The Glass Arrow

336p. Tor Teen. Feb. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780765336613; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781466828780.
Gr 9 Up—In a not-too-distant future, void of the belief in prayer and God, prayer is outlawed. Each public auction of available young girls raised for breeding purposes begins with a moment of silence to give thanks to the rich men who seek out subjects to purchase. Not only are women denied basic human rights in this caste society, but no one is given the opportunity to rise out of their assigned station. Lower caste men are neurologically altered to serve as either mindless, fashion-conscious baby-sitters for the chatteled young girls or emotionless security guards to keep the girls in line. Sixteen-year-old Aya, an educated renegade raised to think independently, is captured for sport by a rich young magnate and turned over to the capital city of Glasscaster for auction to the highest bidder. Aya is valuable because she has lived her life free, with natural foods, unlike the chemical substitutes given to the young girls raised within the city walls. This means that Aya has a higher chance of giving birth to a male child. Despite her attempts to sabotage her auctions, Aya finds herself not only sold, but also transferred to the highest household in town, Mayor Rykor's home. The extensive security system in the home makes it hard for Aya to find a means of escape, and much to her surprise, she discovers that it's not the mayor who has purchased her; it's his nine year old son. There's a much of Katniss Everdeen in Aya—a familiar strength and determination. Aya is an independent thinker, strong and self-reliant. Despite some slow pacing in the middle, fans of dystopian and postapocalyptic YA fiction will thoroughly enjoy this read.—Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA
Aya lives in a world where women are breeding property. As a wild girl, she is hunted, and when raiders capture her, Aya will have to put her faith in new allies in order to escape and get back to her family. There's plenty of danger and action, but plot holes abound and the basic world-building doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

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