Friday, February 13, 2015

Author Spotlight: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 11:00 AM

Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series and THE GLASS ARROW (Tor Teen). She loves her family, Jazzercise, and chocolate cupcakes. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For more updates on Kristen and her writing, visit or

Title: The Glass Arrow

Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: TOR Teen
Publication: February 10th 2015
Cover Rating: 5/5

The subject matter of this book is something that you have to be sure you are ready to read. I have a feeling that the author is going to get some backlash from people who didn't read the synopsis and understand just what the book holds inside. So READER BEWARE.

I really enjoyed this book. I am a HUGE fan of Kristen Simmons Article 5 series so of course I just had to get my hands on this book ASAP. I was not disappointed and I really loved seeing how the author adapted to writing fantasy. So, with that said, I am going to attempt to do a review that has no spoilers. But it will be hard because I kind of just want to gush about this book.

First, the synopsis of the book states, "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.", and I can honestly say that I have tried to read Blood Red Road and I liked The Glass Arrow significantly more. I read The Handmaid's Tale back in high school and I can definitely see the similarities. Regardless of the synopsis, Kristen Simmons has woven an extremely thrilling story that I could see actually happening in the future.

Aya, "Clover", is the type of women a lot of us wish we were. She is strong, head-strong, and very smart. She doesn't want to be controlled by any man and that is her biggest problem considering the world she lives in makes that difficult. 

Then we have The Governess. Which would drive any feminist woman to commit murder. This woman needs to be slapped a few hundred times and then hung by her toe nails. She is A WOMAN and what she does to these young women is HORRIBLE. I could understand if it was a GUY running the operation but she is literally selling her own kind. How sick are you? 

Now, on to the world building and romance. I loved the world-building. I could picture everything and I thoroughly enjoy when I can imagine a book like a movie running through my head. The romance was nice. After first meeting Aya I didn't think there was going to be much of a romance in this book but I was wrong. It wasn't insta-love or anything like that. It was actually pretty believable for the situation Aya and Kiran were in. 

Kiran might be "mute" but he sure has a lot to say and he is very intelligent for being just a Driver. The way he interacts with Aya has a very loving, precious feeling to it. They go through Hell and back and it actually takes time for them to start falling for each other. I loved the slow bleed of the romance between them and it made the entire book feel a lot more realistic.

There is no other book to compare this to. I have seen many people trying to say that its like Wither, Delirium and other "love" type dystopian books and I fail to see the comparison. This book is a genre all its own. It feels fantasy, dystopian and historical. I find that people who try and compare books to other books are just being stupid. No EVERYTHING in this world needs to be compared to something else. 

The ending is a cliffhanger of sorts. It left me feeling filled but still needing more. So I am not angry with the ending but I wouldn't mind reading more. The book is a standalone and the author didn't over do anything. You know the book will end and nothing will come after it and normally that leaves me feeling kind of empty but Kristen tied the book up very neatly.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

When I read what this was about I was leery because the subject matter is a very touchy subject with me.  

Now with having said that, I think Kristen Simmons did a fantastic job writing about this topic because all I wanted to do was keep reading instead of wanting to stop. 

Right in the beginning a lot of things happen and we are thrown into how Aya's world works. It takes a bit to get into, but once you do, it’s a good ride. Some parts, because of the subject matter, I didn't like them very much, but reading them didn't push me away. I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next. 

Aya is a very strong female character. She does what she needs to do, she picks fights if it will work in her favor and will do anything to protect her family. I haven’t read a character like her in a while and because of how she is, I liked her right away. Through Aya we get to see what the world does to girls and woman. They get captured to be sold to rich men to have boy offspring. Aya hates this and tries her best to sabotage it all for herself. 

Along the way she meets and befriends a wolf and what is known as a Driver. Drivers are born mute. She tells the Driver, that she names Kiran, all kinds of stories about her family that she is trying to get back to. Through a lot of planning and hurt Kiran helps her escape. 

During the ride back to her family, we get a curve-ball thrown at us that I did not see coming, but I loved it because it really added to the story and the characters. I loved the connection that Aya and Kiran had, it made me happy whenever they were together. I wish they had more time to be alone with each other to develop their relationship, but I’m happy with what we got from them. 

In the end, I think there could have been an epilogue seeing how everyone is after everything Aya had to go through to make sure they all stay safe, but I’m happy with how it ended. This isn't one of those books where the main character tries to change how their world is, but a story of her doing everything she can to make sure her family stays safe and alive, away from all the horrors of their society. 

This was my first book that I have read by Kristen Simmons and I have to say that I’m impressed. 

I rate this a 4.5 because of me as a person when it comes to the subject matter, not anything to do with the author.

“I remember how she told me that this was the way of things. That to have life there must be death. To have joy there must be sadness. And that I must not be angry with Mother Hawk because of it.” -Aya

1) Where did the inspiration for The Glass Arrow come from?

I had read a story on the news of places in rural China where the
population of women had decreased so much that men were going to
neighboring villages to find mates. That idea grew in my mind, and I
started thinking of what it would be like if a hunting party started
tracking down women in hiding. This concept became the opening of my
new book.

2) Which story did you enjoy writing the most? Article 5 or The Glass Arrow?

I enjoyed writing them both in different ways. Article 5 was such a
rush - it was my first book that I sold, that I worked with an editor
and an agent on. But in Glass Arrow I got to explore a lot of issues
that are very important to me, such as the conceptualization of women
in our society. Also, I got to write a very fierce female lead, which
was really a lot of fun.

3) How would you describe The Glass Arrow to someone who might buy your book?

This is a story about a society where women are endangered, and one
girl is caught in the wild and sold at auction for breeding purposes.

4) Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what did you want to be?

I have always wanted to be a writer. I also love helping people
though, and I actually went to school to be a social worker, and later
a mental health therapist. Mental health issues are still very
important to me, and often work their way into my stories.

5) If you could live anywhere in the world, anyway you want to, where
would you live and what would you do with your life?

I would have a little cabin in the mountains, someone to make me hot
chocolate, and everything else would be exactly as it is now. I love
writing books!

6) Are you currently, or planning on, working on any new books?

Yes! My next book comes out next year and is called Metaltown. It
involves child sweatshop workers joining together and fighting back
against their oppressive boss.

7) If you had to choose between the world in Article 5 and the world
in The Glass Arrow to live in which one would you pick?

Ha! Neither! I would have to be a lot tougher to survive both!


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