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Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Review: Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

Title: Girl in the Arena
Author: Lise Haines
Publication Date: October 2009
Genre: YA
Age: 14+
Pages: 336
Series: no
Book Acquisition: Library
My Rating: 3/5 Stars

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. 

Another hard review for me to get through. I didn’t love this book. I didn’t hate it either. I didn’t like it but I didn’t dislike it. The story wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible. You see my dilemma?

When I first heard of GITA months ago and read the synopsis – I couldn’t help comparing it to The Hunger Games. I was told not to do this as the two books really aren’t similar at all. After reading both I have to agree. Where The Hunger Games was a dystopian roller coaster of a ride, Girl in the Area was a weird, alternative reality type society full of surprisingly shallow people. In dystopian stories, often, extreme circumstances lead to understandably extreme actions. The world of GITA isn’t dystopian but it is extreme. It’s pretty much modern day America – with the addition of The Gladiator Sports Association.

As true to real life this book was, I couldn’t get over the idea that society has actually disintegrated to the point where these Gladiator games were an acceptable part of life. I also couldn’t really warm up to Lyn. I think my favorite character was Tommy, and he wasn’t around very long.
I did not like the ending at all. It seemed very rushed. A lot of build up for a few pages of closure.

The story itself was interesting. It was different, and I liked that.

Overall, not horrible, but I’m not sure who exactly I would recommend this one to.

Linkage Love:
Author's Website

Other Reviews:
Bookworming in the 21st Century
The Book Butterfly
Who, What, When, Where, Why
Fantastic Book Review


  1. Great review. I've been wondering if I would like this one. It definitely continues to get great reviews.

  2. I've heard both good and bad about this book. I'm interested enough to see what I think of it myself. But I'll go into it knowing I may not like it.


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