Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Books I've Read: An Arrow to the Moon


This was a fascinating book, part Romeo and Juliet, part Chinese mythology and part magic realism.

Luna and Hunter are both part of the small Chinese community in their town, yet have never really met before a New Year's party where all the older kids sneak out to attend a different party next door.  They have an almost supernatural connection to one another, but realize it's probably not going to go anywhere once they discover their parents are arch-rivals who have spent most of their time in this city trying to avoid one another.

Yet having met, these two suddenly find themselves constantly running into one another and things between them continue to simmer and draw them together.

Both have some slightly supernatural gifts - Hunter has perfect aim and a magical wind follows him around and throws money at him when he needs it.  Luna sees fireflies even in the dead of winter and appears to summon them whenever things become too difficult for her or when she is in danger.  

And things are constantly becoming too much for her this year.  She and her parents have always been close, but suddenly their high expectations and the way they want to plan her life for her is becoming stifling.  Hunter's home-life isn't much better and if it weren't for the younger brother he adores, he'd probably leave.  He's sick of hiding in the shadows because of something his parents did years ago.

When a giant crack appears in the land and begins spreading through the town, Hunter and Luna begin to realize it has something to do with them, and if they can't figure out how to pull themselves together, the entire town might fracture or sink into the abyss.

There were so many layers to this story that I can't help thinking a second reading might not be a bad idea.  There was so much going on between the family feuds, the mysterious ancient artifacts, the parallels between Luna and Hunter's lives, the mercenary collector chasing Hunter's family and the various stories from Chinese mythology that appear like magic in a notebook only Hunter's brother sees.  Yet all the threads wove together in a satisfying way.

If you like magic realism mixed in with your contemporary stories, you'll probably love this.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school.

Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge.

As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart. All they can depend on is their love… but time is running out, and fate will have its way.

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