So let me first tell you a story about this book. I first heard about it a couple months ago when I was hopping around the book blogs. The cover drew me in first. Then I saw that it’s set in small town Wisconsin, written by an author from Green Bay. That’s when I knew that I had to read it. I looked at my library. (Of course they didn’t have it. They’re terrible.) I entered giveaways. (So many giveaways.) I looked at my library again. And again. I checked Overdrive. And entered some more giveaways. Then I was exploring Edelweiss, which I had never really used before, and saw that it was available for request. Somehow, I was approved. I devoured it in one sitting that same night.
I had a sneaking suspicion that I would really enjoy this book. And I did.
In Arrows, Aaryn, the son of Eros, is just finishing up his exam to be a full-fledged cupid when a mix-up with the arrows means that he only hits the female half of his target. He covers it up and pretends it didn’t happen, but an audit a year later shows that he messed up this girl’s life for good. His punishment: go down to Earth as a human, insert himself into her life (and the life of her no-good boyfriend), and fix it.
As a result of the arrow, Karma is head-over-heels for Danny, who is pretty much the worst. They have a daughter together now, and Danny could not care less. He cancels on babysitting at the last minute. He doesn’t contribute financially at all. He spends his nights drinking, smoking, and partying with his old friends while Karma spends her nights trying to squeeze in dance practice and a few hours of homework while comforting a crying baby. Karma’s friends and family try to convince her to break up with Danny, but she’s blinded by the love caused by that arrow.
Enter Aaryn. A breath of fresh air in this tiny Wisconsin town. He tries to befriend Danny, to show him what he’s missing with Karma, but Danny gets the wrong impression. Danny hates Aaryn from the start. (Some random guy who looks like a god telling him how perfect his girlfriend is didn’t go over well.) Almost immediately, though, Aaryn befriends Karma. They hit it off so well that we just know that if Karma wasn’t blinded with love for Danny, she’d be with Aaryn.
This book is entrancing.
I love mythology. I love retellings. I love stories set in Wisconsin. This book made me smile. It made me want to go home for a visit.
I loved that Melissa Gorzelanczyk doesn’t shy away from the reality of teen life. These kids smoke and drink and have sex. They’re not perfect little angels like we often see in YA. Every character is flawed, and that just makes them seem more real. This book is well-written, easy to read, and overall just really enjoyable.
Thank you to Random House Children’s / Delacorte Press (via Edelweiss) for the review copy!
Final rating: ★★★★☆
For my 2016 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #5: a book set in your home state.