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Friday, November 13, 2009

Review: Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Pub. Date: October 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Format: Hardcover, 336pp
Age Range: Young Adult

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.

The first thing that made me want to read Girl in the Arena was the book’s cover. I absolutely adore the cover! I was also intrigued by the synopsis – A girl fighting her father’s murderer in a Gladiator Sports Arena to the death. Now that’s interesting especially when you tack on the fact that she has to marry him according to Gladiator Bylaws. And last but not least, the final straw in the hat that persuaded me to go ahead and move Girl in the Arena to the top of my reading list was the book trailer. It’s so addictive and I’ve watched it umpteen times, but let’s just say I know it by heart.

So, a friend of mine kept asking me two questions after watching the book trailer:

Did GITA Stun? Yes

*There were some scenes in the Glad Arena that were quite disturbing when you think about it in terms of the real world (Ultimate Fighting & Boxing).

* The whole set up of the Gladiator Sport was so interesting that I was intrigued enough to want to find out more.

Did GITA Impress? Yes

* This is the first book I’ve read by Lise Haines and even though her writing is totally different from what I’m used to, I totally dig her writing style. She uses dashes instead of quotations for dialogue but after the first couple of pages I had no problems continuing on.

* I loved the directions Haines took with GITA. I know everyone’s reading experiences are not the same with how we perceive a book. I mostly read because of the entertainment factor but this book had me thinking on so many levels - like how our pop culture is heavily influenced by mass media and encompasses the everyday lives of society. And take for instance, the craziness of the paparazzi when it comes to celebrities. So, all in all I couldn’t help but relate this book to what’s going on in today’s society.

I have to tell you that the ending left me wanting a little more, but it was satisfactory nevertheless.

I will definitely be reading more of Haines’s books.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I’ll leave you with the book trailer that started it all…


  1. I won this recently and I am looking forward to reading it!

  2. I love the book cover! Sounds like an intresting book. :D

  3. Great review!

    I've been hearing a lot of positive things about this book-- can't wait to read it!

  4. I've read some great things about this book,I'm looking forward to reading it.
    Love the trailer

  5. Oh now that sounds neat! Omg that trailer is just... ... there aren't words.

  6. The book trailer was what sealed the deal on the decision to read it. The synopsis was interesting, but the trailer. oh that trailer. Fantastic! Funny! Fabulous!
    I can't wait to read it :)


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