Customer Reviews for

Girl in the Arena

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Dark but satisfying

This book was a punch to the gut but one I didn't know I needed.

posted by Bluberryfields3 on February 23, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Girl Practically Everywhere Besides the Arena

I have really conflicted feelings about this book. I was expecting some cheap Hunger Games rip-off, but it wasn't like that at all.

This book is about Lyn, who has had seven gladiator fathers, due to her mothers career as a Glad wife. As a substitute to war, and ent...
I have really conflicted feelings about this book. I was expecting some cheap Hunger Games rip-off, but it wasn't like that at all.

This book is about Lyn, who has had seven gladiator fathers, due to her mothers career as a Glad wife. As a substitute to war, and entire Glad culture has arose, blood sport being just as common as football. Lyn's life is ruled by bylaws put forth by the Gladiator Sports Association. It is these bylaws that say she is required, through a chain of unfortunate events, to marry Uber, the warrior who defeated her seventh father in the arena. Rather than give in to these demands, she proposes an alternative: fighting him in the arena.

Initially, I thought I wasn't going to like this. At first it was because I thought it was a rip-off. Then it was because the writing and formatting was odd and distracting. And then it was because I realized that the action would be slow-coming. But then, about half-way through the book, I realized I kinda liked it. Lyn, the narrator was endearing, and the writing was starting to grow on me. I stopped with the exectations and just went with the flow. By the end, I didn't hate it as much as I did to start with.

The writing is not typical of a young-adult book, and that threw me off for a while. I appreciated that the author was doing something different. And I shall warn everyone right now, this book has no quotation marks. This drove me insane to begin with, and I was frustrated with the author. I mean, why couldn't she use quotation marks like a normal author? But in no time, I didn't even realize the difference.

I liked Lyn. She was endearing. She wasn't a Mary Sue, yet she wasn't a stereotypical bad-ass robot. I understood her motives. But I did not understand her brother. Her little brother, who is autistic, is also supposedly a prophet/oracle. I thought this book was set in an alternative now. I don't get the whole mysticism thing. And I also didn't get how they had things like You Tube still, but also virtual living machines that can create a functioning virtual being. But I did like the whole history of GSA. That does seem odd enough to be true.

Don't expect a hardcore thrilling action novel. Despite being about violence, this book had very little action. Lyn wasn't even in the arena until the final pages. I think this is misleading on the marketer's part. This book is way more contemplative than it sounds. I got bored in some places, but I was overall absorbed.

I am still confused about my feeling for this book, so I apologize for the possible wishy-washiness of this review. I can see how some people hate it, some people love it. It's an odd little book.

posted by Awesomeness1 on June 25, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Dark but satisfying

    This book was a punch to the gut but one I didn't know I needed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    Gitl in the arena

    I really liked this book but it was really confusing at some parts. It was suspenseful. And i really liked the 1 dude who killed her father i liked it i really did but has some confusin parts i give 4 out of 5 stars:)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Great!!!

    I loved this book. Although the ending was lacking. I would very much recomend this book to all of my friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    It q It was pretty good

    This book was enjoyable, although it would've been better with a bit more ajustments to it.

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    I really enjoyed this book!! It kept me wanting more, more, more!

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  • Posted August 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    http://scholarberry.blogspot.com/

    "These are not my enemies."

    My Rating: 7/10


    Lise Haines' Girl in the Arena is spectacular! The story was centered around a girl named Lyn, who had 7 fathers. All 6 were dead and Tommy is the 7th. All 7th were gladiators.

    Then came one fight--and Tommy's dead. Allison (Lyn's mom) can't support Thad (Lyn's brother) and Lyn anymore. Caesar's (the Hollywood in the gladiator world) won't let Allison marry for the 8th time, cause 7 is the limit.

    Lyn had given her bracelet to Tommy back then, even though she wasn't supposed to...then she got her consequence--Uber picked her bracelet up.

    The bracelet is a symbol of marriage, and Uber is the gladiator that killed Tommy.

    Lyn was going to have to marry Uber--to save Allison, Thad and herself a house. Lyn refuse to, and she had a plan. She went backstage and attacked Uber, though she failed.

