Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Girl in the Arena - Lise Haines - 2009

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

Published: 2009 - Bloomsbury USA
Age Group: Young Adult
Read: September 13, 2009

Reason for Reading: I picked up this book because I had read a good review of it and thought it sounded interesting.

GoodReads blurb: "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."

My Thoughts: I don't know how I feel about this book and this story. I liked a few of the characters, Lyn in particular, and her friend and his family. However, I felt like the description and back of the book give off a false pretense about what the book is. I was expecting a sort of dystopian future where the world reverts back to gladiator fights for entertainment and the settling of arguments. But instead it's basically our present day lives, but with gladiator fighting added in as a sport, kind of like football. The explanation of how this came to be was very strange, and the execution of the story felt unnatural. I don't know if this was supposed to be a sort of social commentary novel about how much sports players get paid but the how many negative effects there can be, if so, I don't think it fulfilled its purpose. Though the actual writing and language was well written, and as I said, I really did like Lyn. I'm not sure if there is a specific group I would recommend this to.

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