depressing. When Karma started to spend time with Aaryn, you couldn’t help but have hope that maybe the two of them could somehow end up together. But as long as Karma is stuck under the spell of the arrow, there is just no way for that to actually happen.
I read this in a single day, because it was so good I just couldn’t put it down. You never read books like this – and you very rarely come across a young adult book that deals with teen pregnancy, either. I think the fact that it is so unique made it even more enjoyable. Melissa Gorzelanczyk’s writing is incredible – she really knows how to spin a magical tale that you can’t help but fall in love with. You’ll have a hard time believing that Arrows is her debut novel – I did. It’s simply amazing and deserves all the praise it gets. She is definitely an author that has gone on my “must-buy” list for future releases! Arrows is, without a doubt, my new favorite book, and I know for a fact I’ll probably end up rereading this one countless times, especially when I need to read something that will make me feel all sorts of emotions.
Arrows definitely deserves a spot on your shelf, and in your heart.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.