    Then, Lyn was developing feelings for Uber (after Allison forced Lyn to keep giving Uber a chance). But Lyn can't let herself be another Allison, marrying one gladiator, letting him die and marrying another one just to let him die (repeat cycle).

    Lyn wants to be different. So Lyn fights Caesar...

    What I like about this book: The fresh story line, the great association with American history throughout the book and of course; the gorgeous cover! Lise Haines is very creative, and although on the surface, Girl in the Arena doesn't seem like something everyone can relate to, it is. Everyone has been faced with certain societal expectations in their life and this is what this book is about, and how Lyn, erratically chose how she faced it.

    What I dislike about this book: The speech is confusing. There is no single quotation mark to indicate when someone starts speaking or ends it. Haines uses dashes to indicate conversation. To me, it's a bit confusing because it's like "--I don't think so, I say to them." out of nowhere. It feels awkward to read in that manner because I'm so used to reading conversations that belongs in quotation marks.

    But this is definitely one good book! <3

    http://scholarberry.blogspot.com/

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Satire

    This was an interesting satire on the state of our society right now. Basicly it's what we value blown up into an extreme. There were funny parts, there were (alot) of seriuos parts. Over all I would recomend it to anyone. It's good to read it, think about it, read it again then talk about it and how it effect you.

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  • Posted November 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    girl in the arena

    Lyn G. is the daughter of seven gladiators. Her beautiful mother, Allison, has made a career of sorts being married to Glads and lives and breathes according to the bylaws governing Glad wife and child behavior. Tommy G. is lucky husband number seven and has become more a father to Lyn and her younger brother Thad than any of her previous fathers. Tommy is also one of the best Glads in the business and now only has a few fights left before his contract is over with the Gladiator Sports Association. For his last bout, he's slated to face the rising-star Uber, a young Glad who is at the top of his game and who strangely enough, has the usually confident Tommy, Lyn, Allison and even Thad worried and obsessing over the outcome.

    As a Glad daughter, Lyn feels trapped in a life she has no control over and suffocated by a mother who only wants her to make the same choices she did. But Lyn is fiercely independent and of all things a pacifist(!) and would like nothing better than to take her family away from all the violence and the prying eyes of the media. Especially her mentally handicapped brother Thad who often makes surprisingly accurate but oh so creepy predictions but who she would do anything for. Including stepping into the one place she hates more than any other - the arena - for the chance to fight for their freedom from the GSA once and for all.

    Part social commentary, part dystopian fantasy Girl in the Arena portrays an America that isn't too far off by any stretch of the imagination. Chuck Palahniuk-esque fight clubs controlled by the all too powerful GSA abound and achieve higher ranking than even the NFL Over them all (and the bane of Lyn's existence) hangs the persistent, malicious media and paparazzi who make the Glad way of life impossible to escape.

    Lisa Haines' book is full of convoluted twists while oozing daring and character upon character that fairly leap off the pages. I do wish there had been more action scenes involving Lyn and clearer descriptions for some of the aspects of Glad culture which were a little murky but I have to look beyond them both in the face of the brilliance of Lyn's story. Against the powerful GSA and her daunting family she's honest, she's loyal and she's so freaking tough - no wonder she had Uber walking on eggshells most of the time. Parts of the action in Girl in the Arena completely broadsided me (just like it does Lyn) and all I could do was hang on, trusting Lyn to make sense of it all. I think what ultimately made me love Lyn to pieces however was her constant maneuvering of her brother, herself, her friend Mark, and even Uber in a such way to achieve some semblance of happiness for them all.
    seemichelleread.blogspot.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Action, suspense, and a hint of romance

    The main character, Lyn, has lived her whole life in a world dominated by violence and gladiators and she wants nothing to do with it. When her step-father is killed in the arena, she finds herself betrothed to the man who killed him. Acting against the rules that have controlled her and her family's life she decides to fight for what she believes, resulting in a battle against her fiance. While reading the book I found it to be an interesting and mostly fast-paced read, although the way the dialogue was written I found to be a little distracting. The characters draw you in and you can not help but hate the GSA, the company controlling the gladiators and the games. Overall,the book was a combination of action, suspense, and a hint of romance that will keep you hooked until the last page.

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