Something that just Just speaks to me, I guess; feels true. I can relate to it, to the protagonist, how she feels. I understand her because, in a way, I was her.
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Stand alone or series: Stand alone novel How did I get this book: Bought Why did I read this book: A dystopian, slightly futuristic gladiator-to-the-death novel with a female protagonist? The question should be, why did it take me so long to read this book. Summary: from amazon. 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. I needed something different to save me from the sea of indifference, and I was betting on Girl in the Arena to do the trick especially after rave reviews like this one from Angie started popping up online.
I loved this book. Not only does Ms. Haines employ a bold, effective writing style refreshingly different from anything else on the YA market, but the story itself is phenomenal, with one of the finest heroines I have had the pleasure of reading all year.
Her mother, Allison, prides herself on her occupation as a Glad wife — that is, a perpetual bride to neo-Gladiators. Allison brags that Lyn is the daughter of seven Gladiators, the maximum number of times a Glad wife can marry according to the bylaws. When the fight arrives, Tommy is slain quickly in the arena by the monstrously powerful Uber while Lyn, Thad and Allison are forced to watch on.
For Lyn, though, things are infinitely worse — because in the arena, right after killing her father, Uber picks a trophy from his corpse. I have to admit that I was expecting quite a different book when I started Girl in the Arena.
Though there is a good share of violence in the arena scenes, Girl in the Arena is not so much about fighting or action, as, say The Hunger Games is. Rather, this novel is more introspective, a dystopian anti-corporation thriller, if you will more along the lines of a younger Blade Runner.
The most impressive thing, to me, about Girl in the Arena was how very plausible everything seemed. I, for one, love watching fights. And Girl in the Arena makes me question this inherent bloodthirst. Not to say that Ms. Haines managed to convey this appreciation and balance saving what easily could have been a preachy, one-dimensional feeling novel. So far as technicalities of plotting and character go, what can I say?
Haines has a gift for writing. The story is paced excellently without a single hitch. The writing itself is wonderfully different, as Ms. As a heroine, Lyn is exquisite. I loved her. I loved her emotional struggles, I loved how fair she was when it came to evaluating her choices and making decisions. I loved Lyn. What else can I say about Girl in the Arena? This is a book to be bought, to be read, to be remembered. I loved it wholeheartedly, and I recommend it to everyone.
Haines has left her mark, and I cannot wait to read more from this promising author. With the black lights that rim the stadium, as soon as he starts to overheat it will look as if that peacock green sweat is pouring out of him like in those sports drink commercials. My brother, Thad, tugs at me until I get a Freeway bar from my sack and peel back the wrapper for him. His whole sense of time and space has always been jumbled up. Uber checks his helmet repeatedly and then crosses himself.
When Tommy, our stepfather, steps into the arena, all of us stand and flood the air with sound. Everyone loves Tommy. But he still looks off to me. Allison likes to make a point of these things. Born Ins are first- generation Glads, their relatives and descendents. Time feels sped up as the cheers build. Tommy and Uber start to circle. Competitions often feel slow to me, especially at the beginning.
The crowd loves this. They chant, —Tommy, Tommy. But then in one move, Uber suddenly grabs his shield, turns, and strikes Tommy with his long sword. Before Tommy can right himself, Uber slices him across his stomach. Allison asks. Everything about him looks urgent as I glance over. I kiss his forehead. I tell him everything is going to be okay. As I try to restrain Thad, I look at his big eyes, his soft square face, and I imagine how much would die with Tommy.
Maybe everything, everything as we know it. Then Thad gets quiet again and slumps back into his seat. I want to take his hand and run away with him but this is one of the first bylaws I was taught; number Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. Sixty thousand fans rise to their feet shouting: —UBER! Of course the point, the whole point, of Glad existence is to die well.
And I know Tommy G. That the ambulance will scoop him up and get him to the hospital in time. His chain- mail guard swings out from his hips and lashes his groin.
His legs buckle, and his body drops in both halves of her. You can read the full excerpt online HERE. If you liked Girl in the Arena, and you want something else to satiate your hunger for dystopian futures, you might want to check out some of these posts for more.
A fabulous book, and on the shortlist for one of my favorite reads of
Book Review: Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Girl in the Arena