Tuesday, March 3, 2015

One for sorrow...

I get so cranky when I book I was rooting for just goes whoosh right over the cliff of readability into the Sea of Pseudo-Feminism.

May I present The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons?


I know, I know, I didn't like Article 5.  Okay, fine, I didn't even make it past the first few chapters because all of my eye-rolling was freaking people out.  I looked like an extra in a Stephen King film.  However, I got sucked into The Glass Arrow because a) that cover! and b) I thought it was more fantasy-ish.  Nope.  Nope nope nope.

In a world where the population is declining, the cities are dying, and people are desperate, the most precious commodity ... is a woman.

Uh, ahem, sorry, not reading the synopsis for that book.  Moving right along.

Women lucky enough to become wives see their sons taken away by the government...



COME ON.  I AM TRYING TO SYNOPSIZE THE GLASS ARROW HERE.  Stop giving me info for the wrong books.  

One girl, captured from the wilds, fights against destiny and her inevitable auction, while plotting to destroy this twisted system.



OH COME ON.  THEY CAN'T REALLY BE THAT MUCH ALIKE ... can they?

Answer: Yes, but in all the wrong ways.

A fuller review:

The population lives in overcrowded, polluted cities.  There is a shortage of women, and they are rendered less-fertile by the fake food supplements they take.  Outside of the cities, small groups of escapee women roam, squishing through moss and going all nature goddess.  They refuse to be any man's slave again.

Aya has been raised outside of the cities, and despite being like the best at everything ever, gets captured and sent to a city to be auctioned off as a baby-maker.  Here, she employs strategery à la Bush, which basically consists of acting like a five-year-old and picking fights so as not to have to face the music.  She's particularly cruel to the other girls, especially anyone who isn't slim and muscular like herself.  She finds the fat girls repulsive.  Aya.  No.  You are the problem.

Anyway, the girls are auctioned off in this quasi-theatrical spectacle headed up by Effie Trinket the illiterate head of the "Garden" facility.  After fighting with one of the *icky fat girls,* Aya gets sent to Solitary, which is her favoritest place evar because her man-friend is there (sides one and two of requisite love triangle are now complete).  This is where I stopped.

However, in skimming ahead, I found two very problematic sentiments expressed by our pseudo-feminist protagonist.  The whole idea of the novel (I think) is women's autonomy and sexual subjection and freedom and all that jazz.  Aya refuses to become a man's property.  However, when she finds her Soul Mate, she decides that it's okay to be "owned" by someone, because she "owns" part of him too.  So, three hundred pages of fighting for freedom, and you're like, "Own me!"  Then, she ends with the most bizarre statement that "I am just a woman" like it's some sort of empowerment rallying cry.

Typical love-triangle dreck couched as pseudo-feminist adventure.

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