Posts Tagged: Kristen Simmons

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen SimmonsThe Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Published by Tor Teen on February 10th 2015
Genres: Dystopia, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

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.

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road? Sign me up! And unlike most times, I actually agree with that description. The Glass Arrow is a story about a girl living in a terrifying world where women are sold like livestock to the highest bidder. Fortunately for her, she has been raised in the wild, away from it all. Until now… she gets caught by hunters and she’s shown no mercy.

Being a fan of Kristen’s Article 5 series, I had high hopes for this one. Even though I didn’t absolutely love it, it does have a lot going for it that I think many will enjoy. The world building is what I found to be the book’s best quality. We’re shown the ins and outs of this cruel world from the beginning, both outside and inside the city. The plot itself, however, is fairly slow paced throughout. We spend a lot of time imprisoned in solitary, brooding, planning, and longing for freedom. While this can get a bit monotonous at times (more on this in a sec), it does allow for some excellent character building. We get to know Aya quite personally – how she thinks, why she reacts the way she does – until she becomes a part of ourselves. She’s definitely not flawless, and a couple of times I wanted to scream at her for what she was about to do, but it was easy to put myself in her shoes and understand what led to her decisions. She shows kindness in the midst of cruelty, and that’s rarely a mistake.

I did struggle for the first half of the book, though. During her imprisonment, Aya does nothing but plan her escape. Her determined attitude makes it easy for us to root for her, however, there are so many failed attempts and botched plans that I began to get frustrated. Combined with the slow pacing, I felt like these instances were nothing but attempts at building excitement, but then went unrewarded. Maybe to mask the fact that we were moving at a snail’s pace? Except it only highlighted the lack of progression, in my opinion. Having someone try and fail over and over again is discouraging, and left me feeling annoyed instead of sympathetic or eager.

Eventually we do start moving forward. The least 40% or so is full of adventure and excitement and hope and bravery. Our view of this world gets more complex as we delve deeper into the different factions, we meet a few more secondary characters, while learning intriguing twists along the way. A bit of romance shows its head in this final chapter, too, but it’s still fairly low-ball so don’t expect a very romantically-inclined story at all. It’s more about family and survival in a world where death could be a mercy. Fans of survivalist stories are likely to take a liking to this one, as long as you don’t mind its unhurried nature.


3 Hot Espressos

Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

Posted by on 02/07/2014 • 13 Comments

I used to say that there was nothing worse than reviewing sequels, but I officially take that statement back because reviewing the third book in a series is definitely worse. There are people who can manage without spoiling anything and I just don’t get how they do it. So be prepared, there will probably be spoilers up ahead. Note: Scratch that, I actually managed to make this spoiler free!!!

What can I say about Three that I haven’t already said about Breaking Point and Article 5 hmm… Well, I can say that the action in this one is pretty constant just like the first two books in the series. The pacing of these books is always a highlight for me because it just never lets up. Even in the calmest…

Review: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Review: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Posted by on 01/29/2013 • 20 Comments

As I got back into the desolation that is is Ember’s world, it didn’t take long until the rush of it all came right back. The first book, Article 5, was a lot of fun with tons of action and wonderful characters, leaving me dying for this one. The sequel begins where Article 5 one left off, with short recaps along the way for those of you, like me, who forget everything they’ve read previously. I often have difficulty getting into a sequel because don’t remember the story, nor my connection to the characters, but Kristen has a great way of bringing it all back as if no time had passed.

In Article 5 she created a world that was extremely dreary, yet believable for a futuristic setting; in Breaking…

Cover Reveal x 4

Posted by on 06/19/2012 • 23 Comments

All the Broken PiecesCindi MadsenRelease date: December 11th 201 by Entangled Publishing


What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories,…

Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Posted by on 01/30/2012 • 47 Comments

Imagine a world where Hitler would have won. A world where if you don’t follow the right religion, you won’t ever be seen again. A world where its against the law to hang out with the opposite sex after curfew unless you’re married. A world where being born from an unwed mother can get you killed – or worse. This is life in Kristen Simmons’ Article 5. It’s a truly frightening world where everyone is helpless against this corrupt government and their inconceivable rules.

There is barely any room to breathe during this story. It’s so action packed that I’m surprised the pages can stay intact. This is surprisingly not overwhelming, however. It simply makes it a book that keeps you reading until you turn the very last page. As…