"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."
Well, let's start with the not-so-great aspects.
So, for me, Girl in the Arena, written by Lise Haines, was just ok. The title certainly intrigued me and I think provided an expectation of lots of action and combat, which there was not. Lyn was an interesting character, with a strong voice, but her stream-of-consciousness manner of telling this story, was somewhat hard to follow and I found myself skimming a lot of the pages, hoping things would eventually come to light.
The first half of the book was very slow moving, rather than the fast-paced thriller I was expecting and the second half wasn't a whole lot better. I also had a huge issue with the dialogue, though as others on the tour have stated, we were reading from an ARC. Maybe it's changed...and that would be a good thing. Instead of quotations, which typically depict dialogue from the rest, was done with dashes and that was distracting and somewhat off-putting.
The good about this book, was the unique concept of a gladiator fight, though it did come on the heels of a "fight to the death" storyline, of The Hunger Games--a book which definitely ups the plot competition.
I think we are seeing a lot more violence in our sports and competitions, so seeing a book play off that, was interesting for sure.
I cannot say I would instantly recommend this book to teens or can think of a particular group that would really enjoy. I think it's going to be hit or miss, as seems to have been with the other reviews I've seen. It was not a terrible book, wasn't even a "bad" book, it's just missing something.
Other stops on the tour:
The 160 Acre Woods, A Patchwork of Books, Abby (the) Librarian, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Book Buzz, KidzBookBuzz.com, Maw Books Blog, My Own Little Corner of the World, Reading is My Superpower, Through a Child’s Eyes
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Girl in the Arena
Review copy provided by publisher