Friday, November 27, 2009

Girl in the Arena by Lisa Haines

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: October 2009

Author Website:

One Word Review: Okay

First Line: “The clerk asks for my autograph.”

Synopsis: “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.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I guess I’ll start with what I liked about the book. I really liked the cover, totally drew me to the book from the very begining. I liked Lyn, she was really understanding with her Mom and little brother. Even when they pushed her to her limits she still looked out for them and wanted to take care of them. I liked the overall idea of the book, the gladiators and politics involved. It created an interesting setting, especially the storyline with her Mom and the Wife Rules she had to follow. I thought the storyline with Uber (stupid name) was interesting as well. There is a bit of a love triangle, with Uber, Mark and Lyn. I kept reading to see what would happen, and again really liked the overall idea of the book.

There are just a few things that I didn’t like. I guess I will start with the setting, I really didn’t like that it took place in modern times. I know it’s a fictional book, but it just wasn’t very believable. We definitely live in a violent society, but there is no way they would allow people to kill one another in this fashion, even in the name of “entertainment”. I think the book would have been better if it took place in the distant future or in a fictional place. IMO. I didn’t really care for the writing style and thought it really dragged in certain areas. It would go from being really interesting to really boring. I also hated the absence of quotation marks, this really drove me crazy!

I didn’t really like how Uber was portrayed and how little his character was used, maybe because of that I didn’t really feel any chemistry between them. I thought it was a great angle to the story, but ended up falling a little flat for me. I also expected to see Lyn in action a little more. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say I was a little let down in that respect.

I’ve read some reviews that compare this to The Hunger Games. I guess I can see where they are coming from, but I honestly think the books are totally unique, so I won’t compare the two.


  1. It sounds Hunger Games but it looks different too. I want to read it though.

  2. I thought Hunger Games when I read the synopsis too, but the only similar plot lines are the arena thing. Is this more like a romance type book? -Parajunkee

  3. ParaJunkee- Hmm, I wouldn't really say its a romance book. There is a bit of that, but its more about Lyn's relationship with her family. Maybe a little more romance would have made me like it better? =) I've read a lot of good reviews though, so I think I'm in the minority on this one.


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