Feb 28, 2016

When Cupid Makes a Mistake || Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Title : Arrows
Author : Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Release Date : January 26th 2016
Publisher : Delacorte Press

A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV's Teen Mom.

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.

When I first heard about Arrows, my initial thought was that it would be a picture perfect Valentine's Day read! The cover was adorable, the premise so unique and cute, and I knew that it would be a great feel good contemporary. After reading the book, I still feel the same, though, I've also realized that more than cute and romantic, the book was also deep, realistic and had a strong message, which I loved.

Karma was a dance prodigy with a clear future set in front of her. She was brilliant and had potential. But her world turned upside down, when she fell in love with Danny, got pregnant and had to let go of her dreams in order to be a teen mom and a girlfriend. What's worse is her relationship with Danny, which borders on abusive and unhealthy, but still, Karma is not ready to give up, much to the puzzlement of her friends and family. But the real reason to this whole confusion and mystery is Aaryn, Eros' son and a trainee cupid, who mistakenly shoots the love arrow at Karma, but only realizes later that it doesn't have a pair. Now sent to earth to make amends for his mistakes, Aaryn tries to make Danny fall in love with Karma, only to fall for her himself, while realizing that love is far more than arrows and matchmaking.

Arrows was a perfect mixture of fluff and drama. While it dealt with some serious issues like teen pregnancy and unhealthy relationships, the story was kept light through the adorable moments and romance. I really liked how Melissa has decided to tackle concepts with so much weight in a light yet realistic way. And there was also the presence of Greek Mythology and fantasy elements to give this novel an even more fresh outlook.

I really liked Karma as a character. She was a perfect example of how sometimes even level headed, clever and smart girls can be stuck in unhealthy relationships. She was a sweet character, a kind and nice person, and a wonderful mom. But still, she took some really bad decisions, put up with a lot of things that made me want to shake her into some sense. But she was also realistic. When I read about her, I could totally imagine a talented girl disregarding her dreams because she's blinded by love. Mistake with arrows or not, this is a real and relatable situation to most, and I loved her portrayal in the story.

"She deserved to be loved"

Aaryn was downright adorable! The confused god-sent-to-earth, trying so hard to make things right, only to realize that what he's always believed in is not exactly true, he was a sweet and cute character I adored. And he was also the perfect guy, because aside from his looks, he was so supportive of Karma's dreams, wonderful with her daughter Nell, so understanding and unbelievably cute. He's the perfect contemporary boy friend, and the fact that he's a God and is hot doesn't hurt either! :)

Danny was certainly a piece of work. The fact that boys like him exist makes me boil. He was so insensitive, irresponsible, and long story short, I hated his guts. And his relationship with Karma was portrayed so perfectly in Arrows. I loved how Melissa didn't shy away from show casing the ugly side of unhealthy relationships, without sugar coating or romaticising anything. 

"And the truth about what my arrow had done? I was practically drowning in it. He didn't want Karma. He didn't want to be a dad. He just wanted to be what he already was - a teenager with no responsibilities."

I also really liked the concept of teen pregnancy and the impact it has on one's dreams. Karma is a dancer, and her future is limited after she has her baby. But I love how she didn't give up, and kept on pursuing them. I would have liked a more in depth discussion of this concept, though to be honest, that would have been too much for the book, as it would've deviated from the plot in hand.

I had quite a few problems as well. First is that the writing wasn't that remarkable. It's simple, and while it was easy flowing and made the novel a quick read, it wasn't my type. There was also some really minor plot holes here and there, but they wouldn't matter at all, unless you are a paranoid Lit student like me. I would've also liked some more involvement from the minor characters, as I felt like they didn't have much to do with the story, and just faded into the background when they're not needed. I also felt like the latter part of the book was a bit rushed, and would've liked a more detailed ending, with maybe a few more pages.

Overall, Arrows is cute, light story that tackles some deep social concepts. It takes a fresh and realistic take on love, and I would recommend this to all contemporary fans, especially those who prefer a good mixture of content and fluff.

This review was part of the Arrows Blog Tour, hosted by Tika @ Fangirl Confessions!

About the Author

Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a former magazine editor and columnist who loves strong coffee, live music, and arrow jewelry. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and two teenage children, one of whom is named after a Greek goddess.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram​ | Facebook

Check out Arrows at : 

 Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

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