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Today in YA: Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

The following review of Arrows (Delacorte Press January 26, 2016) by Melissa Gorzelanczyk is from Food, Fitness & Fiction Contributing Editor Joshua Flores (pictured above).

What if you fell in love with someone who could never love you in return? Melissa Gorzelanczyrk’s debut novel, Arrows, tells the story of a girl who gets struck with love (literally) and has to blindly devote herself and her affections to a boy who will never care for her.

Here’s a description of Arrows  from Amazon:

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.

The trouble begins when Aaryn, the son of Cupid, successfully shoots Karma with an arrow during his examination to follow in his father’s footsteps. But he is unable to also strike her boyfriend Danny which throws everything he has worked for into jeopardy. Now faced with the prospect of losing the only life he has ever known, Aaryn is sent to earth to help Danny fall in love with Karma before it’s too late. Everything seems to go according to plan until Aaryn develops feelings for Karma even though he knows that they can never be together. With romance in the air and a complicated love triangle forming, Aaryn must choose between following his heart or doing what his mission requires—something that might completely break his heart.

From intertwining love stories to forbidden romances, Arrows is a spectacular coming of age novel with a dash of fantasy. While the plot is at times a bit far-fetched and unrealistic, the comedic dialogue and touching romance outweighs any of the mediocre or unbelievable elements. Another element that makes this book a must read for teens is Melissa Gorzelanczyk’s writing which is both strikingly fresh and entertaining. There is never a dull moment in Arrows.

Although overall Arrows was a fantastic teen read with a humorous and emotional plot, some of the characters felt one dimensional and flat overall. For example, I felt that Danny was unlikable and emotionally distant. Other than this one flaw, I found the rest of the novel to be incredibly smart and wholly satisfying.

Reading Arrows felt exactly like stepping onto a high school campus: there was drama, plenty of budding romances, and a dash of chaos. In Arrows, the author portrays being a teenager perfectly and illustrates the struggle of falling for someone who you know you shouldn’t, or can’t. I was impressed with Arrows from beginning to end, and by the time I reached the end of the book, I knew it was exceptionally original and unlike any other book I’ve read.

If you enjoy teen drama with a heavy dose of romance, Arrows is a must read. I hope you’ll follow Karma and Aaryn on their adventures and to see whether people truly are who they appear to be.

Full disclosure: Delacorte Press provided me with an ARC of Arrows for review purposes.

Joshua Flores, a junior from Tustin, California is currently an editor for the Beckman Chronicle and enjoys both reading and writing. He spends most of his free time writing, and coming up with weird characters for the novel he is working on. You can follow him on Instagram at @booklover41899.

For other reviews of Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk, visit these websites:

Eater of Books

Books and Makeup


Life of a Female Bibliophile

Publishers Weekly

Two Chicks on Books





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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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