Because who can afford books in this economy?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

Title: Girl in the Arena
Author: Lise Haines
Published: October 2009
Acquired: Bought from
Synopsis from
It’s a fight to the death—on live TV—when a gladiator’s daughter steps into the arena
Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through.  Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family.  Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator.  Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him... For fans of The Hunger Games and Fight Club, Lise Haines’ debut novel is a mesmerizing look at a world addicted to violence—a modern world that’s disturbingly easy to imagine. 

This book was a lot different than I thought it would be. I was expecting it to be in the future, not an alternate present time. I was also expecting more fighting from Lyn, but there really wasn't much. The writing style is strange. When a character talks, instead of putting "quotation marks around it", she uses -breaks. for example:
Normal: "I'm reviewing Girl in the Arena," I said. "It's by Lise Haines."
Different: -I'm reviewing Girl in the Arena, I said. -It's by Lise Haines.
That took some getting used to, but once I did there really wasn't a problem.

Despite an explanatory prologue and references throughout the book, I didn't really understand the way the Gladiator organization, Caesar's, worked. It was confusing in places, since I didn't fully understand how the rules and things worked.

Okay, that was the bad, now here's the good. Haines did an excellent job with the characters. Lyn was relateable, and even the secondary characters felt real. The love that Lyn has for her brother was done very well, as was the relationship with her mother. The way the characters acted didn't feel forced or strange, and their emotions felt real. The action in it was clear and straightforward also. I wouldn't say that I loved this book, but it wasn't bad. 
Characters: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 7/10
Overall: 41/50 B-
Cover/Title: 3/5 I think that the title is misleading, and when she is actually in that kind of outfit she doesn't have any hair so....But it will sell. 
I was hooked: In the first chapter.
Recommend to: Hunger Games fans, though this is nowhere close to that perfection. 
Hilarious book trailer here.


  1. Great review!! I've been curious about this one for awhile. I wonder why she didn't use quotation marks?? That sounds really confusing. Hmm, I hope that doesn't start a trend. I've heard that before about her having a shaved head instead of the long hair on the cover.

  2. Great review, and I agree on the trailer. That was hillarious!


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